For the past month we have followed the following format (15 min each): 

  1. Whistle warmup & songs 
  2. Instrument choice/practice  
  3. Art
  4. Session (all playing together, some dancing)

Note: Next month I am going to adjust this format to allow for more depth in art, for those that want to, and move the "session" to the beginning of the dance class that follows.



We have been doing a number of activities on the Book of Kells: 

Drawing Celtic Knot Animals, l

Learning how to make our lines look "woven"

Coloring pages from the Book

Making animals using ribbons to weave the lines..  

Now that I understand the group's attention span, interest, etc. I want to focus on the detail and time that went into the book, and start a long term, large scale project that we can add to during each class for the rest of the semester.


We learn the tunes by first singing, then expressing the rhythm, then working on playing them on an instrument, and then (in the second class) learning a dance that goes with the tune.  

Hot Cross Buns, and Mary Had a Little Lamb

Rattlin' Bog

Britches Full of Stitches (the second tune in the set here, played by Sliabh Luchra musicians Jackie Daly and Seamus Creagh) 

The Hair Fell Off Of My Coconut (A Hundred Pipers) 


  • Police Siren (using one finger to create a different note, and making the whistle sound like a siren) - to learn to control the fingers
  • Blowing in rhythm of the tune - to learn to control the breath, and express the rhythm of the tune
  • Up and down parts of the scale, or the whole scale - (Older children) to learn to identify the notes in relation to the key
  • Basic tunes: Mary Had a Little Lamb, Hot Cross Buns, Britches Full of Stitches, Rattlin' Bog- Older children NOTE: Some younger children are learning these fingering patterns but are not yet able to cover the holes properly. They are well on their way!


When we have choice time, children may work on whistle (or other instruments they play) OR they may explore on the following: 

  • Accordion- working on playing melody notes, and/or basses, and using the bellows to go in and out 
  • Bodhrán - working on the proper stick hold, and striking down and up

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