What we're about

This group is about getting together to learn and practice Irish Session Tunes, and to listen to Irish Music. I find learning tunes at sessions to be impossible, and while it is enjoyable to learn and play music at home, it would be fun to get together with others to play occasionally. I started this group to see if there are others like me. To start, we are meeting once a month to play tunes at a fairly slow tempo.

Because the goal is to learn tunes and to practice playing with others I'm guessing that this group will be made up of beginning and intermediate level musicians (If good anchor musicians want to show up all the better), and that we will choose sets of tunes to work on. This way everyone gets to play. Of course, this is all open to what the group wants to do as a whole. Tempos will be anywhere from slow (while everyone is first learning a tune) to comfortably fast (once we've learned a tune). I'd like to keep one specific monthly Meetup away from blistering tempos, although if anyone wants to become an assistant organizer to schedule something more like a session for this Meetup, they are more than welcome (I'll pay the Meetup fee. Anyone who becomes an Assistant Organizer will not have to contribute. The yearly fee is not a lot of money.)

My motivation comes from years ago when I belonged to a CCE Branch in Utica NY. We used to play together weekly, usually in someone's dining-room or living-room. It was a lot of fun to get together. And we all knew a common set of tunes after playing together for many years. Of course we had a great anchor musician, a guy who grew up in Ireland playing accordion. He was patient, and quite tolerant :) CCE in Boston does have Sunday sessions in Watertown, but they don't have a tune list as far as I know. And Watertown is a bit far from the T.

The format is open to whatever the group decides: We can start with new tunes played slowly, and work our way to tunes we have learned well, picking up the tempo as we go. We could also just mix new sets with old sets. I think the first format might be better if better musicians want to show up later to play faster tunes. This depends on who joins. Currently, I'm working my through Malley's 100 Essential Irish Session Tunes. We can choose to go through a collection like this (All great tunes), or we can put our own setlist together.

So here is to whatever happens!

Upcoming events (5+)

Slow Practice Session

Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church, Somerville, MA 02144

This monthly Meetup is a place to learn tunes and to play them slowly with other musicians. The tunes we play can be found here (new URL updated 11/11/18): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1W9BjqX4y12_fOyivgJHm9MbuLIO_c31B Since the list is getting large we have started selecting a rotating list of about ten tunes a month that we will definitely play so that new members can have a chance to play along without learning every tune right away. I update this list and email it monthly. This is still a new group, and how we go about learning and playing is still a work in progress. But the goal is to have fun, and to get together with others who enjoy playing Irish music. Musicians of all levels are welcome. Since the goal here is for everyone to play, new members are encouraged to suggest tunes from the list and to suggest tunes to add to it. If the group as a whole knows a tune well, we'll play it slowly a couple of times, and then pick the tempo up a bit. Note on tempo If you have gone to a typical Irish session, we play a little faster than half that speed. But we'll start tunes slowly enough that everyone should be able to play along and learn by ear. If you haven't been to a session it is best to just show up and see if the tempo suits you :) If you like metronomes... For Reels (4/4), Hornpipes (4/4) and Polkas (2/4) set the metronome from 100 to 140 BPM and play one quarter note per click. For Jigs (6/8), Slip Jigs (9/8), and Slides (12/8) set the metronome from 65 to 95 BPM and play three eighth notes per click. Directions By Subway The closest Red Line stop is Davis Square. From Davis Square you can either walk Northwest on Holland Street or take the bus (the 87 or the 88) to Teele Square. It is about a 10 minute walk between Davis and Teele Square. You can recognize Teele Square as a 5-way intersection with a small triangular island having a sign that says Teele Square. From Teele Square walk North on Curtiss Street for 3 blocks to Powder House Boulevard. The church is on the NE corner of the intersection. By Bus The 87, 88, and 89 buses stop in Teele Square. The 87 bus runs between Lechmere Station (Green Line) and Arlington Center. The 88 bus runs between Lechmere Station (Green Line) and the Clarendon Hill Busway. The 89 bus runs between Sullivan Square (Orange Line) and the Clarendon Hill Busway. You'll want to get off the bus in Teele Square. From Teele Square walk North on Curtiss Street for 3 blocks to Powder House Boulevard. The church is on the NE corner of the intersection. The 77 bus runs between Harvard and Arlington Heights. You can walk from Mass Ave to Teele Square. By Car There is parking behind the West Somerville School that is one block West of the church. Parking there is available after 5PM even though the signs are somewhat ambiguous. From Powderhouse, turn onto Curtis, heading up the hill toward Tufts. Take the first left turn from Curtis onto Raymond Street. Ignore the NO LEFT TURN sign, as it is only in effect during rush hours. Raymond runs behind the school. The lot is about half a block down Raymond on the left. Street parking is also available one block away on Packard Avenue from Powderhouse Blvd on the hill to the Tufts University campus. Pay attention to street signs to avoid parking in a restricted area. See the map at: http://clarendonhillchurch.org/... (http://clarendonhillchurch.org/location.html) Accessibility The church has a lift that requires someone to move from a wheelchair to the chair on the lift. I haven't had time to look at this yet, but I will have someone show it to me over the holidays.

