mudcat.org: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle

Related threads:
Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin (37)
Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly (28)
Help Finding G Whistle Fingering Chart (9)
Tin whistle on pop CDs (19)
range of d penny whistle/note problems (35)
How best to mic a penny whistle? (25)
What's your favorite whistle (23)
Kiawa Flute And Bamboo Penny whistles (9)
Tony Dixon whistles (25)
Sheet music for tin whistle (17)
getting started with tin whistle (30)
Looking for Low whistle tunes to play (27)
Moisture in Tin Whistles (43)
pennywhistles for dummies (45)
Tin Whistles (82)
help on whistle/flute sheet music (8)
Pipe Chanter and whistle ? (18)
a good whistlers album (17)
Tuning an Irish whistle (71)
penny whistle fingering (18)
Which Key of Whistle? (25)
Shaw tin whistles (11)
Location Of Susato Factory? (7)
Tin/Penny Whistle Question (36)
Tin whistle keys etc (15)
Review: Idiots guide to learnin the Tin Whistle. (8)
Tune Req: Alleged/Legendary Tin Whistle Recordings (14)
WHISTLE Recommendations? (22)
Whistle questions: advice needed (14)
Tech: Feedback Range for Whistle (3)
overton whistles (17)
Whistle Players Wanted (26)
Pennywhistle Tab at YADT Site (19)
observations by a beginner tin whistler (20)
Help: Susato D Whistle (31)
I have a pennywhistle (45)
English Fireman's Whistle (5)
How to clean/restore a Swannee Whistle? (9)
Whistle Sessions in Sydney? (1)
Music Minus One for Pennywhistle?? (14)
Help - multiple keys on whistles (9)
Pennywhistle Problems (7)
Tin Whistle Problem (13)
out of tune whistle ! (22)
Pennywhistle - please help (45)
Tune A Penny Whistle? (40)
Tin Whistle problems in sessions ! (46)
making pennywhistles (9)
Wooden Whistle (13)
Tin Whistle books for beginners (46)
Big Whistles - Little Fingers (23)
Tin whistle, concertina, South Africa (9)
Low D pennywhistle? (20)
Origin of Penny whistle in Ireland (3)
Favorite whistle tunes in G (17)
Looking 4 simple tunes for whistle (3)
Looking for Some Whistle Tunes (12)
whistle tunes (21)
susato whistle (13)
History of the Tin Whistle??? (4)
Benjamin Franklin on tin whistles (5)
ornaments on the tin whistle.. (23)
Pennywhistle opinions ? (3)
Tin whistle tutor on video (5)
making wooden flutes and whistles (8)
Whistles (6)
sweetone whistles (10)
Airs to whistle (4)
Penny Whistle - what's this then (7)
The Tinwhistle Table (4)
Favorite Whistle Tunes (32)
Tinwhistle Preferences (40)
? about penney whistles (7)
Tinwhistlers Mutha (3)


Áine 12 Nov 99 - 02:05 PM
Vixen 12 Nov 99 - 02:35 PM
Kernow John 12 Nov 99 - 06:37 PM
Áine 12 Nov 99 - 07:21 PM
Kernow John 12 Nov 99 - 07:34 PM
Micca 12 Nov 99 - 08:26 PM
Liz the Squeak 13 Nov 99 - 02:32 PM
InOBU 13 Nov 99 - 02:37 PM
sheila 13 Nov 99 - 03:10 PM
Áine 13 Nov 99 - 04:17 PM
elfsong@sprint.ca 13 Nov 99 - 04:54 PM
sophocleese 13 Nov 99 - 06:24 PM
Kernow John 13 Nov 99 - 08:16 PM
alison 13 Nov 99 - 11:26 PM
InOBU 14 Nov 99 - 10:35 AM
Áine 15 Nov 99 - 06:09 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 16 Nov 99 - 02:43 AM
Áine 16 Nov 99 - 10:05 AM
Flipsusan 16 Nov 99 - 12:15 PM
alison 16 Nov 99 - 10:31 PM
Mike,NZ 16 Nov 99 - 10:51 PM
16 Nov 99 - 11:46 PM
alison 17 Nov 99 - 02:17 AM
17 Nov 99 - 03:06 AM
Jon W. 17 Nov 99 - 11:20 AM
alison 17 Nov 99 - 07:53 PM
Penny 18 Nov 99 - 02:22 PM
Penny 18 Nov 99 - 03:02 PM
18 Nov 99 - 04:57 PM
alison 18 Nov 99 - 07:55 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:








Subject: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Áine
Date: 12 Nov 99 - 02:05 PM

Dear 'Catters,

My kids, ages 8 and 5, have expressed an interest in learning the pennywhistle. I do play the whistle, but I play entirely by ear. I'd like your opinions on (1) whether I should teach them to play by ear or with notation, and (2) which whistle would be the best to start them out on. Any and all advice is appreciated.

