Our Tutors

Kirsten Allstaff

Kirsten Allstaff is one of the founders and directors of The Online Academy of Irish Music. She is an acclaimed flute and tin- whistle player and has played music throughout Ireland, Europe, North America and Asia with various Irish dance shows and groups; Gaelforce Dance, Celtic Legends, Rhythm of the Dance, The Fiddlecase and Clare based band Los Paddys De Los Pampas. In 2014, Kirsten released her solo album ‘Gallowglass’.  With master instrumentalists John Joe Kelly on Bodhrán and Eoin O’Neill on Bouzouki amongst many others.  This album is a blend of traditional tunes from her two homelands of Ireland and Scotland.   Originally from Scotland, Kirsten began playing music at an early age.  Her father, a singer who also played the [.. Read More]

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Kevin Crawford

Born in Birmingham, England to parents from Miltown Malbay, Co Clare, Kevin Crawford’s early life was sound-tracked by the resonance of the lively traditional music scene in the midlands city. Moving to Co. Clare in 1989, he soon became a pivotal member of the effervescent session trail in the Banner county before enhancing his burgeoning reputation in the group Grianán and the trio Raise the Rafters. He then propelled himself to international recognition with Moving Cloud, with whom he recorded Moving Cloud in 1995 and Foxglove in 1998. Kevin joined Lúnasa in January 1997 for a tour of Australia and has been ever-present in the group since. To date, the instrumental quintet have eight albums to their credit while Kevin has [.. Read More]

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Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh

TG4, Gradam Ceoil 2011 winner ,Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, grew up immersed in the vibrant West-Kerry tradition with its wild dance music, soulful slow airs and many beautiful songs. Her father, a fiddler, would bring her to music sessions from a young age. There she began to play music on the flute and tin-whistle and to sing sean-nós songs, learning from wonderful local singers. She also attended Siamsa Tíre, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, for several years. She was awarded an M.A. in Traditional Music Performance from the University of Limerick in 2002. She currently tutors both flute and singing in the University. Muireann toured and performed with various musicians and groups before joining the group Danú in 2003. In 2004 [.. Read More]

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Derek Hickey

Derek Hickey hails from Adare, Co. Limerick. He started playing accordion at a young age. By the age of 18 he joined the band Arcady and then at 21 was invited by Frankie Gavin to join De Dannan. He recorded two albums with the band during the time he spent with them. Derek Hickey is a regular tutor at The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University Limerick. In his rich and varied performing experiences, he has shared the stage with some of worlds greatest talents including Stephan Grappelli and The Rolling Stone. [.. Read More]

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Niamh Dunne

Niamh Dunne is a highly accomplished singer, fiddler and composer from Co. Limerick, and has just released her debut solo song album, “Portraits”. With master guitar player and producer Sean Og Graham, Niamh’s first song album is a mix of traditional songs and folk material with an emphasis on her home town of Limerick. She has been a member with the world renowned band Beoga for the last 7 years with whom she has toured extensively and recorded 3 CDs, including the Grammy short listed “The Incident” in 2009 and the Irish Echoes number 1 album of 2011, “how to tune a fish”. The Wall Street Journal describes them as “the most exciting new traditional band to emerge from Ireland this [.. Read More]

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Edel Fox

Edel Fox is a concertina player from Miltown Malbay Co. Clare. She began playing at the age of 7 and was fortunate to be brought up in an area and environment where traditional music was in abundance. Edel learnt much of her music from concertina players Noel Hill, Dymphna O’Sullivan, Tim Collins and Tony O’Connell as well as local musicians such as Pete Haugh, Michael Mahoney and Peadar Crotty. Over the years, Edel’s playing has been hugely influenced by the music and recordings of Willie Clancy, Bobby Casey, Junior Crehan and Mrs. Crotty, to name but a few. Edel spent much of her teenage years playing with, and learning from Jackie Daly, who she cites as one of her influences. [.. Read More]

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Tola Custy

Tola Custy comes from Toonagh in County Clare. His father, Frank was the local primary school teacher and also inspired many people to play traditional music. Names such as James Cullinane, Siobhan Peoples Sharon Shannon, as well as Tola himself all owe their musical beginnings to him. Thus music has been a friend to Tola since he was able to walk. Tola first cut his teeth by making the album “ Setting Free” with bouzouki player Cyril O'Donoghue in 1993. He then teamed up with the Moynihan Family from County Cork and , along with bouzouki player Pat Marsh, formed the group “Calico”. Next came a live recording with “ The Bowhouse Quintet”. A musical partnership with Piano accordion player Mirella [.. Read More]

