Get Good Gear

I am a music educator by training, and one important lesson that I received in the area of instrumental music education was the importance of a quality instrument. At the beginning of each new school year, parents would purchase or inquire about band instruments from well-known discount to “big box" stores. These instruments would look nice, were easy to obtain, and had a price that was very appealing to the wallet, especially when considering the cost of obtaining an instrument from the local music store. But despite the characteristics that made these items initially appealing, their true value was revealed after the initial purchase. These instruments were often made from inferior mate

Craiceann 2017- An Overview

(Photo courtesy of Jeremy Sibson.) I was fortunate to once again to participate in this year’s Craiceann Bodhrán Summer School on the small island of Inis Oírr of the west coat of Ireland. Here are some highlights from this year’s workshop… This is my 6th time attending this event, and I was part of this year’s Masterclass group. Participants are invited to participate in this group prior to arrival. Classes consist of (4) 2.5 hour sessions with four instructors. This year's instructors included Colm Phelan, Mel Mercier, Jim Higgins, and Cormac Byrne. Colm’s class covered a number of concepts, from odd-metered tunes and options for voicing the drum. In addition, Colm shared sheet music f

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