Thanks in advance, Áine


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Vixen
Date: 12 Nov 99 - 02:35 PM

Dear Aine--

I think a combination of both ear training and reading is best. That way, they associate the notes on the page with the sound, and they will be able to use the two skills in reinforcement of the other. (e.g. they'll know what a third *looks* like as well as what it sounds like)

I'd say start them off on whichever high whistle fits their little hands. This means that they probably won't be able to play together for awhile, because the 5 yo is playing an A whistle, and the 8 yo is playing a D whistle.

I think the hardest part of the whistle learning experience for the kid is learning to control how hard/soft they have to blow. The hardest part for the parent is listening to them learning how hard/soft to blow. You probably don't want to start this project when they will be in the house for days on end, like school vacations. Buy ear plugs for yourself--the nice discreet kind, so they don't know they're splitting your skull along with all your precious antique crystal goblets. You get the picture here, I'm sure.

There are a ton of kid's pw books--if your local music store doesn't have em, check out Amazon.com, because there are folk books, disney movie music books, kid's song books, all with big letters, large notes, and colorful illustrations.

Have FUN!!! (I admit to some envy!)

V


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Kernow John
Date: 12 Nov 99 - 06:37 PM

Áine
You will have a whale of a time!
I run a whistle club at a local school for 6 - 10 year olds. I do teach them to follow a tune from the music but I find the easiest and quickest way is for me to play a low D. This way they can see clearly what I'm doing and we learn a phrase at a time and then link it together. As soon as possible I stop playing although I may mime just so the newer ones can still copy if they wish.
Have fun
Baz


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Áine
Date: 12 Nov 99 - 07:21 PM

You guys are BRILLIANT!! Now, do you guys have any songs to recommend that we start out on, and, should I write the fingering over the notes on the music -- or let them memorize the note/fingering combination in their heads.

Thanks so much, Áine


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Kernow John
Date: 12 Nov 99 - 07:34 PM

Áine
I usually give the kids a sheet with the notes on a stave and how to play them. I find they get fed up with having to look and therefore learn them quicker. If you use ABC notation there is a shareware programe that converts ABC to pennywhistle ie a stave with whistle pics above.
regards Baz


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Micca
Date: 12 Nov 99 - 08:26 PM

Suggestion Make the first tune you teach them one you hate already, because within a week you will anyway. One of my cousins learned the PW when I was staying with them and even now 40+ years later I can't stand "We won't go home until morning"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 02:32 PM

Try a brand available in UK called 'Sweetone', they come in funky colours (well, white, yellow, red and lime green), have plastic fipples that are smooth and don't taste of acetone, and the most important thing of all, they don't sound so shrill when the little darlings blast them like train whistles....

Good luck and keep the ear plugs, they may decide to take up the bombarde!!

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: InOBU
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 02:37 PM

I play the Uilleann pipes, and learned the whistle (and everything else) by ear, many years ago, and as you may guess from my unpredicatable spelling,I have a slight learning disabilty, which did not keep me from getting into law school, but did make it impossible for me to do simple math in my head, and funny enough, read music. First the advantage of not reading... you develope a fearce good ear - I had to in order to survive in school, where music classes insisted I learn to read music, and instead, I picked up what the other fellow before just played and banged it back at the teacher. One of my grade school music teachers heard me play the pipes at a wedding, and I finnaly told him I never learned to read, and he did not believe it. Thouse who learn by ear have a refined sence of the blass (flavor) of traditional music, often, missing in the likes of James Galway. On the other hand, the down side... I am driven crazy by all that written music in rare old books, not played much, and waiting for me to get a friend to put on tape for me. Best of luck to the kids, and patience to you Larry Otway


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: sheila
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 03:10 PM

I like the Sweetones, but they're easy for a child to squash or bend. You might want to try a Susato - they are made of a very sturdy plastic, have a nice tone, and come with an adjustable finger rest, so the whistle doesn't fall to the floor when you have all the holes open.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Áine
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 04:17 PM

Thanks to one and all!! We had our first 'lesson' yesterday, and yes, Mother sat down to supper feeling like someone had drilled a hole in her head . . . and, maybe, the little darlings teeth got brushed just a little harder than usual . . . (just kidding, of course!)