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Jim Higgins

Jim hails from Renmore in Galway. Born into a musical family, he went on to study music in University College Cork under Micheal O Suilleabhain amongst others. While in Cork, Jim caught ‘the bodhran bug’, playing alongside players such as Mel Mercier, Colm Murphy and Frank Torpey. During this period Jim was an active member of ‘The Stunning’ rock band playing trumpet and keyboards as well as percussion. He went on to play drums with fellow Galwegians ‘The Sawdoctors’ following a four year stint with ‘The Riverdance Show’ which took him around the world. He is an honorary member of the Donegal based traditional group ‘Altan’ having recorded and toured extensively with them for the last fifteen years from the [.. Read More]

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Steph Geremia

Bringing a sweet, soulful yet energetic air to her music, Steph is a vibrant and versatile musician who officially debuted on the scene in 2009 with the release of her critically acclaimed album, The Open Road. Described by Irish Music Magazine as “one of the most promising young flute players around” and “an unexpected treasure”, The Open Road was also named as one of Folk Worlds ‘top ten trad albums of 2009’. Taking inspiration from the Irish greats, such as Matt Molloy, she has also delved deep into other world music traditions giving her music a fresh perspective with depth and maturity. Steph performs and tours regularly as part of the Alan Kelly Gang. Over the last number of years, she [.. Read More]

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Mirella Murray

Mirella Murray currently plays with 'Cherish the Ladies'. She grew up in Claddaghduff, near Clifden, on the north west coast of Connemara. Her father John Joe, a notable sean nós dancer, comes from Inishark Island and has a deep understanding of, and love for, traditional music. Mirella learnt the piano accordion from Mary Finn, herself a great player from the musical Finn family of Ballymote, Co. Sligo. She met up with fiddler Liz Kane from Letterfrack, and they played and learned a lot of their music together going through the Fleadh Cheoil competitions. They won the All-Ireland duet in 1995, while Mirella gained the title on the piano accordion that same year. The pair performed together for years and toured [.. Read More]

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Niall Keegan

Dr Niall Keegan was born in the south east of England and began playing Irish traditional flute at an early age amongst the community of first and second generation musicians in and around London. In 1990 Niall began studying under Dr. Mícheál Ó’ Súilleabháin for a Masters degree which he completed in 1992 with the submission of a thesis entitled The Words of Traditional Flute Style. He is course director of the new Traditional Irish Music performance masters at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick and also teaches on the ethno-musicology program there. He has given occasional lectures and taught instrumental classes at the Music Dept. of University College, Cork and University College, Galway, Sibelius [.. Read More]

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Aidan O'Donnell

TG4 Young Musician of the Year 2010 Aidan O'Donnell has been described as one of the finest young Irish musicians at present. He began his music making at the age of 12, and since then has performed with some of traditional music's finest artists, including Donal Lunny, Micheal Ó'Suilleabháin and the Chieftains. In 2007, he won the prestigious ‘Oireachtas na Geailge' fiddle title, and has been a regular tutor at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, at the University of Limerick for the past number of years. He released his critically acclaimed debut album in 2006, with Mayo flute player Kieran Munnelly, called ‘In Safe Hands', which has been described as ‘a salute to the players who have gone [.. Read More]

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Cillian Ó’Dálaigh

Cillian currently plays with Irish band, 'The Outside Track'. Born In Hamburg Germany, to a German mother and an Irish father, Cillian O’Dálaigh has been surrounded by Irish music from day one. Cillian’s father played with Irish band, Cromlach and Cillian learned from him – and learned well. The family moved to Ireland when Cillian was 8 years of age and Irish music quickly became a major part of their family life when they formed the family band, Trazz, including all the O’Dálaigh brothers, one sister and their father. Performing on stage with Trazz since he was fourteen, Cillian has toured extensively in Ireland, Germany, France and the UK as both a guitarist and flute player. Cillian has recently graduated [.. Read More]

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Ernestine Healy

Ernestine hails from County Mayo. A qualified secondary school teacher, she has also worked as a lecturer in the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, in the University of Limerick. Having occupied the position of Acting Course Director on the Graduate Diploma in Music Education postgrad programme during 2008/09, she then went onto lecture on the BA in Irish Music and Dance undergraduate programme in 2009. Ernestine has also worked as a tutor in the Music Department in University College Cork. Ernestine is an internationally recognized concertina player, as well as a tutor and producer on the Irish musical scene. She has been engaged for events such as the Milwaukee Irish Music Festivalլ workshops in France, Scoil Eigse as [.. Read More]

