Summer Bodhran Courses 2010 – Gaelic College

by MichelleStewart on February 10, 2010

dsc01339 I’m really excited to be heading back home to Cape Breton this summer for five weeks of teaching bodhran at the Gaelic College. It’s ideal for me as my Mum only lives ten minutes over the mountain. My five year old son also gets to spend summer with Nanny and his huge Cape Breton family (I have 42 first cousins . . . not many by Cape Breton standards).

I am only doing five weeks at the Gaelic College this summer as my son, Cameron, starts his second year of Primary in August. I’ll be teaching bodhran from July 5th – August 13th, 2010. Classes run Monday to Friday, but you can also see me perform in concert, along with all the other world class instructors, every Wednesday night through the summer in the Great Hall Of The Clans. Visit the Gaelic College home page or go directly to their Summer School page

Many people who come to the Gaelic College for summer courses make a family holiday of it. Cape Breton is absolutely amazing in the summer. I may be biased, but feel free to check it out for yourself at Destination Cape Breton or Nova Scotia’s Official Tourism Site


Courses offered include: Bagpipes, Bodhran, Weaving, Gaelic Language and Song, Pipe Band Drumming, Cape Breton Fiddle, Cape Breton Stepdancing, Celtic Harp, Highland Dance, Piano Accompaniment and Scottish Small Pipes. Some weeks are just for youths, some for youths and adults combined (great for families) and some just for adults.

Whether you are a beginner or advanced player the bodhran classes cater to all levels. You can take bodhran as an elective or a major. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own drum as I always have extras on hand. I can give you advice about purchasing a drum and you will have a better idea of what you’re looking for after trying different makes.

I’ll be sharing my techniques for playing with dynamic control, loads of new rhythms, changing tones, bodhran etiquette and the art of performance. I will also show many different playing styles and follow the bodhran through its history. I will give you insight on how you can continue to teach yourself after the course.

dsc01053This is a high energy class that will leave a permanent smile on your face. Check out some bodhran class photos from previous years at my Facebook page Feel free to join me there and on my other sites like Twitter and Youtube. I have to admit that I’m a bit slow to reply to comments as I have been completely overwhelmed with amazing feedback from all of you, but please keep the comments and questions coming. I really do appreciate it and it inspires me to share everything I know about bodhran with you.

Email me if you have any questons.and I hope to see you in the summer.

Michelle Stewart

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael Lezuo March 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Hello Michele!
My name is Michael, I’m a 20 year old italian guy and I must say that I’m a musican with heart and soul! I play the violin and the clarinett, but now that I moved here to England (Bournemouth) for my studies I felt a bit sad, because I couldn’t bring any of my instruments with me… ='(
I had also to stop all my other things like singing on Open Airs, playing in bands and teaching young kids how to play the flute. But as destiny plays, I heared a few weeks ago a song of “The corrs” and there one of the girls did an amazing solo on the bodhran. I wasn’t keen on looking it directly up on the internet, how this drum was called and so I forgot it. 2 days ago I began to sort out all my musicclips and a literally fell over this song again. Totally inspired by that I began to look everywhere to find out more about that instrument and therefore I found you on youtube. This week I’ll start to play the Bodhran (with the help of your youtube clips). Today I started practicing on my thick College book…. (I think that’s a much better use…) Hihihihihihi.. =P
Today a friend called me and told me that a friend of him is selling his old Bodhran and therefore I’ll go to Bristol on Friday to get it and then I’ll start it! JUHU!!! =)
I hope you’ll put much more clips under youtube, so that I’ve got alway something to play. Hopefully when you reply, than I have your mail and I’ll inform you about every success that I make. =)
Thank you a lot and hope to hear from you soon.
P.s.: As soon as I’ve got your mail I’ll send you a piture of me an my new Bodhran.

Cheers and keep going like this!


Terry Flanagan May 26, 2010 at 4:40 pm

LOved the awards ceremony for 2009. Wish I could be there, but unfortunately or I quess fortuantely I’m still a working guy.Please keep the help coming for Us Bodhran orphans.

Andy Jones June 17, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Hi, this will be short, so how much do these Summer courses cost? ie one week…

Kerry Flynn July 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Hi Michelle.

Would love to attend some classes as a day student as I did last year. Having been practicing, improving and having fun with it! Finding the college course descriptions a bit confusing.Am going to Newfoundland for cousin’s wedding late July. Do you have any suggestions as to a good time frame to take in a few bodhran classes – challenging-ish – level in August?

Thanks and hope to see you !


Caroline February 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Wow! thought I’d throw in a human remark! I think there’s a way around auto-botting, which this looks like, don’t know if you can on your website but you put in a ‘human recogniser’ where you have to type in certain letters to confirm that you are indeed a person (computers can’t fill that in automatically).

Anyway, love your video’s here ánd on youtube and I have picked up the bodhran after having given up at first. You’ve rekindled my love for the instrument, thank you so much for that!

Down down up up down. Djeez not the easiest one that!

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