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2023 Registration
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Laura Byrne Class Description and Bio

BIO: laurabyrne

Laura Byrne is highly regarded on both sides of the Atlantic for her mastery of the Irish traditional flute and whistle. Laura began studying flute at age 9 in her native Vermont, continued her studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore where she earned Bachelor’s degrees in both flute performance and music education in 1995. Though classically trained, she chose to devote her musical career to Irish traditional music, committing herself to the playing of the older generation of musicians through countless trips to Ireland and from close study of the emigrees to the United States. Laura has performed at countless festivals, ceilis and concerts in the U.S., Canada and Ireland. She was featured on the Eva Cassidy remix album Wonderful World. In 2005 Laura released her first solo album Tune for the Road which received great reviews, was highly praised by Irish Music Magazine, and is played on radio stations across the U.S. and in Ireland. She released a second solo recording Lucky Day in 2010. Laura is a two time grant recipient of the Maryland Traditions Master Apprentice award – as a ballad singer apprentice in 2007, and then in 2011 as a Master of flute. She received the Individual Artist award in performance from the Maryland State Arts Council in both 2010 and 2011. Laura maintains an active private teaching studio and has taught at numerous festivals and workshops, including the CCE Mad for Trad Week and the Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham, NY. She teaches Irish flute at Goucher College in Towson, MD, and founded and directs the Baltimore Irish Arts

This class is open to both flute and/or tin whistle players. We will work on improving your ability to pick up tunes by ear, technique, phrasing, and repertoire. Learning by ear is a skill that can be improved. I’ll teach you a few helpful tricks for learning a tune more quickly and accurately, and also how to practice in a way to better retain what you’ve learned.  Technique will include breath control, tone, where to breathe, rhythm, pulse, ornamentation and style. Phrasing will be covered in depth as will “settings” of tunes and what makes a great “setting”. We will discuss style and approaches to jigs, reels, slides, polkas, marches, slip jigs, hornpipes, barndances and slow airs and you will walk away with a handful of tunes. There will be sheet music available for those who would like it and we will go over the abc’s of the tunes if the class desires. Please bring your instrument and a recording device. Email me at with any questions.