Scoil Eigse will kick off Fleadh '18
Over 750 students are expected to take part in Scoil Éigse, the summer school which takes place in Drogheda in the week preceding the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann.
Ballymakenny College will be the venue where more than 70 tutors will be on hand to take daily classes and workshops with children and adults of all ages.
Organised by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Irish people and students from the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and North America are all welcomed to obtain a better and deeper understanding of Irish music and culture.
'There is something for everyone at the school, and we encourage families to take part in the lead up to the festival,' says Kieran Hanrahan, director of the annual school.
'I was in Drogheda a few weeks ago, and you can feel the excitement already, and Lolo and her team have worked really hard to make this a year to remember.
Scoil Éigse means a learning experience focused on cultural discussion and participation, and students of all ages are invited to register for the various instrumental music, singing, dancing and Irish language classes.
'Students are expected to have a certain level of ability and are placed in appropriately graded instrumental music classes, whether that's fiddle, flute, whistle, button-accordion, concertina, banjo, harp, uilleann-pipes or piano,' explains Kieran, who also appears on RTE's Ceili House.
'Novices could become involved in the traditional singing and dancing classes, and it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience for parents and children to do.'
This year, Scoil Éigse will also hold a very special foundation course to bring the wonder of traditional music to intellectually challenged children and adults.
'The Fleadh is for everyone and we are delighted to offer free places for a course to teach classes to those with an intellectual disability, which we ran in Ennis, and got very positive feedback on,' adds Kieran.
'We have very experienced tutors and it is fantastic to have a venue the size of Ballymakenny College, where we can have all the groups under one roof, with ample space and parking, so close to the town.'
The team of international tutors are all master performers with proven track-records as teachers and educationalists.
The school provides workshops, lectures and sessions in the week prior to the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and continues each day during the Fleadh.
Tuition is given in traditional music, song, and dance each day with informal céilíthe and sessions each evening
Students and families get the opportunity to attend daily recitals by established traditional artists as part of the week's activities and customarily closes with a tutor's concert.
Full details of enrolment and fees are available on the website, and an early fee applies until July 27th, and final enrolment date is August 8th.
Early application is advised as demand is high and forms can be found on www.fleadhcheoil.ie/homepage/scoil-eigse/ or www.comhaltas.ie.