DeCice Hall

1365 Northampton St, Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA

Thirteen comments

Lower Valley Beginner Irish Session

LVBIS is a slow, tune-learning session for beginners and intermediates. Each week we learn 2-3 tunes, perhaps get some historical context, tips about playing at “real” sessions, and then still have time to play a few sets! Jigs, reels, polkas, slides, slipjigs are all tune-types we’ve learned so far.

We are not a session for accompanists–melody instruments only please. If you bring a guitar, you’ll be expected to play the tune, not chords. Same for ’zuke and mando.

WHERE–please contact Mark (fearfeasog) using the contact form at the web address above to contact me for directions. The location is a bit in flux at the moment (July 2013), but will remain in Holyoke until further notice.

WHEN–every other Wednesday at 7:00 pm. Please see the calendar tab at the web address above for details.

OUR MISSION is “To promote and foster the Irish musical tradition through teaching and supporting beginner and intermediate level players of instruments generally accepted in the Irish traditional paradigm, and to provide a session-like environment in which they can hone their skills.”

DONATION–We are asking each student to give a $5.00 suggested donation at each session. If you can’t afford it, please don’t let that stop you from coming! COME ANYWAY! We know you’ll give what you can, when you can. This money will go directly to the anchors (teachers), for all their hard work. They are providing an invaluable service and without them this would not be possible, please, let’s make it worth their while!


SINGING–although some pub sessions DO include some singing, that isn’t the emphasis of this endeavor.

JAMMING–there are specific tunes that we are trying to learn (we’ll only learn a very few out of the thousands that exist!) that are played in a very specific way. Jamming doesn’t have a place.

CERTAIN INSTRUMENTS ARE NOT ALLOWED–(doumbek, bongos, shakers, zithers, tambourines, ouds, sitars, bass guitar, anything electric, upright bass, autoharp, trumpet, sax, other “band” instruments, kazoo, vuvuzela, drum set, conga, cajon, cuica, finger cymbals, those little wooden frogs with the ribs on their backs, ocarina, djembe, thumb piano, car horns, clown noses, etc…)


The current address of this session is 420 Dwight St, Holyoke, MA 01040. If that changes, I will let folks know via facebook, email and the website. facebook group is “Lower Valley Beginner Irish Session.” You may contact me using the form on the website (link above) and ask to be added to the email list.

Please remember that there are no accompaniment instruments allowed at this time, including bodhran, guitar, or any other instrument played for the sole purpose of accompaniment. Mando, harp, bouzouki, all welcome IF you are playing the melody.

Too cold–had to move…again!

We’re still on every other wednesday, but please do email me first before attempting to come because we are no longer at 420 Dwight–the space was not really heated, and N.E. is coooold.

Please visit our website and use the contact form there to contact me if you have any questions.


Re: Calling all ITMusicians (in the Pioneer Valley of Western Mass)

I’m sure I’ll meet many of them at the next Fiddle Hell in MA!

this Session has a loverly new home

The LVBIS is now located at 1365 Northampton St. in Holyoke, MA, 01040. days/hours have not changed. We have lots of space, amazing “landlords”, and amenities such as free soda, coffee, tea, restrooms, sound system, etc. Plans are in the works to hold some sort of workshop/s in the not too distant future. We’re very excited.

Stay tuned for workshops!

Since we have a brilliant, multi-media equipped space, I intend to organize workshops! I have mentioned this in the past, but I am actually taking steps to make it happen. What exactly those workshops will be is being worked out. Maybe a shop focusing on a particular tune type, maybe a shop about rhythm, or what have you. Something general to start with, though I imagine there’ll be some instrument specific shops in the future (most of our members are fiddlers!)

So stay tuned to for updates!


Still in it.

Hey all, haven’t been around this site of late, but here’s a friendly reminder that if you’re looking for a relaxed, tune learning slow session, LVBIS is still on, every other Wednesday at 7. Not every session is a tune learning one, actually–trying to give a few people a chance to catch up, but we do play plenty of popular tunes, and have created some sets that we play every session–

So now you know which tunes to learn first! 🙂

Hope to see you there!


Re: Lower Valley Irish Slow Session

The Lower Valley Beginner Irish Session, is now the Lower Valley Irish Slow Session! Shiny new name–SAME GREAT TASTE!

People were thinking they might get music lessons, so, yeah–the change. 🙂

Hope you can check us out!


Re: Lower Valley Irish Slow Session

Just checking in to let you know there are lots more great tunes available for download on the site at All are free to download, free to play, slow and faster versions available and sometimes the occasional alternate version. Please also read the blog and comment, check out the links and resources page, and send me a message to let me know you were there!



Re: DeCice Hall

NOW every First and Third Wednesday, 6:30-8:30.