In this first Trad on Cello course I show you how to play traditional Irish Polkas, Slides and Jigs in an authentic way on the cello. All the tunes are from my collection of traditional Irish fast tunes “Trad on Cello”

Take the lessons at your own pace. I recommend focus on one set a week, and in four short weeks you will learn to develop your traditional cello playing to really sound authentic through technical tips and learning the tunes. Plus you will have nine new traditional tunes which you will never forget! You can play them in sessions with friends, on your own, or even film yourself playing the tunes along with me on the second cello accompaniment videos included.

Trad on Cello - Polkas, Slides and Jigs has been developed from my work teaching Irish Cello Retreats, private lessons, and as tutor at the University County Cork. The tutorials show and encourage you in a kind and positive way;
  • The right way to play a Polka
  • How get the swing in a Slide
  • The way to look at a written jig and interpret the feel
  • Keep motivated on the cello
  • Fall back in love with your cello
  • Discover a new way of approaching the cello
  • Learning by memory

It is important to continually expand your repertoire and styles of playing to feed your passion for music and to keep your playing fresh. Adding new feels to your playing can help you express the emotions you want to through the cello. Get inspired by the lessons in this course, learn the pieces, expand your repertoire and play the way you want to hear!

Take your cello playing further

Expand your horizons with Irish music

The videos include;

  • Innovative music reading software making for easy to follow music
  • Clear direction to help you learn the tunes in a traditional sounding way
  • Video lessons of each set of tunes 
  • Play through of each set of tunes
  • Play through of second cello accompaniment for each set 
  • Graded from Intermediate to Advanced

Other lesson material includes;
  • Introduction with technical tips, descriptions of Polkas, Slides and Jigs and a brief description of each tune
  • Sheet music of each tune with second cello part included


Benefits of the Course

  • New exciting repertoire
  • Develop your tone spectrum
  • Play music you can use in trad sessions
  • Arrangements for two cello parts by a cellist for a cellist
  • Develop technique in a fun way
  • Discover the joy of playing trad Irish tunes
  • Expand your style and deepen your love of your cello

Bonuses Included

Discussion platform in course and direct email access to Ilse

Sheet music to download, including the complete book Trad on Cello (Value €20)

Two Irish solo cello arrangements on course completion (Value €10.00)

A personal invitation to join the Play Cello Music School Facebook group where you can post videos of yourself playing, ask questions, and I will give you feedback 

Meet your Teacher

MA (Hons) Music

Ilse de Ziah

I have run many workshops for cellists and other string players over the years and presently teach at University College Cork, conduct the Cork Light Orchestra, play contemporary 'deep listening' music with the Quiet Music Ensemble, work in theatre and play cello in many different styles, from Irish, Jazz, Rock and Roll to Classical. This has given me a broad experience of all the ways one can make a cello speak. I compose, arrange and publish music. I saw a need for quality solo pieces that are challenging but not impossible, sound great, develop technique and are perfect for performance. I wanted music for cellists, that when someone asks, "play for me, I love the cello", there is an alternative to the Prelude. (beautiful though it is!) I aim to help students improve through playing music they love, to develop technique, style and confidence.

Praise for Irish Airs for Solo Cello course:

5 star rating

What a Gift To Cellists!

Bob Morrow

The clarity and detail of Ilse's instruction is top notch. It is not just about the right notes and bowings but how to harness your instrument to create tha...

Read More

The clarity and detail of Ilse's instruction is top notch. It is not just about the right notes and bowings but how to harness your instrument to create that haunting emotion that airs are known for. All with the ability to slow the video down. I'm still moving through the course but training tips like this next one are hidden gems in the instruction. >>Eamonn a' Chnuic and Double Stop Training - Love the Practice tip for perfecting difficult double stop passages that Ilse provides at the four minute mark of video #1. Good stuff and can be used in all sorts of ways! Now for the next three steps practice, practice, practice.

Read Less
5 star rating

Inspiring and really useful

Carol Haynes

I started learning the cello a few years ago and early on discovered Ilse's YouTube channel. I have always had a soft spot for the haunting nature of Celti...

