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Welcome to Irish Music Stories! This is the LIBSYN Landing page for Irish Music Stories.

Irish Music Stories is the show about traditional music.... and the much bigger stories behind it. IMS is about everything--through an Irish music lens.

Whether you already play the fiddle or you know nothing about trad music or dance, I hope you'll join me, Shannon Heaton, as I learn how a band of Boston tweens ended up at a big music competition in Sligo, and what it meant to their families... and as I dig into the darker, sweeter side of Irish humor... and as I explore what learning Irish songs together is really all about.

Meet thoughtful and incredibly charming people in pubs, kitchens, and backstages throughout the U.S., Ireland, and beyond, underscored with toe-tapping and heart-soaring melodies that seem familiar, even if you've never heard them before.

Dec 8, 2020

Trailer for the December 2020 episode of Irish Music Stories.

Dec 8, 2020

What’s up with stage banter? And why all the joking around between tunes in a session? Explore the on- and offstage chat that surrounds traditional music with Máirtín de Cógáin, Paddy League, Joanie Madden, Rus Bradburd, Liz Carroll, and Jean-Michel Veillon. 

There’s also plenty of music in this episode. Full...

Nov 10, 2020

How do new traditional Irish and Scottish tunes come together? How do composers conjure melodies? Composers Liz Carroll, Dáithí Sproule, and Katie McNally share thoughts on creativity, the tune writing process, and the myths behind the music.

There’s also plenty of music in this episode. Full playlist below.

And for...

Oct 13, 2020

Learning just a few words in Gaelic is mannerly when visiting Ireland and Scotland. And it can be a way IN to cultural values and humor. Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Séamus Ó Flatharta, Ciarán Bolger, Michael Coult, Julie Fowlis, Mary Jane Lamond, and Brian Ó hAirt help me understand connections between language and...

Sep 8, 2020

There’s no definitive Irish or Scottish music method book. A lot of seasoned practitioners learned their music in kitchens and pubs. So how do they bring that immersive, social learning approach into the classroom? In this episode, June McCormack, Michael Rooney, Alasdair White, Caroline Keane, and Tom Delany share...