“Caroline is an excellent concertina teacher, one who is patient, encouraging, positive, and who keeps gently pushing me forward – always a tiny bit beyond my comfort zone, which is a very good thing. After 2 years of trying to teaching myself the concertina and getting nowhere, I started lessons with Caroline in late 2017 as a beginner. Since starting lessons, my playing has improved greatly and continues to improve. From the start, Caroline has had me memorize a new tune each week – something I didn’t think I could do – and I now have a large and still-growing collection of tunes that I can play. It’s also wonderful that Caroline has an educational and cultural background that allows her to answer all of my many detailed questions about concertina music and Irish music in general. I feel very fortunate to be one of Caroline’s students and I look forward to continuing to learn more.”
– David | Ontario, Canada
Years ago, I bought myself a beginner concertina on the internet. Due to a lack of teachers in the Netherlands I’ve thought myself how to play with a little help from books and the internet. Inevitably the moment came that I was no longer making any progress. So ready for the next step: a better concertina and a teacher.
My husband and I enjoy sailing and one of our trips took us to Dingle, Ireland where we were welcomed by dolphin Fungi. I’ll never forget our first evening there where Caroline performed in a local pub. I was very impressed with her vibrant playing and the next day I took a lesson with her. Since then we have continued lessons through Skype.
Caroline always succeeds in teaching new tunes broken down in phrases up to my abilities and different kinds of ornamentation and chords. Thanks to her friendly, patient and supportive approach I’ve made a lot of progress since that first day in Dingle and we have fun as well. She has convinced me to switch from using sheet music or ABC notation to learning tunes by ear instead and she always knows how to challenge me to try a different key or other finger combinations.
So far, I have learned some really fine tunes and sets and Caroline’s lessons have contributed a lot to my growth as a concertina player. Many of my sets I now play regularly in session in the Netherlands. My music friends also notice my progress and it is nice to be complimented by them, but no nicer compliment than Caroline saying: “You’re flying it!”
– Jacqueline | Netherlands
Thanks to modern technology Caroline now offers online tuition in Anglo Irish Concertina on a range of platforms – Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook and Zoom to students all over the world.
This means that anyone, anywhere in the world can learn Irish traditional music from an expert tutor. Through regular lessons, students can expect to improve concertina technique, and develop maturity and musicality in their playing. Online lessons are highly successful and reap many of the rewards of traditional face to face lessons, right from the comfort of your own home!
In general, students can expect a lesson to include:
- Revision of previous tune – suggestions of revisions (improvements or additional embellishments).
- A new piece of repertoire – taught phrase by phrase through repetition.
- Lesson ends with revision of new piece and Caroline records the tune at various speeds – slow, phrase by phrase and ‘normal speed’. The recording also includes relevant indications on fingering. This recording acts as a guide to facilitate independent learning and practice before the next lesson.
Over time, the listening skills developed during lessons will allow learners to pick up tunes with minimal effort by ear (Yes anyone has this ability, you just need to be taught how!). This repetitive technique also improves and stabilises rhythm and builds confidence. Students learn to contextualise the music, gaining an insight into the tunes and traditions from an insiders’ prospective – a pivotal feature of a living tradition which is often overlooked.
Students will be encouraged to develop their own individual style and gradually begin to find their place within the wider Irish traditional music community.