Tá fáilte roimh gach duine ag SLIA! Everyone is welcome at SLIA. Our children can start any time after the age of four. Adults are welcome too. We are so proud of our Irish traditions that we want to share them with everyone. Just come in to school, meet Mrs. Gannon and she will tell you everything you need to know. We are in the building on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays after 4pm. Just come in and ask for Mrs Gannon. It is unusual for her not to be there, but if she is not, please ask for Eileen or Shannon.
We have classes in dance, recitation, singing, harp, concertina, piano accordion, button accordion, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, bodhrán, flute, uileann pipes and of course, tin whistle. When a young child comes through our doors, the first instrument they will learn is the tin whistle. You will get one tin whistle when you sign up for our classes. After some time on the tin whistle, your child may (with a teacher's approval) add a second instrument.
Our classes typically run for an hour and a half to two hours. During this time, students will receive instruction in both music and dance.
Do not be shy about coming in to meet us. We welcome anyone that is interested in learning our traditions and are proud to help promote the Irish culture on this side of the Atlantic.
ScheduleBeginners come to class on Mondays. Advanced students come on Tuesdays. Intermediate students come on Wednesdays. Students will sometimes need to come to classes on Saturdays, depending on what we are practicing for. Also, when you become a member of the St. Louis Irish Arts family, you will sometimes have to join us for performances on other days of the week. You don't have to take part in every single performance, but obviously we can't put on shows without our students.
CostumesEach student is given a school costume to wear for performances and Competitions – Feiseanna. Advanced students may also purchase their own solo dress to wear at performances. These must be approved by the teacher. A large selection of dresses are available at the school or on the internet. Solo dresses can also be custom ordered. A rental and cleaning fee applies annually for renting the SLIA costume.
Dancing ShoesYou can rent dancing shoes from us or buy your own.
Tin WhistleYour child will receive their first tin whistle when they register. There is no extra charge for the first tin whistle. However, if you lose that one, you will need to purchase subsequent tin whistles.
Other InstrumentsAll students learn to play the tin whistle. In Irish schools, every student learns to play the tin whistle. We do the same at St. Louis Irish Arts. Private Lessons/2nd Instruments: Dedicated and progressing students are also given the opportunity to play a second instrument of their choice. For these instruments, private lessons with SLIA teachers are recommended in order for students to progress. SLIA teachers are available to give private tuition on: Harp, Fiddle, Tin Whistle, Flute, Banjo, Concertina, Piano Accordion, Button Accordion, Uilleann Pipes, Piano, Bodhrán and Mandolin.
Extra Dance LessonsPlease talk to Mrs. G and Shannon about these.
Teaching MethodOur method of teaching music is the old traditional Irish way. The Irish traditional method of teaching music is very similar to the Suzuki method, which focuses on natural ways of learning. Insofar as you child learned to speak English flawlessly, so too can they learn the language of music, if it is taught to them in a way their brains can handle. Your child did not learn English by reading grammar. Your child learned by listening to you. Our method of teaching the language of music is inspired by the way your child learned to speak English. But we did not invent this style. It has been the way Irish music has been taught throughout the generations. If you would like to come watch us, please drop by. We'd love to show you. Children love to have fun, and we love to instill in them the desire to speak the language of music. Just as they did not learn to speak English by speaking it once a week at home, the same will apply to learning music. It must be practiced. If you, the parent will encourage your child to practice what they learned with us, your child will flourish with us.
LocationClasses are held in the Immaculate Conception School, 7240 Anna Ave., Maplewood, MO 63143.
The school is located near the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood, in the same parking lot as Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. We are in a red brick building. There are plenty of parking spaces around the building.