Unit 5: Music of Ireland with Harry

Melody now takes us on a journey from Port Wentworth, Georgia to Savannah, Georgia to meet our next singer, Harry. Use SG34–36 to meet Harry and prepare your students to learn about the music of Ireland.

Genre Overview

Traditional Irish music comes in many shapes and forms. The most well-known forms of Irish music can be broken into two categories: music for singing and music for dancing. Like many forms of folk song, the most well-known traditional Irish songs can be traced back 100 years or more. They are sung either unaccompanied (“sean nós,” or “old style” singing), or with instruments. Harry accompanies himself on the guitar and the bodhrán, but other traditional instruments include the flute, fiddle, Uilleann pipes, and harp.

Irish songs aren’t sung in formal settings—they are usually sung in a “session,” where anyone who knows a tune can play and sing along. Sessions can take place in someone’s house, in a pub, or even on a street corner. Your students should feel free to dance and sing along with Harry!


Meet Harry Video

Teacher Resources



Additional Teaching Resources:

“Irish Music: Experiences in Dance, Singing, and Instrument Playing,” on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings Learn (folkways.si.edu/learn)


PDF Downloads

SG34 ↓ Download File

SG35 ↓ Download File

SG36 ↓ Download File


Go to Lesson 1: Learning “O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog”