We had this idea..

to create a platform for people around the world who want to learn ‘real’ Irish traditional tunes – the core, essential tunes of Ireland that you hear in sessions around the world.

We were full time musicians, touring the world performing and teaching fiddle, concertina and dance from New Zealand to Canada to Finland to Tipperary. Everywhere we went, we talked to lovers of this music who wanted to be able to join in on the session, and get that feeling that can only be felt when you’re in the middle of a good, flowing session. There’s nothing quite like it.

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So, here’s what I did…

I built www.LearnIrishTunes.com with the aim of giving you everything you need, from my home to your home. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll have unlimited access to 100+ tune lessons PLUS extra lessons on rhythm, practice tips and so much more. You can take these lessons in your own time, in your own home and you can repeat the lessons as many times as you like. You’re in control!

This is a website for all instruments – flute, fiddle, accordion, pipes, harp… and each lesson boasts a range of customizable features to help students of all abilities on all instruments. I teach the notes of the tune, with tips on good phrasing and rhythm, and you play along with me on your own instrument.

We know it’s not about just learning the tunes. It’s about the rhythm, the feeling, the flow, the ‘draíocht’. In this series, we focus on the music that happens between the notes

Here is where you’ll find selections of two and three tunes, all of which are available to learn here on the website. These are sets of tunes that have been played together for years in sessions in Ireland and around the world. These tunes make up the core tradition and are well known as ‘going well together’.

About your teacher

Caitlín Nic Gabhann – concertina / dance

Caitlín Nic Gabhann is a concertina player, performer, teacher, composer and percussive dancer. Having toured for years as a dancer with Riverdance, 3 time All-Ireland concertina champion Caitlín is a regular performer at festivals and concert halls from North America to Asia over the last 15 years. Caitlín’s life’s work to date was recently recognised with her being chosen as UCC Traditional Artist in Residence for 2022.

Raised in a house full of music in Ashbourne, Co.Meath, Caitlín learned most of her music, style and rhythm from her father Antóin Mac Gabhann. Her mother Bernie is immersed in the Clare set-dancing culture and she passed a love of this on to her children with Caitlín being her dance partner at ceilís from a young age, again heavily influencing her approach to style and rhythm.

Caitlín’s compositions have been performed in the Cork Opera House and The National Concert Hall, Dublin. The most well known would be the waltz Sunday’s Well and the reel The Leeside Sessions, both composed whilst studying in the music department of University College Cork. They featured on her debut album ‘Caitlín’ which received ‘CD of the Year’ from TradConnect.com and was labelled the ‘top Irish traditional album of 2012’ by The Wall Street Journal.

Whilst dancing with Riverdance Caitlín got to perform with the pyramids in Egypt as the backdrop as they shared the bill with Mariah Carey. As a solo dancer she was the main performer in the Celtic Christmas Sojourn in Boston and ‘Ceiliúradh’ in the Royal Albert Hall, London as a guest of President Michael D. Higgins. She has performed with the RTÉ Vanburgh Quartet, Paddy Keenan, Liam Ó Maonlaí and for Presidents and Royalty around the world. She also teaches concertina annually at summer and winter schools in Ireland, Europe and USA Today, Caitlín is married to fiddle player and documentary maker Ciarán Ó Maonaigh and they have 3 young children. From their home in the Donegal Gaeltacht she runs irishconcertinalessons.com and learnirishtunes.com, complete online resources for learning Irish traditional music online. She is also director of the Wild Atlantic Concertina Week www.concertinaweek.com, a week of music and local culture in Gaoth Dobhair that attracts international attendants annually. Caitlín is a first class honours graduate of both University College Cork and Trinity College Dublin, She is also involved as musician and dancer with The High Seas, Caitlín & Ciarán, Cruinniú, NicGaviskey, Birkin Tree and The Irish Concertina Ensemble.
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