Reputation / Perception of Irish Music
Just thought I’d mention something that I have always noticed/experienced with being involved in Irish trad music, and wondered if it’s purely in Ireland, or even just in my own locality.
ITM seems to have a reputation of not being "cool" here. It was the norm to learn the tinwhistle in primary school, but if you still played when in secondary school, your peers would tend to laugh at you, so I found - as did others I’ve spoken to about it - that you tended to lead a double life almost! You would tend to keep your ITM music playing a secret.
But then, when you’re about 16 or 17, if people find out they turn to you and say "wow I wish I could play an instrument"…. That used to leave me quite tick - i.e. ITM is so accessible, tinwhistles are so cheap and lessons are also damn cheap. But they were the people who a few years previous would have slated me for playing ITM. Just something that irks me quite a bit!
Oh yeah, so i think this attitude towards ITM comes from people thinking of ITM as something to do with old men/farmers and basically and old-fashioned way of life. Which is such a pity because iTM really is so young these days. I was glad my friends got to see the Fleadh in Tullamore, because they were amazed to see the amount of young people who are involved. It warmed my heart actually!!!!!
So just wondered, does this attitude towards and perception of ITM exist only in the emerald isle or is it a worldwide thing??