Thanks for visiting the Lower Valley Irish Slow Session website! Please read on to learn about who we are, where we are, and what we’re all about.

20140924_190855Conceived and plotted by Mark B. and other anonymous ninja collaborators, the Lower Valley Irish Slow Session  is a tune-teaching slow session based in Holyoke, Massachusetts. We cover dance music– jigs, reels, polkas, slides, slip jigs, hop jigs, barn dances, mazurkas…no songs. A key idea at the heart of the LVISS’s creation is that it is a place where folks who want to play in sessions can come and learn what a real session is like. Part social event, part tune-sharing, and part learning experience, real sessions are just like ours, only faster. We do not offer instruction for individual instruments. We have a handful of experienced session “anchors” who will teach us tunes, general session etiquette, and generally grace us with session experience that they’ve gained both here and abroad. The reason we *have* anchors isn’t just to learn tunes from them, it’s also because they bring that seed of the real session with them, to give to us. We want the LVISS to be a great way to have fun, learn tunes, and get practice playing with other people. There is a $5.00 suggested donation for each session, which will go to the anchors and to our gracious hosts at DeCice Hall at the Marian Center for the space.

***A SPECIAL NOTE TO NEWCOMERS–Please, please, please, before you read anything else, click through to the GUIDELINES tab and learn what you can expect from the LVISS. We want you to be clear on what we are, and what we aren’t, so please do read the GUIDELINES before you come.***

***HELPFUL TIP–Our tune list is pretty long–check out the SETS tab for sets of tunes we are sure to play at each session! Now you don’t have to guess which tunes to learn!***

I sincerely hope to see you at the session!


1365 Northampton St. Holyoke, MA  01040


10 thoughts on “ABOUT US & LOCATION

  1. Ummm, didn’t mean to have my comment made public. Thought it was a message. Can you delete? Thanks!

  2. Do not play accepted instrument,will lock in trunk of car.Can realize value of method.Trying to get a handle on music theory.Starting a little late(75 yrs.)able to sit quietly and pick things up by osmosis .Can come up with$5.00. Thank you.. Old Dog/New Tricks

    • Hi Marie. The next session is officially on the 27th, but there’s a concert that night that’s drawing alot of our members away from the session, so right now that date is tentative. We will most certainly have one on the 10th of September, though. If you’d like you can be included on the email list. email me at the contact page on the website and I’ll be happy to add you, so you’ll get updates and reminders. no spam–it’s just me keeping people informed! also in the future you can check the schedule on the calenbdar page of the website– http://lvbeginneririshsession.wordpress.com/calendar/

      thanks and hope to see you. Mark

    • also, Marie, please do read over the guidelines, and head over to the SETS page so you can learn a few of our tunes! We don’t always have an anchor to teach us tune, so sometimes it’s more freeform, like a real session, only much, much slower! :)

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