CCÉ’s Scoil Éigse takes place in Sligo, August 9th to 14th, the week preceding Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. At Scoil Éigse – CCÉ’s annual international Summer School, students of all ages register for the various instrumental music, singing, dancing and Irish language classes.
Scoil Éigse (meaning a learning experience focused on cultural discussion and participation) provides a broad-based cultural educational experience for students, their families, other visitors and the general public.
Daily classes are central to the week’s purpose – students are placed in appropriately graded instrumental music classes (fiddle, flute, whistle, button-accordion, concertina, banjo,harp, uilleann-pipes and piano-accompaniment), traditional singing and amhránaíocht classes, dancing (as per applications) and conversational Irish classes. A mixed-instrument class usually takes place for adults only.
The team of international tutors are all master performers with proven track-records as teachers and educationalists. These
tutors have a wealth of artistic experience and knowledge, which, reflecting the underlying educational philosophy of CCÉ, they share with students in an atmosphere which promotes both active and reflective discerning participation. The primary means of transmission, teaching/learning is ‘by ear’ with an emphasis in the less experienced classes of assisting pupils to develop oral/aural skills in addition to instrumental competency and developing core repertoire. In the advanced classes pupils’ command of instrument and overall technique and musicianship is the primary focus in addition to extending the
students repertoire and their ability to transfer the skills learnt in class to other musical situations.
Students are encouraged to acquire skills and then to reflect on how and why they learn. From it’s inception Scoil Éigse promoted quality teaching of quality traditional music in a family/youth-friendly cultural immersion setting, gaining in its popularity primarily through word-of-mouth, the event itself being it’s own best advertisement!
All Éigse activities, Club Éigse, Friday morning concert and recitals are included in the student registration
fee. Accompanying adults are admitted free of charge.Students are placed in initial classrooms to facilitate the grading process. Following assessment by a tutor,pupils are placed in appropriate classes with a low student:teacher ratio. Tutors at Scoil Éigse teach according to a planned progression based on the musical and instrumental competency of the student to date and also their general musical experience including their repertoire. Tutors also take into consideration the aural transmission skills of the students, their age, familiarity with core repertoire and general levels of concentration, listening skills etc. in addition to the developmental of technical skill.
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Ireland’s premier cultural movement,was founded in 1951 to preserve and promote Irish traditionalmusic, song, dance and native language. Today CCÉ has 420 branches in Ireland and internationally and it provides services to 3 million people annually. Comhaltas continues to strengthen its educational and cultural links with the worldwide Irish Diaspora. Comhaltas is recipient of the Eurpoean Citizen’s Prize.From its early years the movement prioritised community based teaching and transmission. Scoil Éigse,a multifaceted International Summer School which annually precedes Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is one of CCÉ’s major educational initiatives.
Attending Scoil Éigse
There is no age limit at the Scoil Éigse and certainly no generation gap. Enthusiasm knows no age barriers and whether you are keen on learning sets or making a comeback on the accordion you will find fellow pupils to join you in a session, to exchange tunes, songs or steps. Beginners are accepted only in the dancing and traditional singing streams. On the various instruments only those who can play reasonably well are accepted, and the emphasis is on improving their traditional techniques and their knowledge and understanding of the music. There are two or more classes on each of the instruments (listed in paragraph 1), catering for pupils who might be respectively described as ‘improvers’ and advanced. Of course ‘advanced’ pupils in traditional singing and dancing are also catered for.
Club na hÉigse takes place each night at 8.00pm to 9.30pm. All are welcome to join in mentored traditional sessions. Solo items from top-class artists also feature each night. The importance of Club Éigse is that it complements the formal tuition process in class. Through this mentored session of core traditional repertoire at an appropriate pace/tempo students are provided with an appropriate setting to experience ‘learning and playing in authentic session situations’.
Scoil Éigse students and families get the opportunity to attend daily recitals by established traditional artists as part of the week’s activities. The recital situation provides an appropriate platform for students to appreciate virtuoso and inspirational performances in a discerning setting. These recitals take place in St John’s N.S., Temple St. after class and students are encouraged to attend as part of their education programme.
Scoil Éigse Concert
Scoil Éigse has customarily closed on Friday morning with a tutors’ concert. This concert has always attracted a very large audience and, as with recitals, Club Éigse and all Scoil Éigse events there is no extra admission charge. All students and accompanying family/friends attend free of charge.
Schedule includes class tuition, lectures, workshops on slow-air playing, afternoon recitals, Club Éigse and the concert. Class tuition is Monday 9.45am-3.30pm, Tues–Thurs 10am–3.15pm and we end with the Scoil Éigse Concert on Friday morning 14thAugust at 9.45 am. Pupils are supervised in the classroom tuition setting only. An attendance record is kept at these classes.
The enrolment fee details are shown on the application form. Those who pay the full fee before August 1st may do at the special early registration rates. The fees cover attendance at all Scoil Éigse classes and workshops including Club na hÉigse. NB Because of the difficulties caused by the last-minute enrolments in recent years, it has been decided that only those who enrol by August 1st can be guaranteed places at the Scoil Éigse. Scoil Éigse endeavours to maintain a low pupil:teacher ratio with appropriately graded classes in order to facilitate effective tuition.
Comhaltas Scholarships are offered to those qualifying for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in the 12–15 and 15–18 grades in certain singing and solo instrumental competitions and Comhrá Gaeilge competitions. Scholarship applications must be received at Comhaltas headquarters by the dates specified.
Completed application forms should be returned to Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, 32 Belgrave Square, Monkstown, Co. Dublin not later than August 1st. Students with accessibility requirements and or medical conditions are asked to provide information to that effect along with their completed application forms.
Details of the various Scoil Éigse venues will be posted accordingly on the Sligo Fleadh website www.fleadhcheoil.ie in addition to www.comhaltas.ie General enquiries about accommodation including campsite provision for the period of the Scoil Éigse should be directed to the Fleadh Ph: +353(0) 719111444
General Scoil Éigse Applications
Comhaltas Headquarters – Tel: +353(0) 1 2800 295
Headquarters in Sligo – Tel: +353(0) 719 11 1444.
Early booking of accommodation is advised.