COURSES

Study with Michaela Cunningham  

Michaela is a master of the anglo-Irish concertina.

She studied with some of the greatest concertina players of Ireland (Noel Hill, Mary McNamara and Mícheál O’ Raghallaigh) and has mastered many regional styles.

As a student, you'll have live online lessons with Michaela in the comfort of your own home.  

Michaela is a very patient and competent teacher. She helps students build a solid foundation of skills within the context of each tune.

 

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, Michaela will help you to improve your musicianship, style and technique.

You'll progress through the courses at your own pace.  

Each course includes:

  • live online lessons with Michaela twice a month in groups of 3 to 4 students 

  • opportunity to submit videos for feedback from Michaela 

  • on-going direct communication with Michaela 

  • on-line sessions every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month 

  • access to Michaela's on-line community 

  • discounts on workshops, retreats and instrument purchases

  • advice on instrument purchases 

Beginners

  

We can get you started on the right path so you have a solid foundation from which to build good technique.

 

You'll start by learning a variety of scales to familiarize yourself with the instrument. You'll quickly progress to learning a handful of simple tunes and techniques. By the end of the course you'll know: how to use the bellows and air button, positioning and rhythm. 

Depending on how new you are to the instrument expect to be in this stage for 6 to 12 months.

  

Intermediate

If you're looking to brush up your skills or to continue to develop as player, this course is ideal for you. 

At this stage, you'll be learning more complex tunes. You'll start to learn how to "feel the tune" and develop your own unique style of playing. You'll learn how to pick up speed and develop your abilities to learn tunes orally.  Plus you'll be introduced to triplets, cuts, rolls and crans.

Depending on how new you are to the instrument, expect to be in this stage for 12 to 36 months.

Advanced

If you're looking to become a sophisticated player and performer, this course is for you.

At this stage, we'll focus on getting you to play at the pace of an Irish session. We'll improve your ability to incorporate triplets, cuts, rolls and crans into tunes and improvise with these skills. You'll also be learning more advanced tunes and be exposed to the different regional styles of Ireland.   

 

When I heard Michaela's playing, I was inspired to take up the concertina myself.

 

Michaela coached me on my choice of instruments, recommended reliable concertina makers and repair people, and ultimately became my teacher, for which I feel extremely lucky and grateful.

I truly look forward to each lesson with Michaela and to the prospect of one day playing in sessions on the concertina. 

 

Liz, 

Oregon City, Oregon

Michaela Cunningham

"Michaela's extensive musical knowledge and highly skilled playing are deeply rooted in her rich Irish background.

 

As a teacher, both face-to-face and online, she brings a supportive and positive approach to her students. Whilst primarily teaching by ear,

 

It has been a joy to learn from Michaela: her love of Trad music shines through in the dedication she shows to her students - and my own playing has certainly improved greatly since taking lessons with her."

 

Alison,

BC, Canada.

Beginning a new instrument as an adult can be daunting. From my very first lesson with Michaela, I was immediately at ease.

 

She has a great teaching style and is very encouraging and supportive. Her personality and enthusiasm for the concertina is infectious and I feel I have made enormous progress in a relatively short period of time.

 

While I still have a long way to go, she has taught me to love the concertina as an instrument and I very much hope that she continues to be part of the journey.

Fin

BC, Canada