Welcome!

Welcome to the blog for the Old Songs Traditional Irish Slow Session

The session is held on third Wednesdays at the Old Songs Community Arts Center
37 South Main St.,
Voorheesville, NY 12186
7:30-9:00 PM
Cost: $5 donation to Old Songs, Inc.
Leader: traditional Irish fiddler Hilary Schrauf

Hi! The Old Songs Traditional Irish Slow Session is a monthly session for melody players who have some comfort level with their instruments, but are looking to work on tunes at a slow to moderate pace are invited to join us for a chance to play sets of tunes at a moderate pace and single learning tunes at a slow pace. Everyone is encouraged to bring a recording device to capture the session tunes and/or share tunes with each other. I use my iphone. You could bring a digital recorder or even a tape recorder. You might want to leave the reel-to-reel home, though!

For the past year and a half, a small group of us have been working on tunes from the CCE Foinn Book #1. You can bring a tablet and open the PDF file so you can read the music if you like. 

Please Note: I'm expecting that you will learn some tunes at this session - from me, from other folks in the circle, ones you pick and share with the group. I'm expecting that you will move away from relying on the sheet music. Here's why: tunes you learn by ear stay with you. Tunes you learn by sheet music stay on the sheet music. I want you to have fun and I also want you to have a repertoire of Irish traditional dance tunes in your head so that wherever you go, you have them!

We also welcome tunes from our sister session the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Slow Session (3rd Sunday in Albany, NY). You will be encouraged to pick/start a set of tunes from the list so we can play together. We use sheet music as a starting point, but we will play very slowly or break things down for musicians who don't read. Getting you away from the sheet music is the goal.

Final tip: Making mistakes is okay!!!! (By the way, we don't call them mistakes - we call them variations!)

Quick Reference Tune Lists:

SET LIST #1:
Butterfly / Fig for a Kiss
Anne Walshe's / Man of the House (see both attached)
Father Kelly's (Pg 9 Book 1)/ Merry Blacksmith (Pg 14 Book 1)/ Sally Gardens (Pg 14 Book 1)
Peg Ryan's (Pg 36 Fionn Book 1) / John Brosnan's / Maids of Ardagh (in Fionn Book 1 as Maids of Ardath or Toormore No. 2 on page 39) (see attached set on one page)
Out on the Ocean / Black Rogue / Saddle the Pony (Pg 19 of Fionn Book 1)
Boys of Bluehill
Off to California
Southwind / Fanny Po'er / Tommy McGuire's
Planxty Irwin (in D)
Lilting Banshee /Haste to the Wedding / Maid on the Green (set is on Pg 24 Fionn Seisun Book 1)
Kilavil Jig (Pg 28 of Fionn Book 1) / Haunted House (Pg 22 of Fionn Book 1) 
My Darling Asleep (Pg 22 of Fionn Book 1) / Road to Lisdoonvarna 
John Brennan's Fancy (reel) - see attached

SET LIST #2:
St Anne's Reel (Pg 12 Fionn Book 1)
Connaughtman's Rambles 
Kilavil Jig (Page 28 of Fionn Seisun Book 1 PDF) / Haunted House (Page 22 of Fionn Seisun Book 1 PDF) 
Blarney Pilgrim (Page 23 of Fionn Seisun Book 1 PDF)/ Behind the Haystack (jig)
Morrison's Jig/ Kid on the Mountain (Page 27 of Fionn Seisun Book 1 PDF)
Peeler's Jacket (reel) - see attached
The Friendly Visit Hornpipe - see attached
Humours of Tulla/ Skylark / Roaring Mary (Page 18 of Fionn Seisun Book 1 PDF)
Christy Barry's #1 / Christy Barry's #2 - see attached
Banish Misfortune

SET LIST #3 - TO WORK ON SLOWLY AND MIX IN AS WE GO FORWARD:
SEE ATTACHED PDF OF THE FULL SET LIST (7 PAGES) plus Hundred Pipers and The Spotted Dog
Hundred Pipers / The Spotted Dog (pdfs attached)
PAGE 12: Teetotaller (aka The Temperance Reel) / St. Anne's Reel / London Lasses 
PAGE 20: Geese in the Bog / Connaughtman's Rambles / Out on the Ocean -- Also, John's set of Geese in the Bog with Behind the Haystack
PAGE 33: Sonny Murray's - most commonly known as The Wicklow / Home Ruler / Kitty's Wedding Hornpipes
PAGE 35: Brosna's Slide / O'Keefe's Slide / Dennis Murphy's Slide
PAGE 36: Ballydesmond Polka #1/Ballydesmond #2/Peg Ryan's
PAGE 38: Sweeny's /Dennis Murphy's Polka / Maggie in the Wood
PAGE 41: Sonny's Mazurka / Shoe the Donkey

So, if you're new and you want to join us, the first assignment is easy!

  1. Print/listen to the tunes listed above in "Quick Reference Printables"
  2. Click this "FOINN SEISUN BOOK #1" link 
  3. Also go to the "Get the Tunes" link in the sidebar under "Pages"
  4. Print out the PDFs of the tunes
  5. Download and listen to any MP3s (some of them are quite large) of the tunes so you hear how they sound
  6. Practice the tunes
  7. Come to Slow Session!


Also, sign up to receive the latest posts in your email:  Sign up for our Mailchimp NewsletterWe will send you a monthly newsletter, and session reminder, plus we might send announcements of concerts or special events. If you'd only like to receive the blog posts, click in the "Follow by email" box on the right, enter your email address, confirm your address (check your junk mailbox for the confirmation email), and then make sure you allow the messages to come into your inbox. The subject line for messages will say "The Stoney Steps" (Mailchimp messages will say Hilary for Old Songs Irish Slow Session). We do not give away or sell your email addresses. They are only for this use. Although occasionally we may make the list available to members of the group so you can be in touch with one another.

Yes. I like to talk. And I love to play. Come to the session and share this fabulous music with me.

To see the latest posts about the session, visit our NEWS page.
To get the latest tunes, visit our TUNES page.