Archive for the Category: Music

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

I’m off to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic college on the Isle of Skye, later today to do a course in Scottish Gaelic song (Òrain Ghàidhlig) with Christine Primrose. This is the third time I’ve done the course with Christine, and the fourth time I’ve been to the college – last year I was there […]

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
Also posted in English, Language, Scottish Gaelic Comments Off

Cruite, cláirseacha a chrythau

I discovered last week in Ireland that one word for the harp in Irish is cruit [krutʲ], which sounds similar to the Welsh word crwth [kruːθ], a type of bowed lyre that was once popular in Wales and in other parts of Europe, but which was largely displayed by the fiddle during the 18th century. […]

Also posted in Breton, Cornish, English, Irish, Language, Latin, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh Comments Off

Oideas Gael

I’m having a wonderful time in Gleann Cholm Cille learning to play the harp and speaking plenty of Irish. The course is going really well – we started with basic techniques, and have learnt a number of tunes, including some from the Bóroimhe / Brian Boru suite by Michael Rooney. I’ve videoed our teacher, Oisín […]

Also posted in Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Irish, Language, Language learning, Poetry, Serbian, Swedish 1 Comment

Gleann Cholm Cille

Tomorrow I’m off to Oideas Gael in Gleann Cholm Cille in Donegal in the north west of Ireland to do a course in harp playing. This will be the tenth time I’ve been there, though the first time I’ve done the harp course. Normally I go for a summer school in Irish language and culture […]

Also posted in English, Irish, Language, Travel 1 Comment

Are musicians better language learners?

According to an article I read in The Guardian yesterday, research has found that children who learn music, especially before the age of seven, find it easier to learn languages in later life. They also tend to develop larger vocabularies, and are better at grammar and high verbal IQs. The writer of the piece, Liisa […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 3 Comments

The Nadgery Road to Cemaes

On the way to a singing workshop in Cemaes today the word nadgery was used to describe the road. From the context I guessed that it meant winding, but as I hadn’t heard the word before I checked, and was told that it’s a dialect word from the north east of England. It doesn’t appear […]

Also posted in English, Language, Words and phrases 1 Comment

Spollagyn son tey

Here’s a new song that I finally finished this week after fiddling with it for months. It’s a macaronic song in Manx (Gaelic) and English that I was inspired to write after seeing young herring gulls squawking away at their mothers. I wondered what they might be saying if they could speak, and this is […]

Also posted in English, Language, Manx 3 Comments

Summer schools

I had a wonderful time in Ireland last week, which is why I keep going back every summer. This year was my ninth visit to Oideas Gael and my seventh time at the summer school. Gleann Cholm Cille is beautiful, the people are great, and there’s a lovely, friendly, helpful, supportive atmosphere there. Everyone is […]

Also posted in English, Irish, Language, Language learning Comments Off

Unexpected languages

My course in Gleann Cholm Cille finished yesterday and I’m on my why home. I’m staying in Dublin tonight and continuing my journey to Bangor tomorrow. The hostel I’m staying in tonight is full of people from all over the world – so far I’ve heard French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and a Scandinavian language being […]

Also posted in English, Irish, Japanese, Language, Manx 3 Comments

Are you a hare or a tortoise?

When learning a language do you try to learn it as quickly as possible? Like a hare you hurry through the language ignoring anything that might slow you down, like good grammar and pronunciation, perhaps thinking that you can go back later and tidy them up. Or maybe you take your time like a tortoise, […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 1 Comment