McDonnell's Traditional Irish Music Slow Session

Nov – Dec 2015

Photographs of our Monday night slow sessions at the Corkman Irish Pub.




Join us at the Lake School of Celtic Music, Song and Dance
2-7 January 2016 at Koroit, Victoria
Lake School of Celtic Music Song & Dance 2011
Come to the 2016 Lake School of Celtic Music, Song and Dance. The only way to keep the tradition going is if we are able to recruit more young people and new musicians to the joys of playing Celtic music.  The School provides a fantastic opportunity for young, and not so young, to participate in playing Celtic music, singing, dancing and just having a good old time. The School offers something for everyone.   In our fast paced, computer addicted society, the School offers a unique opportunity for families to spend time together learning about and sharing a love of Celtic music, song and dance. This year the School will run from 2-7 January 2016 and includes the old favourites and new activities.
For additional information click here or download a pdf copy of the the 2016 Lake School brochure at


New opportunity to learn Irish music and history online

CKONLINE photo of Colm

Colm Keegan wrote us a note regarding his new on line teaching opportunities for learning music theory and Irish history. Check out his webiste at

Tablet accordion app

Practice and play a musical instrument on your tablet and smart phone.

Just when you thought that the new smart phones and tablets had reached their pinnacle of usefulness along comes some pretty impressive applications that allow you to play many Celtic musical instruments including bagpipes, accordions, guitars, drums, flutes, whistles and even concertinas on our portable electronic devices.  I suggest that you look at Michael Eskin’s website on Traditional Music Instrument Apps which demonstrates the current state of the art in smart phone and tablet musical instruments.  They are only going to get better in the future. The current apps are very limited and are typically a far cry from the real instruments we love playing, but in a strange way they feel familiar in the hand and to the ear.  Because they are really inexpensive (the app not the tablet or phone) compared to the real thing, they allow players to try different instruments or carry a practice one to the park, school or work in order to play tunes any time you feel the urge, especially when you wear headphones.  I suspect we will see more smart phone and tablet bands as well as more events using these instruments at folk festivals in the future.  Maybe it will stimulate our kids to play musical instruments and not just games. If you want to impress your family, friends or fellow commuters, I highly recommend mastering a few tunes on your smart phone or tablet instrument and share the fun.

My Ireland Vol 1 book cover

Tony O’Rourke has published a book entitled ‘My Ireland Vol.1’ that includes a collection of 101 Irish tunes with sheet music and guitar chords.  Tony sent me this note which I would like to share with you: ‘The title of the book is “My Ireland Vol.1”. It contains 101 Irish tunes and comes with a CD in MP3 format of each tune played through twice at a moderate tempo. I recorded each tune on my new Clareen Banjo and there is overdubbed guitar accompaniment. The playing of the tunes adheres strictly to the sheet music as I wanted this to be a reference book rather than a concert, and the sheet music contains guitar chords.  The books are for sale for $20 + $5 postage. To get more information or purchase the book send an email by clicking on Tony O’Rourke   Click here to download example of sheet music Christmas Eve & Coalminer’s Reel MP3 of Coalminer’s Reel


He has put up around 18 really good videos of him playing some lovely irish tunes on the banjo and guitar. Great for musicians interested in learning new tunes.


aon celtic clip6_39

Celtic Music Events


17 November 2015 Chris Norman and David Greenwood will be giving an intimate acoustic concert in the Oratory at Abbotsford Convent. Chris is an internationally-loved performer, composer, recording artist, flute maker and scholar in traditional and contemporary trad. flute. David leads a double life as a Cape Breton fiddler and baroque violinist, having played with Tafelmusik and Red Priest across the world. As a duo, they play tunes from the highlands and lowlands of Scotland, Ireland and Canada’s Maritime provinces. The duo’s performances are beautiful, spirited and intense. The Oratory, Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Helliers St Abbotsford, Melbourne 7:30 pm (doors open at 7pm) Tickets $35 full / $25 conc; Bookings here or cash at the door; Facebook event here .  Bring instruments for a session after the concert

Chris and David will also be running Boxwood Festival in Queenscliff 20-22 Nov; a weekend of immersion in traditional music with classes in flute, small pipes and violin. The weekend also includes a concert, a ceilidh, accommodation and great meals. Places still available! More info and registrations

Other appearances include a Concert and Workshop in Warrnambool on Thu 19 Nov, a Concert in Queenscliff on Sat 21 Nov and a Ceilidh in Queenscliff on Sun 22 Nov.