Not every school has the resources to deliver music classes, but every student has the possibility of being a musician – if they get the opportunity of being introduced to music at the right age, learn to have fun playing music first and foremost, get good guidance and encouragement – and get access to a good quality music instrument.
Spink Comhaltas has been delivering music classes since our formation in 1983 and are recognised as one of the most innovative and best resource Comhaltas branches in the country.
Our junior music classes are delivered out of Knock Community Hall, Spink – R32 DK70 – on Friday evenings from 5.30 pm onwards. Classes are delivered in small groups, with experienced teachers. Spink Comhaltas have compiled our own 2 collections of traditional Irish music of in excess of 170 tunes which are an excellent starter to a musician’s journey in music. All of Volume I of these tunes have been recorded and made available on SoundCloud as an audible resource.
We have invested in a comprehensive music instrument bank comprising over 50 instruments and made up of fiddles, flutes, accordions, concertinas, banjos, mandolins, pipes, harps, piano, cellos, violas, drums and more. These are available to our junior members to rent at an affordable cost. This allows the student to try out different types of instruments without the expense of parents purchasing up-front. It means that when the parent does purchase an instrument, they can be confident that the student is fully committed to learning that instrument.
Spink Comhaltas has prepared students for the Comhaltas Traditional Irish Music Exams (SCT) since 2014. These are a series of graded exams following a syllabus which builds knowledge of theory, performance, tradition and listening skills. The grades go across 13 levels from Elementary to Grade 8, with an option of an Advanced Performance Recital. Candidates who achieve distinction in Grade 8 are awarded a Gold Medal. Spink have had 5 candidates as of 2021 who have achieved this award.
The Fleadh Cheoil (festival of music) is strongly associated with Traditional Irish Music and is centred around music competitions for individuals and groups. Competitions take place at County, Provincial and All Ireland level. Spink Comhaltas prepare musicians for these competitions – if they wish – and have had a consistent track record of high performance across all competitions.
Traditional Irish Music is a social activity. We encourage our musicians to play in music sessions and in public. It is a great way to build friendships and social skills. Some of our musicians have made friends the length and breadth of Ireland, and internationally, through music.
Finally – we are part of our local community – and we encourage our musicians to support local events and charitable fund-raising. We have been privileged to receive a lot of support from the community we operate in, so we are always willing to give back where we can.
The membership of Spink Comhaltas is predominantly from across Laois, but our location means that we have members from Kilkenny, Kildare and Carlow. All are welcome.
All of our teachers are Garda Vetted and we comply with the National Child Protection policy of Comhaltas. We are governed by Comhaltas’ constitution and are run by a voluntary committee elected each October in our AGM.
There is no specific age on when to start music, but we generally recommend around age 7. So, if you would like to start your child’s journey in music today, consider Spink Comhaltas. Registration HERE with classes commencing 24 September 2021.