TrailJams Tune-Learning Workshops at Cook Park

Learn traditional Irish tunes on your instrument

Leader: Mikela Valenzuela
Dates & Times: CANCELLED (Check Event News for changes.)
Location: Cook Park, Tigard, Oregon – 17005 SW 92nd Avenue, Tigard, OR 97224
Cost: Suggested donation of $10 per session

The workshop series is cancelled. We will try to reschedule it.

In this workshop series, fiddler and music teacher Mikela Valenzuela will lead the group in learning traditional Irish “session” tunes by ear. If you want to build your repertoire, grow your ability to learn and play tunes by ear, and get comfortable playing with other people, these workshops may be just what you are looking for. The workshops are for players of melody instruments of traditional Irish music, including fiddle, tin whistle, flute, tenor banjo, concertina, and mandolin. Learners of all ages are welcome. To be ready to learn the tunes in the workshop, you should already be able to play some tunes (melodies) on your instrument. Each workshop session is independent — you can attend them all or drop into any one. You are welcome and encouraged to stay for the tune playing sessions that begin right after these workshops.

Mikela Valenzuela is a string player based in Forest Grove, Oregon. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education with an emphasis in strings from Pacific University in 2018 where she studied with Dr. Dijana Ihas. Since then she has been studying Irish fiddle techniques with Winifred Horan, conservatory teacher and fiddler in the Irish band Solas. She believes that music should be inclusive, social, and maintain a balance between excellence and enjoyment. By teaching a common musical lexicon that borrows both from classical and folk traditions she helps musicians find confidence in sharing their individual voices within a larger community.

What to bring: Bring a chair and your instrument. Bring an audio recorder (or phone) if you would like to record the tunes. You might also want a hat and water bottle.

Where we are gathering: as you enter the park via SW 92nd Ave, turn left at the open gate and head toward Shelter 4 (the park’s website has a map). We’ll gather on the lawn near Shelter 4, at the entrance to the Butterfly Garden. We’ll pick a shady spot if it’s a warm day, or grab a sunny spot if it’s a cool day. If it’s rainy we’ll get under the roof of Shelter 4.

What we’ll play: In this workshop series we will work on traditional Irish tunes (melodies) that are played in the TrailJams tune sessions and other “trad” tune sessions. While the core of the tunes will come from the Irish traditional repertoire, some tunes may come from other traditions including American old-time and contra.

  • July 7 (tentative): The Gypsy Princess (barndance); The Humours of Tulla (reel); The Star Above the Garter (slide)
  • July 14, 21, 28: TBD

COVID-19 considerations: If you are coming to this workshop series, please be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. (That is a request, not a requirement.) We generally have plenty of room for social distancing, and plenty of fresh air.

Afterward: You are encouraged to stay for the tune playing sessions that begin right after these workshops.