O'Flaherty Irish Music Youth Camp

Registration– Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re new to the Youth Camp, please take a minute to read this before registering your child. This helps answer many common questions parents have.

1) Why, when I go to the registration program, are there gaps in the times of the classes I will be signing up for?
This has to do with the program handling registration and is not of any significance. The classes that you are choosing will be repeated several times over the two days, to fill in the empty spaces. If you’d like to see the real schedule, please visit the Camp Schedule page.

2) What if I can only sign my children up for Monday classes and can’t attend on Tuesday?
This won’t affect your registration– you can sign up for classes the same way as everyone else. When you proceed to the payment step, check to make sure the program is only charging you for the one day of classes you signed up for (should be $80 instead of $120). If it isn’t calculating your payment correctly, please contact Clare Cason by phone at 903 364 5185, or by clicking here.

3) I’m new to all this. How do I choose between all these classes?

First, choose a primary class for your child. If they already play one of the instruments listed on the Classes page, then simply do your best to determine which level of class they should be in (for those instruments with more than one class, like fiddle, piano, or flute). No worries here, just assess this the best you can based on the class descriptions. If you have any questions, you can contact us to help with placement. Plus, if after the first class period it seems clear that a student is over- or under-challenged, we’ll move them to the class level that would suit them best.
If your child does not play an instrument at all yet (or if they play a different instrument for which we do not offer a class), they are welcome to sign up for the Tinwhistle for Beginners, Bodhrán, or Introduction to Irish Music classes. You will be able to purchase an inexpensive whistle when you get to the camp, for the Whistle and Introduction to Irish Music classes. Also, our bodhrán instructors is often able to make some instruments available for rental during those instrument classes, for those who don’t already own a bodhrán. Please send the camp an e-mail
if you want to take advantage of this option, and we’ll put you in touch with the instructor to make arrangements for that.

Second, choose the Tune Tussle group type you think your child will most enjoy. In the Free Choice Tune Tussle, the kids will be in small groups and will work together to come up with performance material (music and/or a skit) of their own invention. The Dance, Drama, and Gaelic Singing Tune Tussle groups are great for students who particularly enjoy one of those activities, or who would prefer more structured guidance from an instructor.

Third, decide whether you’d like to sign up for the optional Monday evening activities. Some families enjoy staying into the evening for the pizza supper, instructor concert, and sessions (parents must be on site with their kids at these activities). Others choose to pick up their children and go home at 5:30 PM. You can come to some of the evening activities or all of them, and it won’t be a problem if you change your mind later and adjust your registration accordingly– it just helps us to know how many we might be expecting for the pizza supper and evening sessions.

Lastly, make choices for the four “elective” periods that happen during the camp. Some kids would find playing music all day long to be rather overwhelming, and would love to have some physical activity during the day. If this describes your child, consider choosing “games” (structured fun activities) or instrument demonstrations (they will get to walk around freely and observe and try some unusual instruments), social dance introduction (kids can watch if they don’t want to dance), and Gaelic sports.
Some of the students who already know they love Irish music, are eager for any chance they can get to play with others, so the sessions will be good choices for them. Kids who don’t know much Irish music yet are welcome at the sessions, also– just be aware that since they don’t know many tunes yet, they may have to do more listening than playing. Kids that are good at learning by ear might enjoy trying to pick up some of the tunes being played at the slow sessions. We’ll also have some non-Irish tunes from time to time in the slow sessions (Twinkle, Twinkle, Cotton-Eyed Joe, etc.), so kids can have a chance to play even if they don’t know much Irish music yet.

4) Can my child take one instrument on Monday and a different instrument class on Tuesday?
Alas, due to the fact that the camp is only two days long, and also that the seven instrument class periods build upon each other throughout the camp, each student can take only one primary instrument class during the camp. Our registration program only asks you to sign up for their instrument class once each day of the camp, but what you choose for the first class on Monday for a particular student, should match the first class chosen for Tuesday.

If after reading this, you get into the registration process and still have questions, please feel free to send Clare an e-mail,
or contact her by phone at 972 814 5774.

Parents and students say…

Great! My daughter had a good time, her fiddle playing improved, and she is even more excited about Irish music.
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