Ceol: Learning & Teaching Irish Traditional Music

What is Ceol, anyway?

A funny word with a lot of meaning

The word ceol (in one syllable: "kyol") is the Gaelic word for music. We have chosen this title for our instructional method because we believe it to be true to the Irish music tradition. Ceol was originally envisioned as a method to help practicing music educators introduce Irish traditional music to their students. It has come to be more than that.

Ceol is much more than a collection of tunes. It is a way to learn to play — and teach — with an understanding of culture and style. It is rationale for educators on why to teach folk music. It is a compilation of outstanding recordings by both amateur and world-class professional musicians. And it is built in print and digital versions, designed for the practicing music educator, and perfect for the developing Irish musician. Ceol uses two approaches for both kinds of learners. Instruction is through modeling in embedded audio and video resources, with notation also provided as a secondary reference. Instruction, culture, background, and music education philosophy.

Who is Ceol for?

Practicing & developing traditional musicians, music teachers, and you

It is for you. If you are a musician, a developing Irish musician, a music educator, someone interested in folk music, or anyone else, this method is for you. The classical music tradition has established in our culture the idea that there are rare people trained to be performers of music. But folk music is different. Folk music, by its very definition, is the music of the people. In all its different varieties around the world, it is ageless. It allows creativity, but demands tradition. It is as much a part of the social culture as it is the artistic. It is a creative outlet, and not just an academic pursuit.

Why this music?

It seems obvious, but we'll tell you anyway.

Chapters 1 & 2 are all about answering that question, but if you are a developing or experienced Irish musician, you already know the answer. So here it is for educators: You may be wondering what is so special about Irish traditional music. Well, everything.