The biggest problem I can see right off the bat is their being able to keep their fingers completely over the holes. BAZ, anyone, any ideas on this?

-- Áine (holding her left ear and grinning painfully)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: elfsong@sprint.ca
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 04:54 PM

Baz!

I am interested in that shareware program for the penny whistle notation! Could you please give me more information?

Sandy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: sophocleese
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 06:24 PM

My seven year old son is learning recorder and does have trouble covering ALL the holes at once. His teacher is starting by giving them tunes with only a few notes and those are the ones that use the fewest fingers all on the same hand. Gradually of course they add more notes to what they can do and start using the other hand after they are comfortable and capable with the first. Apart from that its practice, and lots of encouragement, makes perfect.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Kernow John
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 08:16 PM

I'm no good at the blue clicky thing but this should get you to the pennywhistle tab page.
http://www.pgonline.com/georgemusic/TinWhistleFont.zip
Regards Baz


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: alison
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 11:26 PM

I taught young kids for a while.....

I gave them music just start with simple tunes using only a few notes.. they soon learn how to read them. (I start with a simplified "Mary had a Little Lamb" 3 notes B,A, & G... then move onto more notes slowly with things like "Twinkle Twinkle little star")

we've had the discussion on types of whistles before... personally I don't like Susatos.. can't trust them in the top octave.

For kids..... good old cheapy Generations.... (and I start them all on D's), or Sweetones (pretty colours, and marketted as being gentler for parents/ teachers to listen too)....

keep it interesting too.. use tunes they know..... my lot thought it was fantastic when I taught them the whistle bit from "My heart will go on" (Titanic).

If you want me to send you the GIFs I use of simple tunes..let me know...

Have fun...

slainte

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: InOBU
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 10:35 AM

Covering all the holes is an ongoing process that the weens will be faced with for years to come. Everytime they go on to another instrument, the grip changes. After playing flutes, whistles and Uilleann pipes - a set in D, I got a flat chanter (a chanter in c) and there were a couple of hours of covering all the holes again, when I pick up a strange whistle, like a huge low D whistle, I remember what the kiddies are going through, all over again, but like the process of mourning, the only thing you can tell yourself, and them, is this too shall pass, and the fingers will fit the frets or the holes or keys and sweetness and harmony will be restored to the home, or the kids will get board and turn to the telly. All the best Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Áine
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 06:09 PM

Larry -- My husband bought a Low D a few months ago and I attempted to play it and had the same experience of the being completely 'lost'-- I haven't come through the 'grief' process yet, though. . .

Alison -- Yes, please, I would love it if you sent me the GIFs you use! I downloaded the .ttf file that BAZ recommended and it's lovely -- but I still have to write in the notation over the music.

Thanks to everyone for their hints and suggestions and stories -- I'll keep you posted on the state of my hearing as the lessons progress.

-- Áine


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 02:43 AM

InOBU: I can't read music worth a damn but am learning to play fiddle tunes by transcribing them in Song Works from Ars Nova Software (ArsNova.com): I just copy a tune note by note from The Fiddler's Fake Book, add the chords (also from the book), and give the command and it plays the tune.

--seed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Áine
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 10:05 AM

Alison - Thanks so much for the gifs! How did you do the notes for the tunes? I can't wait to try them out on the kids -- now that my ear seems to have recovered . . .

-- Áine


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Flipsusan
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 12:15 PM

This is such a cool story! It makes me want to write a kids' book about it or something... :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: alison
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 10:31 PM

Hi Aine,

I give them a piece of manuscript paper... every time we get a new note we write it on the stave and write its name below it....... I don't mind if they go through a piece of music and write the name below each note.... but if you introduce only one or two notes at a time.. they pick them up quickly.... plus because I chose tunes that they know.. they often play by ear without realising it...

If you have older students they get "worried" about not being able to read music.. if you use simple tunes they soon get to recognise some of the notes from seeing them so often......

slainte

alison

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Mike,NZ
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 10:51 PM

wish I could find someone to teach an adult ( in Auckland) who cannot read music and has a 'tin' ear to match the whistle.

