Irish Slow Session Learning Circle

Irish Slow Session

and Learning Circle

What is it? A leaning circle (or Ceoltais) is a traditional style of learning tunes. It offers the new person to Irish music the chance to hear tunes played in the style, learn them without concern about making mistakes, and develop his or her ear. In a Ceoltais, unlike a regular session, all players are encouraged to play every tune no matter the tempo, feel free to make mistakes, ask questions, and experiment at trying to find the pitches and rhythms. Yes, “dots” (sheet music) are allowed, but the ultimate goal is to pick up new tunes by ear and perform by ear.

How does a "Slow Session" work?
Generally, we start with reviewing tunes slowly, learning a new tune and ending with a slow session. The slow session gives everyone the practice of leading a known tune and having everyone join in and play by ear. Amazingly, there are always a couple of folks who know a tune or two even at the first gathering. Normally, we’ll go though one new tune at each gathering, but at the first one, we’ll start learning two from the list.

The nine current  tunes on the Marin Irish Music List are here below. (click to download)


"Kingdom of Fairies"

"Merrily Kiss The Quaker"

"Out On The Ocean"


   “Cooley’s Reel”

   “Maid Behind the Bar”

   "Swallowtail Jig"


Music for the session will be found on "FILES" page above. (located under the "More" tab...)

All future songs will be located here:


We will use this source for our music or “dots” so everyone has the same version of the tune. You’ll be able to print your copy from the site. Also, the list often has MIDI files of the tunes and YouTube links.

Familiarity with your instrument will pay off. Traditional Irish instruments are encouraged. Violins, Flutes, Whistles, but today one sees many instruments playing Irish tunes such as 6- and 4-string guitars, resonator guitars, mandolins, octave mandolins, bouzaukis, cellos, ukes, and tenor banjos. So dig that dusty instrument out of the closet, have Randy at The Strum Shop set it up for you, and come to the gathering.

Phyllis Grant will lead the session.

We are EXTREMLY lucky to have Phyllis to lead us on this musical journey. She has played with the Auburn Irish Session since its inception 11 years ago. Currently, they play every Sunday night at Lou La Bonte’s in Auburn. She has performed with Peter Grant, Kelly Fleming, and Lisa Stine at the KVMR Celtic Festival; Paddy Keenan & Peter Grant at Jack Russell’s Brewery; and other venues throughout California and Ireland. She has led sessions at Lark of the Morning Camp and the KVMR Celtic session. Since August 2012, Phyllis has led the Auburn Irish Slow Session and Learning Circle. She teaches classical, improvisational, and Irish styles of flute and whistle privately.

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  • Stu Herreid

    Lots of fun!

    October 21

  • Dee B

    I haven't been to a meeting for awhile and will virtually be starting over again. Is the Irish Slow Session for someone like me?

    October 16

  • Judy Lehman

    Not sure about my skill level but I'll give it a try.

    September 28

10 went


$5.00 anytime

This covers: Donations will cover costs of materials, snacks and beverages and venue rental

Payment is accepted using:

  • PayPal
  • Cash or check - “Make out to: Stu Herreid

Your organizer will refund you if:

  • Your organizer removes or bans you from their Meetup Group

Our Sponsors

  • The Strum Shop

    We are the new hosts of Uke University.

  • UkuleleStu

    Uke teacher extrordinaire! First lesson free to Meetup Members!

  • UKElele University

    Uke lessons, workshops, jams and even UKES FOR SALE! check us out...

  • Reno Uke Festival

    A GREAT Uke Festival on April 24-27 just up the road in Reno

  • Wine Country Ukulele Festival

    The 2010 Wine Country ‘Uke Festival is On! Two days/nights of ‘uke fun.

  • GoChords

    Free tool to easily create sheet music, chord charts and custom chords


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