McDonnell's Traditional Irish Music Slow Session

Slow & Steady Session Tunes Played by Mark & Lisa

Mark and Lisa McDonnell in Dukes Commercial Hotel, Koroit Victoria where
they held many slow & steady sessions

Over the years our students have asked us if we could make available recordings of our slow and steady session tunes so they can play along with us outside of our classes and sessions.  Recordings are especially helpful for students who cannot play from sheet music.  We have begun making recordings of the tunes in an informal setting (our living room) with Lisa on the Fiddle and Mark on the Anglo Concertina. We made every effort to replicate how we play the tunes in our slow & steady sessions and classes. 

In order to learn and play the tunes well, you need to listen to them often.  If you are just beginning to learn the tunes we recommend you listen to the Beginner Tempo tunes for we all tend to play what we hear. You will undoubtedly learn all the notes if you learn the tune played slowly. 

You can use the apps below to play the tunes online or you can use the download button

   to put the MP3 files of the tune you selected on your computer or phone.

Practice until you can play all the notes in the tune at a slow speed.  Once you feel you can play the tune well practice playing all the notes at the intermediate speed.  At this point, you are ready to join in a slow and steady session.  When you first join a session, it is good practice to talk to the session leader and tell them you are a beginner and would like to start tune XYZ. Remember to start your tune at a slow or intermediate speed. Don’t let your nerves get to you for the more nervous you are the faster you will play.  If you start too fast you may not be able to play all the notes.  Also be prepared for when other musicians in the session speed up the tune faster than you can play.  Don’t panic, let them lead the tune and play as many notes as you can. The worse thing to do is to stop playing altogether.  It is very helpful to really know the first 2 bars of the A &  B sections of your selected tune.   You will be surprised at how quickly you can play your newly learned tunes at session speed if you continue to attend the sessions on a regular basis. At each session play more and more bars of the tunes you are learning.  It is our experience that traditional Irish session players are often keen to support new players. 

Play or Download Lake School Slow Session Tunes


Lake School Slow Session Tunes Beginner Tempo



Lake School Slow Session Tunes

Intermediate Tempo


[Art by Rowan Fairgrove]