Here are some handy resources for our students and all lovers of Irish music: tune playlists, information about instruments, helpful hints, and more.
A collection of tunes that students at the Milwaukee Irish Fest School of Music are learning.
Some holiday tunes in sheet music and ABC notation format to play for family friends!
Do you have questions about which tin whistle to buy? Where to find a bodhran? Check out our FAQ!
- What tin whistle should I get?
You will want a whistle in D, often called a high whistle. A whistle in D from makers such as Generation, Feadog, Waltons, and the like will be a fine whistle to get you started.
The Milwaukee Irish Fest School of Music does have some whistles for sale for $10 each. Please contact us to confirm that we have them in stock.
- What's a good step-up whistle?
There are some great whistles being made at very affordable prices these days. Here are just a few options:
Tony Dixon Trad Whistles - these are great beginning whistles as well as a nice upgrade for those playing Generation type whistles. The Dixon Trad sells for $27 to $32 for the high D version.
Jerry Freeman's Tweaked Whistles - Jerry Freeman takes stock mass-produced whistles and turns them into great playing instruments! His tweaked Generations and Mellow Dogs are good choices for beginners.
High end whistle choices are wide open. These include Michael Burke, John Sindt (his waiting list may be long), and others. When in doubt, ask your instructor about possible recommendations.
- Which Irish flute should I start out with?
We recommend starting out on a high quality, keyless flute. There are a number of makers creating great flutes out of both polymer (a synthetic material) and wood.
- What bodhrán should I start with?
For a starter drum that is very affordable, we highly recommend a non-tunable bodhrán from Milwaukee maker Hamid Alwan (who used to run the local store, The Village Bazaar). Contact us and we'll put you in touch with Hamid.
There are a number of fine makers all over the world that build great bodhráns with advanced features (treated skins, tuners, etc.). Check with your instructor for recommendations and consult this list of makers from Bodojo.
Important Irish Music Recordings Playlist
Musicians at some of our monthly Family Sessions have asked about important Irish musicians to listen to. We're compling this Spotify playlist as an easy way to sample influential Irish music recordings.
Irish Fiddle Players Playlist
A common question we get from students at the Milwaukee Irish Fest School of Music is "which Irish musicians should I listen to?" We plan on compiling lists of important Irish musicians to help give students and lovers of Irish traditional music short introductions to influential figures in the music, past and present.
Learn about and listen to five important historical Irish fiddle players.