Traditional Irish Music
I had a great bodhran experience at Craiceann 2013. This week-long, summer bodhran school was the best traditional music program I have ever attended. See their website for details and dates for the 2014 session: http://www.craiceann.com
Instruction was provided by some of the best European players. Two concerts during the week. One by a traditional and highly respected band - Máirtín O’Connor Band featuring Jim Higgins on bodhran. http://www.mairtinoconnorband.com/ The other by a very HOT, up-and-coming young band, Goitse with Colm Phelan on bodhran. http://goitse.ie
The program provided seven levels of instruction including a by-invitation-only master class and a beginners class. All other students had to do a short audition. This allowed the faculty to group together students who were at roughly the same level of playing expertise. This step made for a great educational experience. No one in the classes was overwhelmed and no one was bored. Smart move by the organizers.
Each class of the same skill level stayed in one room. The faculty rotated among the classes. This gave students seven different perspectives on playing, patterns and technique. During one class period each day students were free to chose the instructor with whom they wanted to spend more time.
Great pub sessions at night. A final gathering of all students to perform a three movement percussion concerto. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard seventy-five bodhrans performing multiple parts. It was an amazing experience.
Craiceann takes place on the small island of Inis Oirr in Galway Bay, off the west coast of Ireland. A charming place with wonderful atmosphere and friendly hosts. And you have to love their tag line: "Lock up your Goats".
I highly recommend the experience. Hope to return to the Craiceann program as soon as possible!