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Mikie Smyth

Mikie Smyth began playing the pipes at the age of nine. His first teachers were Colm De Brun and Andy Conroy in the Pipers Club in Henrietta Street Dublin. As a teacher Mikie has worked for many piping organizations and traditional summer schools, including the Willie Clancy and Joe Mooney summer schools. He is currently the pipes tutor at the IWAMD in the University of Limerick where he teaches on both the BA and MA˰programmes. Mikie has performed both as a soloist and with shows (Riverdance and Ragus) in over 5 countries. Mikie has recorded a solo album The Wild Keys֊and has also recorded with Donalˌ Lunny, Maurice Lennon, and Sean Keane to mention a few. [.. Read More]

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Majella Bartley

All Ireland champion flute player, Majella Bartley, hails from Corcaghan in Co. Monaghan. She is a respected flute and fiddle teacher, tutoring at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance as well as at national and international summer schools and workshops such as Scoil Eigse, Fiddle Festival of Wales, Kilkenny Celtic Festival and the British and North American Convention of Comhaltas. She holds the TTCT traditional music teaching diploma awarded by Comhaltas and is now a tutor and lecturer on this course. She is also a qualified adjudicator and has adjudicated many competitions including the all-Ireland fleadh. She has toured with Comhaltas in Britain and Ireland in 1995 and 1997 respectively and has traveled America, Germany, France, Cyprus, Finland [.. Read More]

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Thomas Johnston

Musician, educator, researcher Thomas’ work lies in those spaces between Irish traditional music, music education practice and policy, community music, ethnomusicology, and performing arts for children and young audiences.   His PhD (funded by the Irish Research Council at the University of Limerick, 2013) entitled ‘The Bloom of Youth’ was an investigation into the place of Irish traditional music in post-primary music education in Ireland.  Ultimately, it developed a model of ‘educative experience’ which can support post-primary music teachers and students in creating meaningful experiences of traditional music in this context.  In 2015, Thomas completed a two-year Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship with Music Generation (Ireland’s national Music Education Programme) in partnership with St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra.  The report entitled ‘Possible Selves in [.. Read More]

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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. [.. Read More]

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Billy Mag Fhlionn

Billy Mag Fhloinn was born and raised in a musical family in Limerick City. He began playing traditional music in 1996, beginning on the bodhrán. He then progressed onto the bouzouki, after a chance find of an old Greek model in a music shop in Limerick. He learned much of his playing from musicians Mick Broderick and Tony Davoren when living in Dublin, and gained great experience playing the wild dance music of west Kerry when living on the DIngle Peninsula. He has recorded on several albums as an accompanist, and has shared the stage with a variety of performers, including Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Gerry O'Beirne, Éamon Doorley, Donal Clancy and Ross Martin. When not playing music, [.. Read More]

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Stephen Markham

Stephen Markham is a pianist from Ennis, Co. Clare. He began learning the piano at the age of 8 and quickly completed his classical music training with the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Already a button accordion player and céilí-band drummer, he became influenced by Irish traditional music and the distinctive piano accompaniment of Cape Breton music. He attributes his love for Irish music to his mother, a piano and tin-whistle player whose family hails from Kilfenora, Co. Clare, an area renowned for it’s musical heritage. Stephen has won All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil titles in ceili band drumming and piano accompaniment at both u18 and senior level and has considerable experience in Fleadh Cheoil adjudication, private tuition and university tuition at the University of Limerick and Maynooth [.. Read More]

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Jon O'Connell

Jon O’Connell is a musician who has been active on the Irish music scene for close to fifteen years. From Miltown Malbay, Co.Clare, Jon is still based in this area, where the traditions of Irish music are strong and music sessions are commonplace. Jon’s first insrument is Double Bass. After two years learning about Sound Engineering at the University of Wales, Jon attended Newpark School of Music in Dublin, studying contemporary music and theory. Along with Double Bass, Jon also plays Guitar, Mandola, Mandolin and Banjo and is involved with traditional music groups in Clare, including The Ceili Bandits and The Fiddle Case. Playing and singing with these groups, Jon has performed all over the country, including support slots with Stockton’s Wing [.. Read More]

