Caera is available to teach the following classes. She has taught adults
and children, at festivals, schools, libraries, cultural events,
parties and private classes. All classes are designed to be about one
hour in length, but can be modified depending on the circumstances. If
you would like more information on a class or to book a class, please
send an email via the bar to the left, or call (617)335-6063.
An Introduction to Celtic Music
What exactly is “Celtic music”? This class explores several answers to
that, and gives a brief overview of Celtic music through history -- from
ancient times, through medieval music, traditional music, and finally
modern Celtic music. This class does require the use of a CD player, or
an appropriate electrical outlet if Caera provides the CD player.
An Introduction to Medieval Celtic Music
How much do we really know about medieval Celtic music? Was it all lost
or destroyed, or never written down or preserved in the first place?
Actually, there are several pieces to this puzzle which are available
now to learn from. In this class you can learn what sources did
preserve medieval Celtic music, what that music was like, what sort of
instruments they had, and where to learn more if you choose to pursue
Sean Nos Singing
“Sean nos” refers to specific styles of singing within Irish tradition,
usually in Gaelic. This class will explain some of techniques used,
such as ornamentation and interpretation, and will touch upon common
regional differences within the tradition. If a CD player or electrical
outlet is available, you can hear recorded examples which illustrate
these techniques and differences. Caera will give live examples as
well, and if there is time and interest, will teach participants to sing
in this style. Come to learn about it, or simply to enjoy listening to
Puirt-a-Beul (also Scottish Gaelic Dance Songs or Children’s Songs)
Easy and fun songs to introduce the traditional Scottish puirt-a-beul
style, for children or adults. Songs include Gille Calum (the Sword
Dance), and other common Highland dance tunes. This class can be very
popular at Highland Games and competitions in which participants may
also be dancing to these same songs as tunes. Caera goes over
pronunciation and translations of each song, and does not expect
participants to already speak or read any Gaelic.
Traditional Irish Gaelic Children's Songs
Songs which are fun and easy to learn, regardless of whether you can
already speak or read any Gaelic. Caera goes over pronunciation and
translation, and sometimes offers tapes of herself singing the songs
unaccompanied by other instruments, so that participants can remember
the tunes. Some songs include movement as well.
Beautiful, soothing traditional lullabies. Caera goes over pronunciation
and translation, and can choose which songs to teach in a particular
class based on the participants' level of familiarity with Gaelic
(starting with none at all). Again, a tape of unaccompanied singing may
be offered to help students remember the tunes. Caera is not offended if
anyone actually does fall asleep in this class.
Celtic Naptime (Súantraí)
This is designed as a children’s program, but adults without children
are welcome to come and relax as well. Caera will give a naptime
concert that illustrates súantraí, the sleep-strain of the three strains
of music in Irish mythology. Caera will sing Gaelic lullabies, and
play soothing music on her harp. Children may be soothed to relax and
possibly sleep, and parents may find their own stresses melting away on
these ancient melodies. Parents must accompany children for this
program; Caera cannot babysit and play music at the same time.
A History of the Harp
Is Caera's harp different than what you'd expect when told she plays a
Celtic harp? Come find out why. This class shows some evolution of
harp-like instruments through time, including Gaelic terms for harps
that evolved in Gaelic-speaking countries, spanning evidence from
ancient times, going through the Middles Ages (where harps like Caera's
are from), and continues to modern harps. This gives participants a
pretty thorough understanding of the different possibilities people can
be referring to when they call an instrument "harp," "clairseach," or
Introduction to the Clairseach (wire-strung Gaelic harp)
How is the clairseach different from other kinds of harps? What are
some important differences in technique? How would you get started on a
wire-strung harp? Where can you get one? How can you learn to play?
What kinds of songs can you play on it? This class goes over all of
these questions, and provides handouts including a list of harpmakers,
teachers, books, and other resources for those who are seriously
interested in the clairseach. This class can be combined with A History of the Harp
Introduction to the Celtic Languages
This class is for people with questions like: "Is there a difference
between Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic?" "How are Gaelic and Welsh
related?" "Are there any other Celtic languages?" This class teaches
what the Celtic languages are, how they are related to each other, and
how they relate to other languages of Europe and the rest of the world.
This not usually a good class for building vocabulary in any particular
language, but is more useful for understanding what is a "Celtic"
Introduction to Gaelic
This class offers a bit of the history and family tree of all Gaelic
languages, then goes over pronunciation and some basic vocabulary for
all three modern Gaelic languages.
Introductory classes are also available for Irish Gaelic alone. Please contact Caera for more information.http://chaosdancer.egoplex.com/caera/classes.html