Irish music has become popular throughout the world and the instruments to play it are much sought after. There are many ways to study the music and to give an example I quote from the Irish World Academy of music and dance at the University of Limerick where the subject is taught to a high standard
"Irish traditional music and dance are an intrinsic part of the cultural life of this island. In recent years they have become significant economically and traditional musicians and dancers now have careers over the entire globe. In a modern context musicians and dancers not only need excellent performance skills to make a career but also a wide variety of vocational skills (educational, technology, business etc.) to be successful in these competitive fields.
This degree is designed primarily to develop the performance skills of students and to do this they will work with visiting and resident tutors who represent the cream of performance in Ireland and beyond. The main bulk of performance work will be solo but there will also be a significant amount of ensemble work. Students will also be encouraged to develop second performance skills -making them more versatile as performers. Students will also engage in vocational studies directly relevant to traditional music and dance enabling the student to engage the real world of professional performance. For example, students will record CDs and videos, use digital media, write business plans, plan tours and organise performances. Students will also engage in academic studies relevant to their performance skills in areas such as traditional music and dance studies, popular music and dance studies, histories of western music and dance, ethnomusicology, ethnochoreology, music and dance education and music and dance psychology.
The breath of air must be carefully channelled into the instrument in such a way that it is split.
The new BA in Irish Music and Dance is the first of its kind and is unique because it places performance at its heart but it recognises the vocational needs of future graduates who will make their careers from music and dance performance as well as allowing students to develop interests in areas of academic study. This blend enables students to pursue career paths outside of performance."
The people of Ireland take their traditional music very seriously and it's exponents are seen as ambassadors of their country, all over the world. The music is brought to the world in different ways by purist traditional players and singers and also by groups like the Cheiftains who have recorded with classical flautist James Galway and the National Philharmonic Orchestra to bring the music to a wider audience than ever before.
Where ever one goes throughout the world one finds Irish pubs and where there is an Irish pub there is traditional music. What is perhaps surprising is that often the musicians in this world wide spread of pubs are anything but Irish, such is the popularity of the genre. It iis taught informally all over the world and I am never surprised when a request for one of my instruments comes in from the least likely corners of the globe. I have a growing collection of albums of Irish music sent to me by performers from many countries to show where my instruments are being used.
The Fleadh or festival is an event held with concerts and competitions all over Ireland, Britain and in the USA Competitors move from winning local events up to national competitions and eventually to the all Ireland Fleadh in August at various host venues around the county.