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Brian Fleming

Brian Fleming plays percussion from around the world, specialising in the traditional Irish percussion instruments the bodhrán and bones and West African percussion. He has recorded on some 30 albums, produced 3, played on several soundtracks for film and tv. He has played with many of the best known innovators in Irish music and dance, including Davy Spillane, Emer Mayock (Afro Celts), Anuna, Michael Flatley, Cormac Breathnach, De jimbe and Kila. He has taught bodhrán and percussion in schools, music schools, universities and festivals all over Ireland, including UCD, UCC, TCD and Waltons School of Music and abroad, in the US, Singapore and Cuba. He has also played in every country in Western Europe, and Scandinavia, in Lithuania, Slovakia, [.. Read More]

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MJ McMahon

Mj McMahon was born and raised in East Co. Clare. From an early age he played percussion and bódhran and later in his teenage years, developed an interest for the guitar. In 2001 Mj moved to Limerick where he studied traditional Irish music at University Limerick. Here, he learnt under the tutelage of guitar masters Steve Cooney, Ian Carr, Chris Kelly, amongst many others. Since completing his Masters ten years ago, MJ has toured Europe extensively with the Irish dance shows 'Celtic Legends' , 'Mystical Dance of Ireland' . He also regularly plays in the American production 'Emerald Beat' based in Bush Gardens, Florida. When MJ is at home in Maynooth, he teaches bódhran and guitar and enjoys learning the [.. Read More]

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Paddy Cummins

Paddy Cummins was born and reared in Drimnagh, Dublin and began experimenting with music at nine years of age. His first instrument of choice was the mandolin, as played by his father, then the guitar before eventually being saddled with a banjo aged fourteen. Paddy attended some brief tuition a Comhaltas branches in Monkstown but is largely self-taught and spent his teenage years completely dedicated to his music practice. After finishing in secondary school, Paddy enrolled at University of Limerick's BA in Irish Music & Dance and was mentored by John Carty. He also received masterclass tuition from established players such as Enda Scahill, Kieran Hanrahan, Cathal Hayden, Angelina Carberry and Brian McGrath. Paddy graduated from the course with a first [.. Read More]

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Dáire Mulhern

All-Ireland champion accordionist Dáire Mulhern, from Ennis, Co. Clare, is a musician of high calibre who has toured both Europe and America extensively with Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann and other traditional Irish dance shows and bands. He has recently completed his degree in music at Limerick Institute of Technology where he specialised in composition and music technology; Recently he has had a composition of his recorded by leading Irish band 'Beoga' on their album 'The Incident' . He is also a respected teacher in the Munster region of Ireland whose students frequently attain All-Ireland titles at the annual Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. [.. Read More]

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Jean Damei

Jean Damei was born on 7th March 1989 in Grenoble, France and started to play the guitar at the age of 16. After meeting a number of Irish musicians touring and teaching music in the Alps he discovered a passion for this music. At the age of 18, he left Ardeche, his childhood home, to study guitar and flute on the Irish Music & Dance degree course at the University of Limerick. On his return to France, to Lyon in 2011, he decided to explore jazz and funk. He has found much inspiration from these two musical universes, allowing him to accompany Irish melodies in a rich and varied way, and to work with new angles and approaches to the [.. Read More]

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Liam O'Brien

2017 TG4 young musician of the year Liam O'Brien is from Miltown Malbay. He was brought up in a very musical family. After starting on the tin whistle he later went on to take up the concertina and attended classes with Noel Hill for many years. Liam then went on to study Irish Music & Dance in UL. Liam has travelled the world playing & teaching. He has been all across Europe, Africa and spent the summer of 2012 touring Japan. Liam has also been teaching concertina & banjo as part of the Brid O’Donohue School of Music for the last eight years where his popularity grows and grows. [.. Read More]

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Gwenn Frin

Gwenn Frin is a flute/tin whistle player. Originally from Brittany, France, Gwenn fell in love with the Irish wooden flute at an early age and the flute has forever since been the thread of her life bringing her to many countries and adventures all over the world. She first performed with the ‘Cercle Celtique de Rennes’ where she was introduced to the traditional dances of Brittany before playing for the dancers themselves.  Her true professional debut were with the band Beaj Iskis in the early 1990s, which toured the ‘Fest Noz’ scene in Brittany for four years. Gwenn moved to Galway, Ireland in 1998 drawn to the roots of her passion. She lived of busking for a few months before [.. Read More]

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Misc Tutors

OAIM VR Session has multiple tutors. Play along with Tola Custy (Fiddle), Kirsten Allstaff (Flute), Neil Fitzgibbon (Fiddle) , Ger Chambers (Accordion), MJ McMahon (Guitar) & Lisa Canny (Banjo/Harp) [.. Read More]

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