Read More

I started learning the cello a few years ago and early on discovered Ilse's YouTube channel. I have always had a soft spot for the haunting nature of Celtic music and was delighted when I bought a copy of her Airs for Solo Cello book that it came with a lovely personal note from Ilse. I have attempted to play most of the airs since then (some more successfully than others) and last year (2017) I contacted Ilse as I was visiting Ireland and asked to have a lesson. She was incredibly welcoming and both perceptive and supportive in her teaching. It was a real pleasure to meet and spend time with her, cello in hand. Her new online course is really well designed and presented, and I so wish this had been available when I first bought her book! The course starts with a couple of pages of introduction and then each air is presented in a standard multi-part format. First there is an introduction to each air which gives and introduction to style and some background. Then the sheet music is presented in PDF format so that you can play from screen or download and print it. Ilse then has a standard approach to teaching each air through video. First a full play through with score clearly visible and highlighted as she plays to make it easy to follow and full fingering. The highlighted score is a feature of all the videos and is very useful - especially as the airs are difficult to notate and so you can see the rhythmic and ornamental flexibility required as she plays. Her play though is followed by detailed tutorial videos demonstrating how to play each piece in short sections which contain lots of suggestions for practising and clear demonstrations of how to play the trickier bits. Each section is presented at least twice once focusing on the left hand and the other on bowing. Each video starts with a tuning note so you can play along and work through the tutorials. FInally there is an MP3 download of each tune. There is a lot of detail and hard work gone into this course. The videos are in HD and very well made on a black background making the illustrations very clear to follow. Not only is this a great way to get to grips with these airs but there is a lot of really useful advice on practising generally and effective examples of excellent cello technique that could help any advancing cellist. I particularly enjoy watching Ilse's beautifully fluid bow hand and arm - lots for me to work on! The course ends with a brief conclusion and links and finally a download link for the entire Airs for Solo Cello book - which includes written material and source tunes not included in the music downloads as you work through the course. I have to say the book is worth buying in hard copy - it is beautifully produced. Highly recommended and I do hope Ilse has success with this venture and is able to add new content from time to time. Thank you for the inspiration. Oh ... and by the way I also highly recommend her DVD "Living the Tradition" where Ilse travels Ireland finding out about the origins of these airs and playing them beautifully in the places they came from - lots of stunning photography too. She meets and interviews some amazing people and there are lots of interesting extras.

Read Less
5 star rating

Such a great course for a wonderful music

Rasso Steinmann

Ilse’s arrangements of these wonderful airs fit extremely well for the cello. The way they are set is very cellistic, they use all registers and effects of t...

Read More

Ilse’s arrangements of these wonderful airs fit extremely well for the cello. The way they are set is very cellistic, they use all registers and effects of the instrument and they bring the best out of it. These arrangements contain different levels of technical challenges. It’s a great repertoire for cellists with different skills from moderate to advanced, there is something for everyone. In the videos Ilse has a very charming and motivating way explaining how to play these airs, step-by-step, also with very helpful hints, how to practice technically demanding parts. This really helps to find a quick access to this nice and pieceful music. For a non-Irish musician it’s also very helpful and intersting to listen to a native musician, who grew up in this tradition, talking about this music. I don’t know any other source where these airs became arranged for cello, Ilse is probably the first. I highly reccomend this course to all cellists, who like Irish music, either for playing for their own pleasure or in sessions.

Read Less
5 star rating

EXCELLENT COURSE !!!!!

Chris Podlaskowski

Having first purchased the book and CD, I was eager to purchase the course when it became available. Ilse has done an excellent job on the tutorials. Her e...

Read More

Having first purchased the book and CD, I was eager to purchase the course when it became available. Ilse has done an excellent job on the tutorials. Her explanations of the arrangements and demonstrations are very easy to follow. I also find the additional material such as the history of the airs to be very interesting. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in Irish Airs. FIVE STARS *****

Read Less

Course Curriculum

  • 1

    Course Introduction

    • Welcome!

    • How to and Links

  • 2

    Polka Set 1

    • Introduction to Polka Set 1

    • Learn Polka Set 1

    • Polka Tunes - Melody line

    • Polka Tunes - Cello Accompaniment

    • I'll Buy Boots for Maggie sheet music

    • Marie's Wedding sheet music

    • How did you go?

  • 3

    Polka Set 2

    • Introduction to Polka Set 2

    • Learn Polka Set 2

    • Polka Tunes - Melody line

    • Polka Tunes - Cello Accompaniment

    • The Ballyvourney sheet music

    • The Rattlin' Bog sheet music

    • How did you go?

  • 4

    Slide Set

    • Introduction to Slide Set

    • Learn the Slide Set

    • Slides - Melody line

    • Slides - Cello accompaniment

    • The Brosna sheet music

    • Denis Murphy's sheet music

    • How did you go?

  • 5

    Jig Set

    • Introduction to Jig Set

    • Learn Jigs

    • Jigs - Melody line

    • Jigs - Cello accompaniment

    • The Swallowtail sheet music

    • Ship in Full Sail sheet music

    • Haste to the Wedding sheet music

    • How did you go?

  • 6

    Closing Page

    • Final Word and Links

    • Trad on Cello complete book

  • 7

    Discussions and Questions

    • Join the Irish cello music discussion!

Discover the fun and craic learning Irish traditional music!

Great tunes, excellent course.