Classes and Schedules

Cascadia Irish Music Week offers classes in the instruments listed below. Click on your instrument for an overview of the classes on offer, the instructors for each instrument and guidelines for selecting the right instructional level.

Accordion Banjo & Mandolin Concertina Fiddle Flute Guitar Uilleann Pipes Tinwhistle

Daily Classes

The daily schedule for Cascadia Irish Music Week will consist of:

  • Four 75-minute class sessions focusing on particular instruments and technique;

    • Most people leave a period open for practice, rest, etc. so don't feel you have to take a class during each session.

    • We will limit class size and require registration so sign-up early! Drop-ins are not allowed.

  • Tune learning sessions open to all instruments;

  • We will have a variety of special, one-day classes in Session 3, to be announced at camp (e.g. "Fiddle maintenance")

  • Song learning sessions;

  • Lecture/group discussions by members of the teaching staff.

  • Session 4 is meant to be more flexible... we have Intro classes in most instruments plus dance, tune learning and song learning

Evening Activities - Sessions, Concerts, Dancing

We want everyone to get to play in sessions as much as possible, so we offer lots of session possibilities:

GUIDED SESSIONS will be led by teaching staff.

  • Tempos will be slow to moderate

  • Repertoire will be chosen from our list of around 50 CIMW 2022 Guided Session Tunes.

  • We will post recordings of some of the tunes on the list

"FREE RANGE" SESSIONS will also be led by teaching staff but without constraints on tempos and repertoire.

OPEN SESSIONS: We'll have several spaces where spontaneous sessions can happen.

LISTENING SESSIONS: On some evenings we'll have "listening" sessions featuring only the teaching staff.

More about sessions at CIMW from Randal Bays, Artistic Director.

The Aural Tradition

The Irish musical tradition is an aural tradition, so we put a high priority on learning by ear, a developable skill that's important no matter what kind of music one plays. Some teachers may offer written music in their classes, but others will not. It's a good idea to bring an audio recording device. (Please note: No video recording is allowed in any classes. Audio recording allowed if the teacher permits it.)

Playing Levels

It will improve everyone's experience of the week if you sign up for your appropriate level of classes. We will have advanced, intermediate and introductory classes in fiddle, flute and concertina. Please use the guidelines listed for each instrument, and bear in mind that students in the advanced classes will be asked to play in front of the class. If you're not sure which level is best for you, email Randal Bays. We reserve the right to reassign students to specific classes in order to balance the number of students in each class. Dropping in on classes for which you're not registered is not OK. The exception are the "tune learning" classes, which are open to all students regardless of which instrument you play, also the "Special Classes" in Session 3, which will be announced at camp.


Use the weekly schedule for an overview and the daily class schedule below when selecting your classes.