Lisa Canny

Lisa is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and composer from Co. Mayo. At five years of age Lisa began learning tenor banjo and at ten she starting on the harp, attending classes with Bernie and Holly Geraghty, meanwhile completing her academic grades on the piano too. Heavily involved with CCÉ Ballindine, Lisa won 7 All-Ireland Fleadh Ceoil titles throughout her competing years, including the Senior Harp title in 2008. Now a teacher herself, 9 of Lisa’s own students have gone on to win All-Ireland medals. After graduating with a first class honours degree in Irish Music and Dance at University of Limerick in 2010, Lisa went on to achieve a first class honours Masters degree in Ethnomusicology at University College Cork. Her MA Thesis “Contemporary Tune Composition in Irish Traditional Music” looked at the practice of composition within the traditional music community from the 1960’s onwards, accompanied by a portfolio of Lisa’s own compositions; transcribed, recorded, performed, and analysed. Retaining a love for academia, Lisa plans to return to university in the future to pursue a PhD.

At the moment, Lisa’s time is spent between touring internationally and the West of Ireland, where she continues to teach and perform. She has toured the States and Canada extensively over the last five years with Celtic Crossroads as lead vocalist, harpist, and banjo player, appearing on their latest PBS special DVD and CD. Lisa has also toured Ireland, the UK, Germany, France, and Russia with groups or shows including Celtic Spree, Irish Legends, Rhythms of Ireland, Fuaim Chonamara, and Fuinnimh, and has performed live in front of over 50,000 people at the Interceltique Festival in Lorient for two consecutive years.

In the summer of 2012, Lisa went to ASCAP’s songwriting retreat in France. She was invited by Miles Copeland (former manager of The Police) after he saw her perform in the States. During her time in France Lisa worked with some of the biggest artists, songwriters, and producers in the business including Priscilla Renea (Rihanna, Madonna, Selena Gomez, Cheryl Cole), Jodi Marr (Mika, Paloma Faith, Ricky Martin), Hillary Lindsey (Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw), Julian Emery (McFly, Lissie), and Claudia Brant (Barbara Streisand, Josh Groban, Michael Bublé) to name but a few.

Lisa is currently working on her debut solo album, travelling to co-writing sessions in Miami, New York, and L.A., as well as writing here on Irish soil. She will begin recording in Miami June 2013. Having interest in a wide range of musical genres, Lisa’s musical inspirations include Catriona McKay, Michael Rooney, Gerry O’Connor, Sean O’Riada, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Elizabeth Cronin, Sinead O’Connor, Enya, Sam Lee, Kate Bush, Laura Mvula, Laura Marling and Bat for Lashes.

Most recently in June 2015, Lisa has released her debut single, Lifeline, which made it to top 10 in the Irish charts.    As well as gigging with her own band, Lisa has been singing and playing throughout America with the The Young Irelanders.


Courses Lisa Canny Teaches:

Harp Technique

In this course Lisa teachers twelve tunes specifically chosen to help improve and master different techniques on the harp. She examines and demonstrates fundamental techniques such as placing, fingering and hand position through to more complex ones such as ornamentation, variation and the dampening of the strings. Jigs, Reels, Waltz, Slip Jigs. Barndances, Flings, Polkas and an Air are all included, covering a wide spectrum of tune types that are appropriate to various levels of playing and that cover a wide variety of techniques. In each class Lisa will typically teach the tune phrase by phrase, the right hand on [.. Read More]

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Harp Basics

In this course Lisa Canny clearly guides the novice harp player through the basics of the instrument.  The first six lessons focus on the basics; how to tune the harp, using the blades, correct finger positioning and scales, and a couple of simple tunes. When the learner is comfortable with the basics they can progress to lessons 7 - 18 where Lisa teaches six harp classics including Brian Boru’s March, My Lagan Love, Planxty Irwin’s,  The Mother and Child Reel, The Little Diamond Polka, and The Rocky Road to Dublin. The right hand melody is taught separately to the left [.. Read More]

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Banjo Basics

This course, taught by Lisa Canny is aimed at the absolute beginner tenor banjo player.  It begins with a series of four free lessons, then progresses through to the thirteen main subscription lessons.  How to hold the instrument and plectrum, how to tune the strings, proper hand and finger posture are all important fundaments that will be addressed in the early lessons.  There is a progressive study of scales, and ornamentation throughout the course.  Trebles, triplets and the use of double stops will feature, particularly in the later lessons.  The tunes that Lisa teaches are all popular session tunes which [.. Read More]

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