Consider the simplicity of the instrument of the tin whistle - a tin pipe with a plastic mouthpiece. Simple, inexpensive, lightweight, portable, cheap, reliable and will still work during a power-cut. There are not many musical instruments that fit this specification and now you can learn how to play it from your very own home.
One man who has used the powerful influence of the Internet to his advantage is James Donohoe. James hails from a small village outside the town of Moate called Mount Temple and has been teaching and preaching traditional music for all of fifteen years. He has managed to establish live tin whistle tuition on the internet and over seen this project become a great success not only in Ireland but worldwide also.
“The project began two years ago. We delivered live online tuition to pupils in Athleague Primary School which proved to be a total success. Due to this we were awarded the National Digital Media Award for e-learning and we took it from there.”
“We then developed our tuition website. There are two different aspects to the website, one which allows to register for a course and attend it on line and the other which delivers an interactive music class. This is where there is interaction between tutor and student using specialised software.”
Having found that the classes on line were becoming increasingly popular in Ireland, James decided to attempt to conduct classes on line to America, where he felt they could be a success.
“We decided that having seen how well the project hade gone in Ireland that we’d try it in America. We set it up in the Philadelphia West Achievement Charter School which again involved the delivery of tin whistle tuition. We presented it to 110 children from all different ethnic backgrounds.”
“We visited the school in Philadelphia just recently and met the children who were taking our classes. There was great excitement surrounding the project over there and indeed the occasion was covered by not only the local media but also ABC News and Fox TV. We are extremely happy with the success it has had.”
James feels very passionate about Irish traditional music and hopes to continue teaching and promoting it in order to encourage more people to take up the instrument. “My ambition is to make music tuition available to anybody who is interested in playing regardless of their location.”
“In relation to the project in America, I can only say that we are delighted with the response we have got and the progress it has made since it has been set up. We hope that the www.tinwhistleonline.com will continue on its road to success and welcome everybody to go on the website and avail of a free demo class if they wish.”
James also acknowledges the support that has been given to the project from various organisations that have backed the project from day one. “We have to thank the Roscommon Traditional Arts Forum and the Arts Council of Ireland for all their help and support towards the project. It is very much appreciated and we are extremely grateful for their input,” concluded James.
Whatever your take on Irish music it has to be acknowledged that the tin whistle is one of the most prolific instruments used in traditional Irish music for many generations. If you have any interest in learning how to play the tin whistle then feadóg on line will provide you with all you need to know. Check it out at www.tinwhistleonline.com and you might just be pleasantly surprised as to how easy it has become to learn how to play the tin whistle.