We are excited that we are able to launch our new TIMES website. The old one served a purpose, but the new one will eventually include many areas that will benefit people interested in learning traditional Irish music. We have rushed to get the site online because of what’s happening in the world today.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every part of our lives, and for those that make their living teaching or performing Irish music and/or dance, they have seen their income evaporate. No one knows when the ordeal will end, but it is inspirational to witness how people are helping each other during this time. Oddly, as people are isolated in their homes, they are connecting more than ever through the Internet. Live concerts are being streamed, virtual sessions are being held, private lessons are being offered online, and other Internet-based activities are keeping the music alive and well.
TIMES is eager to help, so we have devoted a section of our website to promote online lessons with those who teach traditional Irish music and dance. Essentially, it will list instructors, the instruments/dances they teach, the levels and ages of students covered, the lesson rates and times, and brief bios for each. Since we will not know all of those who submit their information, we are choosing not to endorse or refer anyone. Please conduct your own research, and ask them questions about their teaching experience, particularly online lessons. The use of online teaching has risen dramatically in recent years, and as a consequence of the coronavirus, it may become the new norm for private lessons in the future for many teachers. We expect to see great advances in video conferencing and streaming technology because of the high demand for conducting online meetings, broadcasting live concerts, delivering webinars and video podcasts and other uses.
So, we are bringing our unfinished website online today, but for a very good reason. We hope our online instruction list, which we call “Teach-IR,” helps our fellow musicians/teachers during this tough time and afterwards when this ordeal ends. If you want to submit information for our site, please go to our IR-Trad page at www.irishtradmusic.org/ir-trad. We hope that you will remain healthy and safe during this difficult period. Music can certainly help calm the chaos, so thank you for all you do!