If you are a student of Irish music, you might know about the music, dance and language classes that we teach through our network of branches. If you are interested in learning any of the art-forms, you might want to find about our weekly classes at the branch that's closest to you. Please visit our Regions section for more information.
For musicians who like to play socially, you might be interested in finding a local Comhaltas music session.
We also run the definitive system of competitions for Irish music, called the “Fleadh Cheoil” (literally “feast of music”). In North America we have two world qualifying fleadhanna: The Midwest Fleadh and The Mid-Atlantic Fleadh. All musicians winning 1st or 2nd place in every competition qualify to compete against the best musicians in the world at the annual All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. The town of Ennis in County Clare will host the All-Ireland fleadh in 2017.
The Scrúdú Ceol Tíre (SCT) Exam is the official Irish Traditional Music examination
system. Young traditional musicians welcome a challenge
to improve their skills and raise their standards on
par with their fellow musicians in Ireland. The SCT syllabus was developed by Micheál Ó hEidhin, former Music Inspector with the Department of Education in Ireland. There are 12 levels in the Elementary cycle, Junior cycle and Senior cycle combined. The SCT is of great benefit to examiners, teachers, parents and applicants. The program provides a method for honing skills and improving musicianship, cultural awareness and the opportunity to equate to a standard of the finest musicians and teachers in Ireland.
Scoil Éigse – CCÉ’s annual international Summer School, takes place during the week preceding Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. Students of all ages register for the various instrumental music, singing, dancing and Irish language courses. North American students have a long history of attending, with may lifelong friendships formed. In recent years, tutors from North America have also taught at Scoil Éigse.
Audiences around the world have seen our touring groups bringing Irish music, dance and storytelling on annual tours all around Ireland, Great Britain and North America.
The "Echoes of Erin" Comhaltas Concert Tour features world champion performers carefully selected to represent Ireland and its traditions, both at home and abroad.
We have collected an Archive of thousands of hours of Irish music recordings, a large print library and a growing collection of videos. You can receive a sample of this material by visiting the Comhaltas Archive at www.comhaltasarchive.ie.
In an effort to promote the music of Ireland, we also publish recordings, books and tutorials of Irish traditional music. The trimestral journal of Comhaltas, called TREOIR is available to you as part of your membership and will keep you up-to-date in all things Irish culture. You can also read it online clicking here.
North America boasts many fine teachers of Irish traditional music, many annually conduct masterclasses in Ireland during Scoil Éigse Summer School.
For those with experience as a music teacher, the TTCT Teacher Diploma Course is an invaluable opportunity to up-skill in the traditional arts. This week-long course/examination reinforces instrumental knowledge and provides an indepth look at the teaching of music theory and history, along with teaching technique and pedagogy. Participants are evaluated on their teaching ability in a real-world classroom environment and on their submission of an essay exam. Teachers passing the course are awarded the TTCT Diploma, identifying them as one of the premier teachers of traditional music.
Irish music and culture are intimately connected with the indigenous Irish language: Gaeilge (Gaelic). Young Irish-American musicians experience it through Comhaltas branches in a practical context. Some music and dance classes are even taught in a trilingual manner through English, Irish and Spanish, showcasing the practicality and diversity in Comhaltas activities. The Irish language is thriving in North America and an established connection between Comhaltas and the first Irish Gaeltacht (designated Irish speaking area) outside Ireland—Tamworth in Canada is in operation.
If you would like to join us please visit the REGIONS page to find the Comhaltas branch closest to you or contact us for more information.