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Sat, Mar 13


Wherever the acoustics are best!

Celtic Music School - Irish Song Workshop with Karen MacLeod

Sing like no one can hear you in this Irish song workshop!

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Celtic Music School - Irish Song Workshop with Karen MacLeod
Celtic Music School - Irish Song Workshop with Karen MacLeod

Time & Location

Mar 13, 2021, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. EST

Wherever the acoustics are best!


About the event

In the 2021 IRL Festival Irish Song workshop, we will fully embrace technology to learn two songs of the Irish Immigrant experience in Canada, through stories of Irish Famine emigrants’ arrival in Canada at Grosse Ile, PQ.  It’s likely that one of the two songs will be in Irish or French so between learning music and a foreign language your brain will get a good workout! Karen breaks down the components of new songs in ways that are learner-friendly and do not require formal musical training or previous experience. Lyric sheets and videos of the songs will be provided, but do not have to be learned before the workshop. 

The melodies are learned “by ear”.  We will also discuss different styles of Irish song, and how to craft your own version to make it personal and more enjoyable to sing. 

Using the Zoom platform means while we sing that you will be hearing only Karen’s voice and your voice (and others that are in the room with you).  While we won’t have the pleasure of hearing our complete group sound, the upside is it won’t matter if you are shy about your voice!  We will have breaks to ask questions, make comments, etc. throughout the workshop.  Good craic will very much be enjoyed together, from our own homes!

*Please note that confirmation of payment may take 2-3 business days.


Karen MacLeod

Karen MacLeod has been playing and singing at traditional music sessions since 2005 and has been teaching song workshops for the Irish Real Life (IRL) Festival since its inception in 2017. She taught “Irish and Scottish Traditional Song” for Riverside Celtic College for ten years, and teaches similar workshops for McDougall Cottage in Cambridge, and the Spring Rain Open Platform Feis in Fergus.

She studied Gadhlig language and song through the School of Celtic Studies (University of Toronto), and guitar with Tony McManus. She has won singing awards at both Irish and Scottish events.  Inspired by the Carmina Gadelica (prayers and incantations from the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland) Karen formed the duo “Gaedelica” with flautist Jason Pfeiffer in 2010. Some of their work together can be heard on her independently released cd, “Charmed”.  She has also performed traditional music with flautist Laurel Swinden, multi-instrumentalist Saskia Tomkins, and singer/harpist Ruth Sutherland.  In 2017 she collaborated with Irish-Canadian playwright Ciaran Myers researching Irish immigrant experiences at Grosse Ile.

Her classical singing training includes ten years of private singing studies, a long tenure with the Grand Philharmonic Choir, training with European soloists in the Canadian Renaissance Music Summer School, and passing the highest level singing exam with the Royal Conservatory of Music.  She currently sings with the Tallis Choir of Toronto and Guelph Chamber Choir.

Keen to introduce the experience of singing to anyone, Karen supported a group of amateur singers who won honours at the Spring Rain Feis and has founded a “Forest Choir”, open to all, combining singing and hiking!

Karen is excited to share and learn some songs with you over Zoom for the 2021 version of the IRL Festival!


  • Irish song

    +$0.25 service fee
    Sale ended



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