Classes & Instrument Hire
BelfastTrad runs three terms of classes each year starting in September, January, and after Easter. Our students range from 12 years to 90 with the majority being older teens and adults. We also offer children’s classes in tin whistle and fiddle.
Beginners are welcome at the start of each term. We offer a variety of levels on each of the following instruments: Button Accordion, Bodhrán, Concertina, Flute, Fiddle, Banjo, Mandolin, Tin Whistle, Uilleann Pipes, Guitar, harp, and traditional singing.
BelfastTrad believes that music enriches everyone’s life and that you are never too old to learn. We teach by ear in an encouraging and friendly atmosphere. We offer student sessions during the week to add to the learning and fun, and we celebrate the end of the autumn and winter terms with a concert and ceili, featuring our students.
BelfastTrad Instrument Hire Scheme
Want to try an instrument before you buy? We operate an instrument hire scheme to get you started. We offer harps, button accordions, concertinas, bodhráns, flutes, banjos, mandolins and uilleann pipes for hire to our enrolled students. (Sorry, no fiddles, guitars or whistles) These are available on a first-come, first-served basis on our Instrument Hire/Taster Nights. Hire fees are as follows: Harps cost £45 per term, all other instruments are £25. All instruments require a £50 deposit which will be refunded when the instrument is returned on time in good condition. Numbers are limited.
Monday nights are for dancing at BelfastTrad. Our dance classes are friendly, welcoming, and open to anyone who wants to learn. We offer classes in traditional old style solo step dancing as well as a sets and Irish social dance class. New to set dancing? Come at 8:00pm each week for a free beginner's tutorial. Book online for sean nós (solo step) classes. For sets, just pay at the door on the night.
Our non-competitive Irish dance classes are for people 12-90+. All our dance classes emphasise the joyful, social activity of old-style dance rather than the more modern competitive ‘Riverdance’ style. Although each class addresses rhythm, timing, and technique, first and foremost the emphasis is on musicality: understanding the connection between music and dance, developing a listening ear, and trying to keep the music in the dancing. Students learn a mix of traditional step dancing, sean nós dance, and set dancing, with the offerings being varied term to term.. Most importantly, BelfastTrad wants to pass onto dancers not just the steps themselves, but the joy and vitality of carrying on this living tradition.