Traditional Irish Tin Whistle | Beginner 1
Learn to play traditional Irish tunes on the tin whistle with Brian O'Loughlin, in this free online music course.Publisher: World Music Project (Alison)
CertificationView course modules
This free online tin whistle course is designed to help beginners develop the skills needed to play one of traditional Irish music’s most popular instruments. Often considered the easiest instrument to learn, the tin whistle has long provided a starting point for learners who have gone on to become accomplished musicians. Inexpensive and easy to access, penny whistles nevertheless provide a wealth of musical options, whether you want to learn tunes for your own entertainment, or dream of being able to play along with others. In this course, professional performer Brian O'Loughlin covers the basics that any beginner tin whistle player needs to know, including how to breathe properly. Through a series of short, easy-to-follow videos, and using a whistle in the key of D, he will introduce you to the basic techniques needed to play the tin whistle tunefully.
The course begins with lessons devoted to the notes played with each hand, along with the scale of D, followed by a third lesson focusing on playing the notes in the higher octave. Once those basics are covered, you will learn some easy tunes which will help you practise playing with each hand separately, followed by ‘Yankee Doodle’, which involves playing with both hands. Next comes the opportunity to learn your first Irish tune, the well-known 'The Siege of Ennis'. Brian breaks the tune down into sections for ease of learning over two lessons. He encourages learners to use the notes which are provided in a downloadable PDF from the resource section of the course as well as to practise playing by ear. Once you have mastered ‘The Siege of Ennis’ the tin whistle lessons progress to another popular polka, 'The Kerry Polka’, which is also in demand at ceilis and set dances. It will help you to practise playing in the higher octave.
For anyone interested in learning to play traditional Irish music, this free online tin whistle guide provides the perfect foundation. Your tutor, Brian O'Loughlin is a respected flute player who has recorded and toured, both as a member of some of Ireland’s top ceili bands and as part of a trio with uillean pipes player Tom Delany and guitarist Dessie Kelliher. Brian is also an active participant at the many traditional music sessions in his native County Clare, one of the most vibrant parts of Ireland when it comes to folk culture. By completing this course, you can learn everything you need to know to begin playing Irish tunes on the tin whistle. You can also gain certification by passing the end-of-course assessment. You may wish to progress to the next course in this series, Traditional Irish Tin Whistle, Beginner 2, where you will learn new tunes and some of the secrets of ornamentation which adds vibrancy to the music. The series concludes with Traditional Irish Tin Whistle, Intermediate Level, for those who have mastered the basics. Throughout the three courses, you will be learning tunes that are widely played at 'seisiúns' (music sessions) and dances across Ireland and beyond. Download the notes, begin the course and you’ll soon be whistling with the experts!Start Course Now
Easy Tunes for the Irish Tin Whistle
Easy Tunes for the Irish Tin Whistle - Learning Outcomes
Getting to Know the Notes on the Tin Whistle
First Tunes on the Tin Whistle
Playing the Polka, ‘The Siege of Ennis’
Playing 'The Kerry Polka'
Easy Tunes for the Irish Tin Whistle - Lesson Summary
By the end of this course you will be able to:
- Identify the notes on the tin whistle
- Recall how to play the notes in the upper octave
- Illustrate how to play ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’ in both the keys of D and G
- Recognise how to play 'Twinkle Twinkle' on the tin whistle
- Demonstrate playing with both hands with ‘Yankee Doodle’
- Describe how to play C sharp
- Contrast playing C sharp with C natural
- Demonstrate how to play 'The Siege of Ennis'
- Discuss the results of blowing too hard or too gently when playing in the higher octave
- Recall how to play ‘The Kerry Polka’
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