Monthly Guided Session

Arts at Armory Boston

This is a guided slow session by Shannon Heaton and friends. It will recur on the 2nd Saturday of each month. From Shannon's website: "The Monthly Guided Session aims to make Irish music accessible on every level… with leadership from experienced players… in a space accessible and welcoming to all. Every month a seasoned player will set the pace and start the tunes. Bring your instruments. And bring your families along, so they can see/hear/be part of your musical endeavors!" Here is the link to Shannon's website, with a full description and a tune list. http://shannonheatonmusic.com/monthly-guided-session-at-the-armory/ There is a suggested donation of $10 to help Shannon bring in experienced players to lead the session. Also, the cafe serves food, coffee and tea, and a selection of micro-brews and wine. The Somerville Armory has a 44-car parking lot, and it can be reached by public transit. Here is a link to the Armory's "Getting Here" webpage: http://artsatthearmory.org/about/getting-here/

Dinner Before Music

Masala

Teele Square has a number of good restaurants, and I'm thinking it would be good to get some food before practicing. I've made this a repeating Meetup separate from the music Meetup so that I can call the restaurant ahead of time if necessary (if we have more than a few people). For directions see the music Meetup that follows.

Slow Practice Session

Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church, Somerville, MA 02144

This monthly Meetup is a place to learn tunes and to play them slowly with other musicians. The tunes we play can be found here (new URL updated 11/11/18): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1W9BjqX4y12_fOyivgJHm9MbuLIO_c31B Since the list is getting large we have started selecting a rotating list of about ten tunes a month that we will definitely play so that new members can have a chance to play along without learning every tune right away. I update this list and email it monthly. This is still a new group, and how we go about learning and playing is still a work in progress. But the goal is to have fun, and to get together with others who enjoy playing Irish music. Musicians of all levels are welcome. Since the goal here is for everyone to play, new members are encouraged to suggest tunes from the list and to suggest tunes to add to it. If the group as a whole knows a tune well, we'll play it slowly a couple of times, and then pick the tempo up a bit. Note on tempo If you have gone to a typical Irish session, we play a little faster than half that speed. But we'll start tunes slowly enough that everyone should be able to play along and learn by ear. If you haven't been to a session it is best to just show up and see if the tempo suits you :) If you like metronomes... For Reels (4/4), Hornpipes (4/4) and Polkas (2/4) set the metronome from 100 to 140 BPM and play one quarter note per click. For Jigs (6/8), Slip Jigs (9/8), and Slides (12/8) set the metronome from 65 to 95 BPM and play three eighth notes per click. Directions By Subway The closest Red Line stop is Davis Square. From Davis Square you can either walk Northwest on Holland Street or take the bus (the 87 or the 88) to Teele Square. It is about a 10 minute walk between Davis and Teele Square. You can recognize Teele Square as a 5-way intersection with a small triangular island having a sign that says Teele Square. From Teele Square walk North on Curtiss Street for 3 blocks to Powder House Boulevard. The church is on the NE corner of the intersection. By Bus The 87, 88, and 89 buses stop in Teele Square. The 87 bus runs between Lechmere Station (Green Line) and Arlington Center. The 88 bus runs between Lechmere Station (Green Line) and the Clarendon Hill Busway. The 89 bus runs between Sullivan Square (Orange Line) and the Clarendon Hill Busway. You'll want to get off the bus in Teele Square. From Teele Square walk North on Curtiss Street for 3 blocks to Powder House Boulevard. The church is on the NE corner of the intersection. The 77 bus runs between Harvard and Arlington Heights. You can walk from Mass Ave to Teele Square. By Car There is parking behind the West Somerville School that is one block West of the church. Parking there is available after 5PM even though the signs are somewhat ambiguous. From Powderhouse, turn onto Curtis, heading up the hill toward Tufts. Take the first left turn from Curtis onto Raymond Street. Ignore the NO LEFT TURN sign, as it is only in effect during rush hours. Raymond runs behind the school. The lot is about half a block down Raymond on the left. Street parking is also available one block away on Packard Avenue from Powderhouse Blvd on the hill to the Tufts University campus. Pay attention to street signs to avoid parking in a restricted area. See the map at: http://clarendonhillchurch.org/... (http://clarendonhillchurch.org/location.html) Accessibility The church has a lift that requires someone to move from a wheelchair to the chair on the lift. I haven't had time to look at this yet, but I will have someone show it to me over the holidays.

Past events (386)

Monthly Guided Session

Arts at Armory Boston

Photos (13)