This organization is a resource for those who would like to learn the traditions and music of an Irish tune session. The traditions for Irish tune sessions come from a long standing tradition formed many years ago in Ireland. Today, most large cities and many smaller cities in the world have at least one Traditional Irish Music Session playing in a local Irish pub or coffee house. It is our intent to prepare those who attend our sessions to play at least a few tunes they know in a live session somewhere in Dallas and beyond.

History of the Session

Irish traditional music sessions are mostly informal gatherings at which people play Irish traditional music. The Irish language word for “session” is seisiún. Acording to Barry Foy’s Field Guide to the Irish Music Session defines a session as:

…a gathering of Irish traditional musicians for the purpose of celebrating their common interest in the music by playing it together in a relaxed, informal setting, while in the process generally beefing up the mystical cultural mantra that hums along uninterruptedly beneath all manifestations of Irishness worldwide.

The objective in a session is not to provide music for an audience of passive listeners; although the punters (non-playing attendees) often come for the express purpose of listening, the music is most of all for the musicians themselves. “Audience” requests for a particular song or tune of the players can be considered rude. The session is an experience that’s shared, not a performance that’s bought and sold.

The sessions are a key aspect of traditional music; some say it is the main sphere in which the music is formulated and innovated. Further, the sessions enable less advanced musicians to practice in a group.

Socially, sessions have often been compared to an evening of playing card games, where the conversation and camaraderie are an essential component. In many rural communities in Ireland, sessions are an integral part of community life.


Dallas Slow Sessions is sponsored by the Traditional Irish Music Education Society and the North Texas School of Irish Music.