Nice little article that discusses some of the advantages of learning to play an instrument as an adult. One thing is sure, we certainly have so many more resources available to us than we did when I was growing up thanks to the Internet. It is good to also mention, that whether you are young or old, learning an instrument does take time, passion, and perseverance. But, at least in my opinion, it is well worth it!
During this past year especially, I’ve found myself gravitating to sessions and playing more music with friends. I think one reason is that somewhere deep down, my body and soul know it is good for me, that it provides a better model for life than most of the other ones we’re presented with on a daily basis. Let me propose that for a small group of us, the session may represent an antidote for the challenges of modern life. I think there are other antidotes out there, and my hope is that each of you will find the antidote that works for you. However, since this blog is about Irish music, let me put forward a few of the reasons that I think the the best sessions have many elements that our souls crave.
- We’re present
- We’re in a circle, face to face
- We listen to each other
- We coordinate with others
- We share what we know and lead when we can, but it’s more enjoyable when we’re not playing solo
- We find common ground and a way to contribute
- More do, less talk (but some talk is important)
- We learn from history and the songs we sing speak of the human condition (love, war, loss)
- Sessions improve with diversity of instruments and influences
- We invite people in from outside our community and welcome their new tunes
- We play quietly and try to learn when we don’t the tune
Some great footage from the 80s scene in London in this mini-documentary. Gotta love the hair too!
Also a short interview with Brendan Mulkere in part 2, who I recall seeing at last year’s Ennis Trad Fest when Claire Egan had her CD release show.
And here are some clips from 2013-2014 sessions. Maybe the more things change, the more they stay the same. Well, except for the hair.