OLEAN, NY — Everyone feels a little Irish around St. Patrick’s Day, but Beat City Music Inc. already feels more than a little Irish.

In its quaint music shop at 217 N. Union St., Beat City Music is conducting classes on Saturdays in February to teach people to play Irish music. 

“We want to share Irish music with local people that are interested,” Colleen Gaynor, who teaches the Irish tin whistle, said. “It’s taught differently. There are no scales or notes; you just learn a song.”

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Irish music has always been part of Gaynor's life, who plays with a group of musicians. To her, the atmosphere and the piece of Irish culture that comes with it are important.

Gaynor used to live in New Jersey, home to many first-generation Irish families. Her children learned Irish dancing, which became a prominent in Gaynor’s life.

The interest in Irish culture in the Olean community grows year by year, Gaynor noted.

Beat City Music aims to share the Irish experience with others, she added.

Jennifer Wolbert, who plays the fiddle, said, “I wanted to join the lessons because you are submerged in Irish music the first day."

And, Wolbert added, "There is an end goal.”

Music theory is not included in the Beat City Music Irish classes. The focus is on teaching students how to play a handful of songs, Gaynor said, adding that Irish music is something learned and mastered by ear.

The music lesson participants are scheduled to play together in a seisun, an Irish jam session in Gaelic, at Talty’s, 535 N. Union St., on March 15 at noon.

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