Friday, January 27, 2012

Thank Your Mentor...

January is National Mentoring Month. How do I know this? Well...I hate to admit this, but I'm watching The View instead of listening to the neighbor's barking dog. Really, can you blame me? I work at home. There are probably a million ways to avoid hearing the incessant barking. But I can't listen to Irish music while I'm working, or I won't get any work done. The show is all about the impact that mentors have on those they work with. Famous or not, the time a mentor takes to teach, guide, and inspire their mentee can be life-changing. 

What I'd like to know is this: "Who is your Irish music mentor? Who inspires you and pushes you to do better?" My list is too long, really, but I'll give you a few: George Ward. John Roberts. Lisa Preston. Ged Foley. Pat O'Connor. Laurel Martin. Eric Everson. These are the people that step up, take time to listen, let me listen to them, give me advice, push me to do better, give me shit when I'm not doing enough. I love them. And I'm better for knowing them.

How about you?


p.s. Want to learn more about Mentoring? Visit this link:

p.p.s. tunes are on the way. bear with me...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fighting off Alzheimer's...

"People who have made mental engagement a lifelong habit have lower levels of a key protein linked to Alzheimer's disease...". (ScienceDaily, Jan. 23, 2012) While there's no direct evidence that increasing the level of difficulty of your intellectual pursuits later in life will stave off Alzheimer's, we can only hope that playing Irish music counts as challenging mental stimulation!

To read the story:

Word to the Wise: Go learn a new instrument!!

Building the Blog...

Hey, gang,

To my knowledge, there are two slow sessions around town. One is led by Colleen O'Sullivan at the monthly Albany CCE Sean O'Riada Branch meeting on the third Sunday of each month (except in Summer). Check out for more info on the meetings. And the other is mine, also monthly, at Old Songs Community Arts Center ( on the second Wednesday evening of each month (except in July).

Colleen and I had a really nice phone conversation yesterday morning about what (and how) each of us is doing at our respective sessions. There are more and more new people coming out to play the music at both our sessions - although that makes leading the sessions a bit tricky because the attendance varies and the attendees vary as well. To try and ease preparation and maybe give everybody an idea of what we're doing across the board, we've decided to collaborate a bit on tunes for each month. That means that we'll be on hold for our February tunes for a few more days. Then I have to have Lisa check the "spots" for accuracy across a number of versions (thank you for the help, Lisa), and a few different folks record the mp3s.

In the meantime, I'm working on figuring out how and where to host the .pdfs of the sheet music and the .mp3s of the tunes.

I'll keep ya POST-ed!

Talk soon,


Monday, January 23, 2012

Welcome to my new blog!

Hi, folks. It's the new year, and while I don't usually make resolutions, this year I resolved to make it easier to share and enjoy the music we all love. This blog will be the home (hopefully) of the .pdfs of sheet music for the Old Songs Irish Slow Session, and a place to find the mp3s of the tunes. This will also be home of tunes for my students and for my melody class. I hope to start a page here for "Tunes I Want to Learn" and maybe we'll even publish that "secret hidden tune list" that everyone keeps talking about...

We had a brilliant visit to Ireland this year, and that's inspired me in all kinds of ways, so look for offshoot posts about various projects that I'm hoping will grow out of this year's trip.

Stay tuned for fun, music, and inspiration. I wish you all the best in 2012!