I've been playing piano on and off for some years now, hopping between genres depending on what I felt like learning. My dad suggested I try playing Irish tunes, and that sounded great to me! In fact, I'm surprised I didn't think of it before.

I just have no idea where to start. Sheet music is my preferred method of learning, but I no longer have a piano teacher to recommend specific tunes and arrangements for me. But I'm sure a knowledgeable community like this one would be able to give me plenty of ideas.

I'm looking for traditional Irish tunes of intermediate difficulty, but I'm quite determined to avoid the clichéd, over-popularized songs. (I'm sure you know the ones I'm talking about.) Are there books on Amazon you would recommend, or perhaps old, out-of-coypright arrangements that can be shared over the internet?

Thanks in advance! 

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Hi Amanda'

Welcome to Tradconnect. Hope you enjoy it

Links to the main specialist music stores in Dublin are provided below. Might be worth checking their online offer and dropping them an email. If nothing else they can direct you. Also worth checking out OAIM as they have started a new piano course. I have done some of the fiddle courses with OAIM and they are excellent. You pay monthly so could be worth using to see if you like traditional piano and stop if you don't. We also have a Trad Piano Group which is pretty quiet at the moment but if you post a discussion there you may get an answer in the near future. We are a new and growing site and it takes a while for all the groups to gain traction. If there are sessions or Irish musicians near you accompaniment with keyboards adds a great dimension and will make you the most popular gal in town so stick with it. Here are the links


Opus 2


Thank-you! OAIM looks like an excellent teaching tool. I might sign up.

Well, I'm no pianist, but I've just bought a copy of this for me to use with the whistle........


I hope that helps.




I was just looking at that very book this morning, except it was the one arranged for piano. Please let me know if you like it, because I'm considering buying it.

Hiya Amanda,

The version I have is the one that is arranged for piano, so I have to transpose everything into sensible whistle keys (D, G, C, F). I actually bought it because I'd been captivated by a couple of slow airs that I'd heard were in it. If you "google" the book, you should get a list of its tune contents. If you want to listen to some of the tracks on it, to make your mind up, then Martha51511 has uploaded several of them onto utube being performed by J.J. Sheridan. Further utube searches by tune title may find you a lot more.

One of my favourites was this one - with a title that, for me, is about as un-autobiographical as you can get !



I discovered martha51511 whilst researching for the tune archive in the Tradconnect O'Carolan group. There are lots of piano versions of his tunes uploaded on her channel but I've no idea if piano scores are available for those. A trawl of Amazon might provide rewards on that score.


Again, I hope that's helped - I really know nothing about piano's except that I would'nt want one on my foot!




Amanda, are you able to learn tunes by ear and play them by ear?  At our local session, we almost never use sheet music and play by ear instead.  As the more or less regular piano player at the local sessions, I rarely, if ever, play any tunes.  Ninety-nine percent of the time, I just accompany the other musicians.  I do not use written out arrangements.  However, before the local Irish Sessions got started, I had a lot of experience, training, and background playing piano as a backup musician/sideman/accompanist in various situations.  For example, when I began taking classes at a local college, I had a vague plan of earning a music degree so I could teach music but my life took some unexpected twists and turns.  Instead, I now work in a hospital as the unit clerk/secretary/coordinator in an intensive care unit.  One of the unexpected twists and turns was being allowed to sit in and play piano at a local Blues Jam on a regular basis.  Some of the other musicians who were regulars at this Blues Jam were semi-retired professional musicians who were nice enough to try to help me improve my playing.  And, yes, they never, ever used sheet music at the Blues Jam and always played by ear.



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