Category Archives: workshops

2019 Irish Cello Retreat

Once again I am running the Irish cello Retreat here in Ireland, in the beautiful East Cork. If you get a chance to come over in June, we will be having a wonderful relaxing and inspiring four days of cello bliss. I have a video of a few happy cellists and feel free to email me about and questions you have. I’m happy to phone/Skype to chat if that is preferred.

Irish Cello Retreat

 Are you ready to take the next step in your cello playing? I am pleased to announce registration is now open for my Irish Cello Retreat.

Treat yourself to a powerful and relaxing retreat with your cello. Through Irish music you will discover the way to bring true ease into your playing and at the same time develop your technique and expand your repertoire.

Give yourself a gift this year and come and enjoy beautiful days in a gorgeous seaside hotel in Ireland while exploring Irish music.

I am very excited about this event. I have been preparing six powerful workshops for you and I look forward to meeting you all. We have a great a place to work, delicious food, and some very special guests.



German trip and film release!

I got back from Germany this week, after a wonderful couple of concerts and a short cello workshop. The first concert was in the Fischereimuseum in Bergheim an der Sieg.

I started the evenings performance with a short version of my film ‘Living the Tradition’. This new version has be re edited by filmmaker Maarten Roos and we are very happy to announce that it is now available on Amazon Prime to rent or watch immediately if you are a subscriber. Also available to stream on my Play Cello Music Store. If you are very good, and want me to feel warm and fuzzy about you, you can even give a positive review of it and lots of stars!

After the film, I played some new pieces I wrote, and new fishing related ones I learned especially for the concert… I can now say cockles and mussels in German (Herzmuscheln und Meesmuscheln)… maybe you can  guess what I sang with the audiences help!

It was wonderful to have a tour through the history of the brotherhood of fishermen by Dirk Ortmann who is involved in running the museum. He also made everything run smoothly on the night, and took a cool photo afterwards at the lake on a steep incline!

The review sounds good as far as I can tell from my German. I did introduce every song in German, making myself learn and improve!

I also gave an improvisation and Irish music workshop to three cellists from the Bonn area. We had lots of fun and learning! Isabel Grautstuck organised the museum concert and workshop and did such a wonderful job. The concert was a huge success and sold out before the day of the concert. A huge thank you to her!!

Cellists Ilse, Bettina, Isabel, Louisa

Onward to Hanover via the wonderful Cologne cathedral and Philharmonic hall…

And Saturday morning after rehearsing with Jan Allain at our wonderful friends’ place near Hanover on Friday night, we zoomed over to Braunschweig in the Commando Jeep. Jan and I played together for many years, touring throughout all the German speaking countries, France, Australia and probably elsewhere, sometimes 12 tours a year, our first tour being 6 months. We made incredible friends along the way and had a crazy time. We last played at the same event, the Sommerloch CSD day festival in Braunschweig in the early days…1998! Wild to meet people from on the road that I hadn’t seen for years. Wild to see who performed on stage!

mad horn players!

I finished my short trip with a day of holiday at Petra and Andrea’s place. Swam, sat in the sun, laughed, basically a rare day of summer for me living in Ireland where summer only visits for an hour here or there.

Petra, Jan & Ilse

Thank you to all the people who made the trip possible, especially Isabel, Dirk, Maarten Roos, Jan Allain, Petra, Andrea and Andreas.

Please visit to see the new version my Irish music film ‘Living the Tradition’!

Cello Workshop in Germany

Great news, I will be running a cello workshop in Bonn, Germany in a few weeks and there are a few places still available, so let me know soon if you are interested in attending! We will learn beautiful Irish airs and get groovy with chopping and improvising. All levels of players; it doesn’t matter if you only played for 6 months or many years, there is something for everyone! It will be a lot of fun, a great opportunity to develop your playing in an enjoyable way and you get a chance to perform with me in the Monday night concert. If you are around in the area but not a cellist or not able to make the workshop, do come to the concert!

Here is the info, and a link to Sue Shlotte’s site, where you can book a place and find more information. Booking

Cello Unlimited!cellist-clipart-cello

19. – 21. September 2015 in Bonn

Workshop outline:

A focus on Irish music, blues and other scales, rock and roll rhythms, and cello chord voicings for accompaniment.


To give students a simple way of unlocking the mechanisms for playing the cello in popular musical styles.


By the end of the workshop, you will have a basic understanding on how to approach “nonclassical” styles of music and be inspired to play within a wider range of musical possibilities, through use of scales, chord “shapes”, rhythms, extended techniques, and improvisation.

Workshop Outline:

  1. Learn a slow Irish air and Irish traditional tunes by ear.
  2. Ornamentation and variations on Irish tunes.
  3. The blues scale and other scales
  4. Improvising with modal scales over drones
  5. Improvising with extended techniques
  6. The art of accompanying
  7. Using drones and rhythmic techniques for accompaniment
  8. Introduction to chopping
  9. Chord voicings
  10. Using the cycle of 5ths

All participants will go home with information notes and sheet music from the workshop.


Reverbnation Charts

Reverbnation Charts

Even if charts are not so important these days (especially as to reach the top you usually have to pay) I was happy to see I have reached No. 2 in the Folk charts for Cork on reverbnation! If everyone goes and has a quick listen there, I may even reach number 1!

I am working on new arrangements for trad Irish tunes and will put them up for sale on soon. I'm working towards putting out my next Celtic Cello CD.

After some requests I made a tutorial of College Groves, so incase anyone wants some extra help have a look… there were sync problems as it was a trial of another system which would be easier, but no it doesn't work. I will be doing a series of tutorials, in sync, and a little clearer… so feel free to give me any feedback on the pieces you'd like for this or comments etc.

I've put the original youtube clip of College Groves here too.

Sheet music available at



Cello Workshops

Had a lovely few days with Laura, a cellist from Germany who came for a private workshop. We did some intensive work on Irish Airs from my book, worked on accompanying trad. tunes, a bit of improv, some contemporary extended techniques and improvisation, and of course reels, a jig, a slip jig, a polka and even a song to add to her repertoire…

It's a great way to give your playing a boost and set yourself up with new music to work on and fresh inspiration! Workshops tailored to suit your needs.

Do contact me if you are interested in doing this.

A lovely Irish country setting, cello tuition, comfy bed and delicious meals provided, and a laugh!