Traditional Irish Music
Over the last number of years we have featured the music of Enda Seery quite regularly on Tradconnect. As a professional musician he has released two albums and we have reviewed both on the site. In 2011 he released his debut recording called The Winding Clock, and he followed up with another outstanding recording in 2013 called Peace of the Countryside.
Included below are two hornpipes taken from Peace of the Countryside called The Dairy/The Belfast
Both albums feature some strong self compositions. We also interviewed Enda regarding the album if you want some further insight into the creative process.
Enda is from Streamstown, Co. Westmeath and is a whistle, flute player, composer and singer. He was a secondary cchool teacher prior to making the decision to devote all his time to his music career as a professional music teacher and performer. In addition to this he is a respected Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann administrator at Westmeath CCÉ. P.R.O. and Chairperson of his local branch Castletown Geoghegan CCÉ.
Enda grew up with music, song and dance from an early age with his musical siblings Ciarán (button accordion), Siobhán (flute) and Pádraig (fiddle) all gaining a reputation for their musicality and tradition as part of The Mona Dubh Céili Band.
We spoke to him regarding his approach to teaching which includes whistle and flute to all levels.
“For kids I think 30-40 mins is long enough for either a group lesson or an individual one on one lesson” he said. “I usually teach weekly lessons in Comhaltas branches in Westmeath. Term length is determined by the usual school holidays. For individual private lessons I also try to keep weekly lessons going although sometimes when under a busy schedule it can be every two weeks. Weekly or every second week lessons are important for consistency and to keep momentum and interest going. For adults in my Comhaltas group lessons, it is 30-40 mins too. For individual private lessons I take adults for a little longer, usually 50 mins-1 hour. When teaching kids, it is vital to be as passionate as you can about the music and try and keep their interest going.”
Enda places great importance to teaching by ear from beginners up to advanced levels. It is the way that he learned music growing up and he views it as the most natural way to learn.
“I teach by ear and I hand out abc notation as reference handouts at the end of the lesson. If a child doesn't have a recording device, I will consult with the parents/guardian. In the past few years I have also been sending a lot of tunes and techniques by email.”
Enda feels that it is tricky to get into the heart of a tune by notation. He says that listening to the tune is vital, especially for an aural tradition like traditional Irish music.
His other advice relates to the need to “practise in a room away from other distractions.”
“There is only so much that a student can take from a lesson. The teacher for me is the facilitator. Trying techniques and developing a style of your own comes about from listening and practicing. I also strongly encourage students to go and play in the 'real world' of music, be it at sessions, functions, with friends etc.,and to enter the Fleadh Cheoil to gain confidence and to get some constructive feedback from adjudicators. When learning the whistle for example, don't just listen to whistle players but all types of instruments. It is so rewarding to see someone start off as a shy, reserved learner of music and develop into a confident and competent musician and I feel this comes from interaction with other learners and experienced musicians.”
Enda has released two albums to date and they can be purchased on CDBaby.com
Name : Enda Seery
Instrument : Whistle and Flute
Address : Streamstown, Co. Westmeath
Website : www.endaseery.com
Skype Lessons : Yes
Tradconnect Profile : Enda Seery
Email : epseery (at) yahoo(dot)ie
Phone : 087 792 4778