Tin Whistle Player, St Patricks CCÉ
"It’s been a really positive experience for me, getting involved with my local Comhaltas group."
I saw the tin whistle played donkey’s years ago in Lourdes, I used to go there when I was young. I’ve always been interested in music, and I was surrounded by Irish Music when I was very young. My grandparents were Irish and my mother used to sing a lot of Irish songs. And that remains part of our culture, especially in Coatbridge in Scotland, where there is an enormous Irish influence. I joined the group because I knew some of those who were learning already, so I went up to see what it was all about. I was welcomed with open arms, and I have been playing for a few years now. At my age it is slow and tedious learning- practising is something that I’ve got to do some more of! I’ll never be at the level of some of the younger ones in the group- my fingers don’t have the mobility they used to- but I play for my own pleasure. I’m firmly rooted in the beginner’s class, and our teacher is incredibly patient and tolerant of our mistakes!
I get a lot out of the social side of the group. The social activities and the events they put on are brilliant. I’m 81 now, and I live on my own, so it’s great to get involved. Everyone in the group is younger than me, but they make me feel so welcome. At the sessions, listening to other people play music gives me great pleasure and inspiration for my own instrument. Listening allows me to soak up the tunes I’d like to learn, and it brings me back to my childhood, too. It’s been a really positive experience for me, getting involved with my local Comhaltas group.