Sharing my learning on You Tube


This is a video of my first attempt at learning the tune ‘In the Tap Room’ by ear. I have posted this on my new You Tube channel. (Edit 27 August – Please note: I just realised that my ‘second attempt’ video comes up. You need to go to the top left hand corner and click ‘playlist’ and select the other video to watch first. The other video is my ‘first attempt’ at the tune and is the one that I am writing about in this blog. Sorry for the confusion, I am still getting my head around how running a you tube channel actually works!!)

I’ll admit, I’ve already had a bit of a go at it (about 10 minutes) before I clicked the record button. What I’ve done, is found another video on You Tube of someone practicing the tune (Tap Room (Reel) – fiddle practice) that is slightly slower than most of the Irish tunes are usually played. In the video I’m trying to listen to bits of it over and over to pick it up by ear – the traditional method of learning Irish Music.

You will see in the video, I get through about half of the tune ok, but then really struggle with the second part. You’ll see at the end of the video that I ‘sigh’ quite audibly, which shows you just how frustrated I was!

I decided to share my learning experience (based on what I have learnt  about ‘sharing’ learning so far in this course) to assist others out there who are trying to learn Irish music or the fiddle.  I hope that they can benefit or learn something from my experience – even if it is just how frustrating and slow learning a new tune can be, and how it can be quite a repetitive process.

I have also recorded my second attempt on my you tube channel, if you want to take a look.


CLEM & Communities for learning Irish Music & my new YouTube Channel


In the week 4 readings, our course convenor David Jones introduced the group to the CLEM approach to learning and teaching. CLEM refers to Community, Literature, Examples and Model. In my position ‘as a learner’ trying to pick up a new Irish tune, these four components are intended to help me think more deeply about this process of learning. I will outline my thoughts, experiences and understanding against each of these components in the following posts, starting with….

  1. Community.

I have spent the last couple of weeks scouring the online world (part of my ‘seek’ stage, as outlined in my personal knowledge management routine) using range of tools and strategies to identify useful learning communities that I could be part of to assist with meeting my learning goal.

I will discuss broadly three types of communities that I have discovered:

  1. The twitter/Blog communities – broad range of individuals and groups providing links and information on happenings in the Irish music world, as well as details about where to find a teacher or session in your location e.g.

I have started following a bunch of these (for example: here, here and here), however have found that while these communities are fairly active, with lots of general information on Irish music and regular updates, it has not been particularly useful for me trying to learn to play certain Irish tunes online.

  1. The Session online forum – This online community has a range of useful features to support a learner of Irish tunes, including – swathes of sheet music, recordings, and discussions on all a broad range of topics. I signed up for the site and have been loving the discussion board. So many of the questions I had about learning music by ear and on fiddle technique have already been asked by other learners, and I have found the responses my other members of the community to have been really valuable. I was also able to listen to some basic midi files of a range of different versions of ‘In the Tap Room’ to give me some ideas of different variations I could play. A great resource!clarejoinsthesession
  2. You Tube – By far the best online community I have discovered for learning Irish music is You Tube. I just typed in name of the tune I wanted to play into the search and was able to easily find a range of videos of people playing the tune, from beginners through to accomplished players, and recordings of the great players of our time. I subscribed to a number of different channels of Irish musicians and this has been, by far, the most useful resource. I have been listening to the videos over and over, and watching the player’s technique, and then using this knowledge to try and play the tune.

In line with the idea of ‘sharing’ my knowledge and making my learning experience public – as I have discussed in previous posts – I have decided to create my own YouTube channel, to start documenting my learning of the tune ‘In the Tap Room’. Check out my new videos here.

my you tube channel

More to come on this soon…