I'm going to try some of the techniques listed in this thread.

Thanks folks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From:
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 11:46 PM

Hi Mike I learned from a Co Sligo Ireland player in England way back and like you I was the ultimate Whistle Dummy - really ! My email is qtech@ionet.net - feel free to drop me a line -

Here is some of what I then learned. Lesson 1. Sit down make your self comfortable, now get both your feet tapping , there is no right or wrong way. Just need to be able to keep that going while you blow anything on the whistle. It took me a week or two to get started but in the end I got it going.

My foot tunes mostly go rightTAP leftTAP and I play a reel for example by keeping the strong beat notes in time with the feet. hahaaaa , I know it sounds weird but it does work and is great fun as well! The notes that are not on a foot beat I mostly don't worry too much over but can get em most of the time. The breathing is also much simplified this way. You know which notes you can cheat on hehe - since the feet notes cannot not be dropped and when playing slowly this is silly easy to do!

A reel played slowly this way takes on a new meaning! The rhythm sounds like Behdeee Bedaaaagh. The feet go with the BE sounds. Oh BTW IGNORE ALL DECORATIONS untill you know at least 100 Reels and 100 Jigs. I nearly never decorate at all - preferring the way I first heard the Sligo style - plain jane and like all home made stuff very very beautiful.

Look out for recordings by Miko Russell Co Clare Ireland - Also if you can find any 'Junior'Crehan recordings get em. He did a lot of tours and RTE may have archived some of his stuff. Real Leperachaun music - I often think they are out there when I play the tunes especially on fiddle!

IMHO This style of playing is to Irish Trad what Delta is to the Blues!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: alison
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 02:17 AM

I disagree about ornamentation..... I teach them it from the start...easy stuff.... play twinkle twinkle with "cuts" or "slides".... gets them used to it, and it isn't nearly as big a hurdle later on... (plus it makes the tunes sound more "Irish"). There is a great whistle tutor online Mike Simpsons whistle page, but he assumes that you read music.... but a lot of the advice is great....

Playing the whistle really is easy (I know... easy for me to say when I've been playing it for so long)...... it is being able to use the ornamentation well that makes the difference between an ordinary whistler and a good one.

Oh rhythms are easy to remember
Reels are Wa-ter Me-lon
Jigs are Pine-app-le Ap-ri-cot

slainte

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From:
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 03:06 AM

What's a tune Alison? - the cuts or the phrases. If you can't make it sound interesting and wholsome without the decorations, then add them and be a smartie! Culchies(country folk in wellies) play fancy for Dubs(city folk) now every one beleives that Traditional Round The House and Mind the Dresser Irish Danc Music sounds like Paddy Moloney after a large meal of bubble and sqeek plus bubbly guinness and his tin whistle bubbling with bibbbiidy biddddiddddys. WELL IT AINT TRUE. So there.

Anycase filling out a tune is a piece of cake if you know how to play already.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Jon W.
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 11:20 AM

Alison, thanks for the FRUITFUL reminders of rhythm for jigs and reels. Do you have any for hornpipes or any other dance rhythms?? Please??

Jon W.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: alison
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 07:53 PM

Anonymous.. give me a name to talk to......

I agree... over ornamentation is really annoying.. and destroys many a good tune. The secret to ornamentation is knowing how little or how much to use, and where to put any you do use. however a little can make a fantastic difference......

But by teaching it early... the kids learn how to use it, and it isn't some daunting thing they know they have to face somewhere down the track.

slainte

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Penny
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 02:22 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: Penny
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 03:02 PM

I've been trying to learn the pennywhistle but I can't get it to play the upper octave notes. It sounds fine when its the usual notes being played, but try to go up higher and it makes a horrible noise. I've got a GenerationX D whistle. Is it me and if so, what am I doing wrong?

Thanks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From:
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 04:57 PM

Try this, blow harder but leave a little opening at the side of the mouth bit so that extra air goes past but not into the whistle. Works fer me :0) . BTW while I am on cheats did ya know that the upper octave is best got by taking off the very topmost finger. I expect it is in the books - but I learned off an old timer from Ireland.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Teaching Kids the Pennywhistle
From: alison
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 07:55 PM

Penny your whistle should get two octaves with ease... if you go higher than that, (even to top D).... it'll sound better if you take the top finger off...

having said that.. some whistles even within brands are better than others.. you may have got a bad whistle... slainte

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 18 February 9:10 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.