There are many ways that one can receive tuition on the bodhrán, but perhaps one of the most memorable is to travel to a workshop. There are many options to choose from, and I would like to share a few here. But first, some reasons why you might want to make the effort to attend one (or several) of these events…
1. The staff at these workshops are some of the best players and teachers in the field.
It is one thing to be exposed to a player or a style via videos or recordings, but it is another to see it firsthand and have it taught to you by the players themselves. Being able to see great players in-person and ask them questions in individual or small group settings is a great way to learn skill sets and concepts that will improve your own performance.
2. You will be surrounded by other drummers who are just as excited as you.
Being at an event with others who are just as passionate about the drum as you is both motivating and inspiring. It is an opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills from your peers, and broaden your musical horizons through band recommendations and other information.
3. It is an opportunity to travel to some amazing locations.
Some of these workshops are not the easiest to get to, but the opportunity to learn in secluded and scenic surroundings is worth the effort in travel. This makes the payoff double- great information and music, plus enjoyable surroundings.
4. Come for the drumming, stay for the world-class bands.
In addition to the bodhrán instruction, these events will often include concerts from notable performers and bands within the genre. Just as you will befit from learning from a great drummer in person, you may also get to see these performers practice their craft in situ.
Here are some workshops that you might find interesting:
Craiceann: The Bodhrán Summer School
Inis Oírr, Ireland
The last week of June
Junior Davey Bodhrán Academy
Gurteen, Co. Sligo, Ireland
The first week of July
Catskills Irish Arts Week
East Durham, New York, USA
The second week of July
The Swannanoa Gathering- Celtic Week
Asheville, North Carolina, USA
The third week of July
Mendocino Woodlands State Park, California, USA
The last week of July through the first week of August
Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
The second weekend in August
The O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreat
Midlothian, Texas, USA
The third weekend in October
The John C. Campbell Folk School
Brasstown, North Carolina
Various times of the year
Spend some time researching these options online, and consider attending one of these events in the future. You will not regret it!
The 2011 Craiceann Bodhrán Summer School- Inis Oirr, Ireland
The 2016 Craiceann Bodhrán Summer School Masterclass w/ Donal Lunny- Inis Oirr, Ireland
The 2016 O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat Bodhrán Classes- Midlothian, Texas, USA
Teaching at the John C. Campbell Folk School in March 2015- Brasstown, North Carolina, USA
My wife, Rachel, and I at the entrance of the John C. Campbell Folk School, April 2016-
Brasstown, North Carolina, USA