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Programs and Workshops


School and Library Programs
Around The World In 30 Instruments


Musical Instrument Descriptions/Teachers Guide


Hammered Dulcimer Workshops
Sitar Workshops
Tinwhistle Workshops


Introduction To The Bodhran
Singing In Gaelic


SCHOOL AND LIBRARY PROGRAMS:
Four Shillings Short, the husband-wife duo of Aodh Og O’Tuama, from Cork, Ireland and Christy Martin, from San Diego, California, have been touring in the United States and Ireland since 1997. Because of the vast array of musical instruments we play (30 + and growing) we have developed a program specifically for Schools and Libraries.

In our presentation we perform Traditional Music from Ireland, Scotland, England, Europe, the Americas and India on 30 different instruments from around the world, including hammered dulcimer, mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, Medieval and Renaissance woodwinds, recorders, tinwhistles, banjo, North Indian Sitar, bowed Psaltery, the Charango from Bolivia, Bodhran, Doumbek, Spoons and vocals in English, Gaelic, Spanish and Sanskrit.

Our school and library programs, which last from 40 – 90 minutes, are tailored to fit the audience. We have played auditoriums as well as smaller more intimate classroom settings. During the program we introduce each instrument, talk about its history and follow with a demonstration in the form of a song or instrumental piece. Our fee is totally negotiable. Our main objective is to give people, young and old, an opportunity to experience traditional folk and world music.

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AROUND THE WORLD IN 30 INSTRUMENTS:
Four Shillings Short, the husband-wife duo of Aodh Og O’Tuama, from Cork, Ireland and Christy Martin, from San Diego, California, have been touring in the United States and Ireland since 1997. Because of the vast array of musical instruments we play (30 + and growing) we have developed a program specifically to introduce this living museum of World Music.

In our presentation we perform Traditional music from Ireland, Scotland, England, Europe, the Americas and India on over 30 different instruments from around the world, including hammered dulcimer, mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, Medieval and Renaissance woodwinds, recorders, tinwhistles, banjo, North Indian Sitar, bowed Psaltery, the Charango from Bolivia, Bodhran, Doumbek, Spoons and vocals in English, Gaelic, Spanish and Sanskrit.

This program lasts 60 – 90 minutes and is tailored to fit the audience. We have played auditoriums as well as smaller more intimate settings. During the program we introduce each instrument, talk about its history and follow with a demonstration in the form of a song or instrumental piece. Our fee is totally negotiable. Our main objective is to give people, young and old, an opportunity to experience traditional folk and world music.

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HAMMERED DULCIMER WORKSHOPS:

1) INTRODUCTION TO THE HAMMERED DULCIMER
This workshop covers the layout of the Hammered Dulcimer and demonstrates playing of traditional folk music, use of chordal patterns and singing with the dulcimer. Included are tips about purchasing a dulcimer.

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2) CHORDING ON THE HAMMERED DULCIMER
This workshop is for all levels of performers and covers the use of chordal patterns to accompany and enhance performance. Handouts on chords, chord structure and chordal patterns on the dulcimer are included.

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3) PLAYING IRISH MUSIC ON THE HAMMERED DULCIMER
This workshop is for all levels of performers and teaches a jig, reel, hornpipe and a slow Air along with hammering patterns and chordal accompaniment. Handouts of music and Arrangements are included.

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SITAR WORKSHOPS:

An Introduction to the 'King of North Indian Instruments'

History
The “Sahtar” (sah = three / tar = string), dates back at least 700 years. Originating in ancient Persia, the instrument is said to have been invented by Amir Khusro. With the Persian invasions of India came the meeting of the arts and musics of the two cultures. By the 14th Century the innovation of combining the Sahtar with the Veena, the ancient Vedic instrument, took hold. This “Sitar” was a new and strange instrument which did not catch the musican’s fancy immediately. Over the next 400 years the Sitar underwent further refinements, with the addition of more strings and a bridge of sympathetic resonating strings. By the late 18th Century, there came a blossoming of the instrument under the masterful hands of Ustad Imdad Khan and Allauddin Khan of Maihar.

Ustad Allauddin Khan is the famous teacher of Sarod maestro Ali Akbar Khan (his son). He is also the teacher of Ravi Shankar, the famed Sitarist who taught George Harrison (of the Beatles) the instrument. Other famous Sitar masters are Ustaad Vilayat Khan and Nikhil Bannerji.

Our workshop covers the following topics:
Construction of the Sitar
Strings, Gauges and the Replacement of Strings
Care of the Sitar
Holding the Sitar / Yoga
Tuning of the Sitar / Listen for the Microtone
Sargam and Raga Notation
Raga Demonstration
Questions and Answers

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TINWHISTLE WORKSHOPS:

This workshop is for the beginner and novice and covers the following topics:
The Purchase of a Tinwhistle
How to Hold a Tinwhistle
Technique and Grace Notes and Ornaments
Simple Jigs, Reels and Hornpipes are Taught with Handouts

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INTRODUCTION TO THE BODHRAN:

This workshop is for the beginner and novice and covers the following topics:
Purchase of a Bodhran
Care of the Bodhran
How to Hold a Bodhran
How to Hold the Tipper
Basic Technique
Basic Rhythms Used for a Jig, Reel and Hornpipe.
(NO BODHRAN IS REQUIRED)

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SINGING IN GAELIC:

With the popularity of the Irish Language growing we have created a workshop that we have taught to people studying Irish and at Celtic and Folk music festivals. The workshop lasts one hour and has a number of handouts.

The workshop begins with a brief overview of the Irish language including:
Pronunciation of the basic sounds
Understanding vowel and consonant combinations
Speaking familiar words and phrases

Following this we teach several traditional songs including:
Baidin Fheelimi, A Stor, A Stor, A Ghra, An Paistin FIonn, Beidh Aonach Amarach

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