The Old School

Church Street, Sturminster Marshall, Dorset, England

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Slow session for beginners in Sturminster Marshall

The purpose of this session to allow inexperienced musicians to practice what they have learned at home by playing with others, but without the pressures of a fast tempo and an audience. Experienced musicians are very welcome but please keep the pace nice and slow and, if you feel like offering some advice and guidance that would welcomed. The aim is to focus on an agreed set of tunes. so that we all know what to practice at home between sessions. Email or phone me for the current list.

Usually the 3rd Friday of each month 6pm to 10pm. This could change so it’s best to contact me first to confirm. £2 voluntary contribution to cover the hire cost (waived for tutors). Tea, coffee and biscuits provided, bring your own drinks if you like.

Sturminster Marshall is about 4 miles outside Wimborne on the A350 to Blandford. Turn right at either crossroad into the village and just follow the road until you reach the Church. Turn right into the Red Lion car park and the Old School is on your right. In case you ask directions The Old School is also known as the church hall.

1st session 17th Aug 2007 a sucess

Thanks to all those who turned up for the first session. I had a great time, I hope you did too. The next one will be on Friday 14th September, same time and place. The pace got a bit too fast at times so next time I’m thinking about using both rooms and splitting into slow and fast groups.

Tune list for September 14th 2007

The Humours of Glendart (jig)
Saddle The Pony (jig)
The Rights of Man (hornpipe)

In addition to those, most of us seemed to know ‘Boys of Bluehill’ (hornpipe) and ‘Smash The Windows’ (jig) so let’s add those to the set list. Also we could do with a reel on the list so let’s make it ‘The Tulla Reel’ (aka ‘The Humours of Tulla) which is usually played as a set with ’Silver Spear’ but we can add that later.

To make it more interesting if you know any nice airs or have a favorite tune that’s not on ‘the list’ be prepared to play it for us when we get bored of practicing the set list (mine is the Galway Reel, which Les and I played for you).

September 14th 2007 Session

Good session, 12 musicians this time. The Humours of Glendart, Saddle the Pony, The Rights of Man, Smash the Windows, and Boys of Bluehill are all coming on well.

Next session - 6pm to 10pm Friday 16th November 2007.

Tunes to start practicing at home for next time are:

Father O’Flynn (aka - The Top of Cork Road)
Slieve Russell
The Cliffs of Moher

October 19th 2007 Session

The next Sturminster Marshall Old School Irish Music Session for beginners is this coming Friday evening (19th October). Starting at 6pm, finishing at 10pm, drop in anytime for as long as you like. Tea, coffee and biscuits at half time as usual. Voluntary £2 contibution in the pint pot appreciated.

More practice of the tunes we’ve done already:
The Humors of Glendart (jig)
Saddle the Pony (jig)
Rights of Man (hornpipe)
Boys of Bluehill (hornpipe)
Smash the Windows (single jig)

Plus first airing of the new tunes suggested last session:
Slieve Russell (jig)
Father O‘Flynn [aka Top of Cork Road or The Rollickin’ Irishman] (jig)
The Cliffs of Moher (jig)

We’ll practice these (starting nice and slow) ’till we get bored then open it up to other tunes. Be prepared to do a solo if you’re the only one that knows it.

The Old School Session - 5 Years and still going

When I started The Old School Session in the village of Sturminster Marshall, Dorset, England over 5 years ago, I was unsure if it would last. Having moved to a new home 50 miles away I and now rarely able to attend so the session is now run by my good friends Peter and David, both fine musicians with a passion for Irish Folk music.

Attendance is still as strong as ever with a loyal core of regulars many of which have been supporting he session from the beginning, and a small but steady stream of new-comers and occassional visitors.

The format of the session remains much the same, although recently more enphasis has been placed on learning tunes, the tradional way, by ear.

That’ll be me (David) helping to run the session with Peter now. Feel free to come along and join in - we try to keep it as informal as we can and you’ll definitely make new friends.

Also check the website: for the tunes we learn by ear with videos.

Re: The Old School

The cost is now 3 pounds, which is purely to cover the cost of the hall and refreshments.