INSTRUMENTAL CLASSES Traditional Irish music and song is a aural tradition therefore it is vital that all students are aware that the first step to becoming a proficient traditional musician is to develop an ability to learn by ‘ear’. Developing this skill requires practice, by listening carefully to the tutor in class, repeating short melodic phrases in succession and then by regular practice outside class. Irish musicians also read music notation, reading music helps with the learning process and also allows axcess to the vast wealth of archive material. All students in Bray Comhaltas are encouraged to have a basic knowledge of music theory, to support this, the branch provides free theory classes.
SINGING CLASSES Classes are available in the Sean Nós style of traditional singing. Sean Nós means “old style” it is regarded as the purest form of traditional Irish music dating back hundreds of years. The words are more important than the tunes and the rhythm is dictated by speech rhythms, it remains to this day an exclusively oral tradition.
DANCE CLASSES The branch offers both Sean Nos and Set Dancing classes. Becoming a competent well rounded musician requires an understanding of the various forms in traditional dance. Our music comes from dancing therefore deepening the link between dancer and musician is an important aspect of the work in the branch, it is also well know to enhances and speed the the learning process of both and at the same time offer a fun way to learn. This is particularly important to all students attending Grúpa Cheoil. For this reason the branch provides free Set Dance / Sean Nos classes before or after their Grúpa class and expects all to attend.
MUSIC THEORY CLASS These classes are free to members taking classes, they are open to all ages. In class students are introduced to various melodic forms and rhythms common in Irish music. Introduction to staff notation is through notation of traditional melodies previously acquired by ear. The classes are both practical and informal. With a little application, students progress to becoming proficient in sight reading melodies in a very short time.