Great tunes for learning and/or teaching
I just got my copy of Shannon Heaton’s new book/CD combo called "First 50". If any of you enjoyed her book Oil For the Chain from 10 years ago (!), she’s upped the game a bit on this one, but in a lot of ways it’s for a similar purpose.
There are 2 CDs in the set, with a total of 29 tracks (including 50 tunes, thus the title). Shannon has geared the companion book toward flute and fiddle, with breathing and bowing suggestions scattered through the sheet music. But the playing is wonderful, with beautiful rhythm and simplicity, perfect for learning by ear for any instrument. I might also note that of the 50 tunes, I only knew about half of them, and several I had never heard before! So it’s not just another "top 50 tunes to learn" kind of thing. They’re all lovely tunes, and I’ll be working my way through many of the ones I don’t know (and probably working through the ones I do know to see how Shannon expresses them differently).
And I’m sure I’ll end up stealing some of her ideas for teaching to my students too. ;-)
Shannon was my first teacher of Irish trad many years ago, and she continues to be one of my favorite players, especially since she has always shown great humility and desire to help introduce people to the music we all love, and help nurture them into great players.
If you’re interested in the book, she has it available as either hard copy or download (as well as Oil For the Chain) on her website here: http://shannonheatonmusic.com/irish-music/irish-instructional-materials-2/