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Blas Summer Music Program in Ireland

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

BLAS with PAA

Although PAA makes this sound like a fun introduction to traditional Irish music/dance, this summer intensive is anything but. Most non-PAA students in the program have been immersed in training for several years prior, and the program really jumps into the deep-end. That said, if you're a good student and willing to work hard to catch up it is an AMAZING experience. You work with some of the biggest names in Irish music, sitting across from and learning from people who are international music stars. The living and social situations are supportive, fun, relaxed, and great for building new long lasting friendships. I wish we could have seen more of the local culture and environment, but most of our time was dedicated to learning, and you learn A LOT. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone who is interested in buckling down to learn about Irish traditional music and jumping in headfirst.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Experience of a lifetime

Blas is one of the best experiences I've had. It gave me the opportunity to make friends from several nations and a wide variety of ages, work with some of Ireland's greatest musicians, and immersed me in Irish music. I met people I know I'll continue friendships with and talk to for a long time. The faculty at Blas were wonderful and helpful. I one hundred percent recommend this program!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Blas summer school

During my time at the Blas Summer School, I had one of the best experiences of my life. I made friendships and connections that will last a life time, I learned about traditional Irish music and dance, and I got the chance to work with some of the best Irish musicians and tutors out there. When I arrived, I had no previous study in Irish traditional music, and I was classically trained. This made things a little difficult at first, but I managed to throw out any preconceived notions that I brought with me to Ireland, which made things go much smoother and I had a much experience. I chose bodhrán as my primary, but there was not a tutor everyday, which turned out to my favor. This gave me the opportunity to study Irish song and guitar for a few days and expand my knowledge of Irish music and culture. The campus is absolutely stunning, everyone was very nice and helpful, and I made friends and had experiences with people from all over the world. I would highly recommend this program to anyone even remotely interested.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Blas summer music intensive program in Ireland

The Blas program was an amazing experience! It's a great chance to learn how to play traditional Irish music, and take lectures from the university professors to hear their research on the music. PAA was a great way to do the program for people that don't know anyone in Ireland since they're a great help with preparation, housing, and transportation.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Blassoming In Ireland

I literally have nothing bad to say about this program! All of the logistics were made clear from the start of the application process and because of this I felt very comfortable with leaving the country by myself. The classes were all great with some truly phenomenal instructors in the Irish music scene. The food was good, transportation was easy to arrange and the culture was relatively easy to adapt to. Most importantly, my fellow students became very close friends over just two weeks and I know that we will keep in touch even though the program has ended.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Ireland-BLAS Summer Music Program

The positive aspect from my experience was the opportunity to meet a lot of people, both students and teachers, and to learn about a lot of different perspectives in a relatively short period of time. The downside of a two-week thoroughly scheduled university program is that you don't really feel like you're in a new country. There wasn't much time to leave campus except on Saturday or by skipping one of the nightly on-campus sessions, which I only did once, with a group of other students.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Ignorance about Irish Music & Culture

I'm a small town East Texas girl going to a small university. Never have I been exposed to true Irish music and dance nor been informed about the culture. One must absolutely know that the Irish play by ear so if you've been accustomed to learning by reading music & do not have enough aural ear training this will be a challenge. I was on the flute & I know of at least 2 others that experienced what I did. I felt that I was holding the rest of my class (who were all Irish) because I couldn't play by ear as well. My first teacher was great as he went one line at a time but another went through 15 tunes in one day & I struggled greatly. I was so upset that I stayed in the room after everyone left and cried because I thought I paid for a schooling that wasn't going to benefit me very well. Luckily, I collected myself and became more positive and tried really hard to play by ear. By the time the second week rolled around, I was doing a lot better and felt more proud of myself. I learned they only use a few keys so that narrowed things down and the teachers and other classmates were very understanding with my situation. I felt that this camp was definitely more bang for my buck because our schedules were so packed. It definitely helped me learn more about the culture as we were exposed other areas such as dance and learning the language and going to sessions. Plus the weekend excursion was amazing! I had considered doing the PAA Italy (or Spain) program & definitely glad I chose Ireland.