*Bodhrán* – Máirtín has been playing the bodhrán for a long many moons, learning first from Eric Cunningham (The New De Danann) and later from Colm Murphy ( The Old De Danann). Máirtín has taught Bodhrán technique at the Catskills Irish Arts Week, Augusta Irish Week, as well as giving workshops at major US festivals including the Kansas City Irish Fest, CelticFest Mississippi, Minnesota Irish Fair and La Crosse IrishFest. He also gives private tutorials along the road while touring. Máirtín’s bodhrán classes begin with posture and basic striking technique and with each students’ ability assessed, the intricacies of rhythm are then introduced as progression allows.
*Irish Language* – Máirtín’s love of the ‘Teanga na Gael’ stems from his parents, who brought him up in a bilingual house and sent him to primary & secondary schools taught in the medium of Irish. He then earned a Degree in the Irish language from University College Cork. Using the Munster dialect in any workshop, Máirtín focuses on the normal greetings of everyday life, as well as some *Seanfhocal (old Irish proverbs), keeping it light and interactive with hope that each participant may go home with a few phrases that will stick forever with them.
*Storytelling* – With two All-Ireland’s under his belt and generations of storytelling handed down to him, Máirtín gets no more joy out of life than the telling of stories. In a unique workshop, Máirtín gives examples of some of the different genres of Irish Storytelling which he studied in University, with an emphasis in folklore, including The Ulster Cycle, The Fenian Cycle, 12th century writings, the International traveling folktale and the urban legend. If there is an opportunity to give multiple workshops, Máirtín demonstrates and teaches the idea of the Mask of the Storytelling, which is a crucial element in delivery, and also imparts how to make a story your own, along discussions about important nuances in storytelling such presentation and cadence of speech.
*Singing* – While touring the globe with The Máirtín de Cógáin Project & The Fuchsia Band, Máirtín is a true promoter of the Ballad. He is searching ever for those forgotten songs of old not being sung anymore to give them new life and also writes some of his own. He tries to pick up to three songs for any workshop, varying in nature, and help each student find their personal characteristics to make the story of the song shine more and bring the best out of their voice.
*Dancing (Céilí & Set)* – While growing up in a house full of dancing, Máirtín could not but help teach the steps at the family run Céilís from an early age. Whether it’s with a school, social event or a festival setting, there are few who can escape the excitement of the communal dancing when Máirtín is at the helm. To begin any lesson Máirtín works from the ground up, by going through the 3’s, 7’s and céilí swing. From there, he helps each dancer understand that all the dances are made up mainly of these few Lego bricks and build quickly from there to go through as many dances as possible. He attempts to impart the ability of l,etting the music tell students what to do. If there are multiple classes with the one group Máirtín will work on the more intricate steps for each dance. This is something for all ages and all the family at one time, for as the Máirtín says,’if you can walk you can dance!’ These are the dances Máirtín focuses on:
*WALLS OF LIMERICK*
*TWO HAND REEL*
*TWO HAND JIG*
*STACK OF BARLEY*
*SIEGE OF ENNIS*
*PEELER & THE GOAT*
*RAKES OF MALLOW*