Classes & Activities
Class Schedule – Here is the 2016 Portal Irish Music Week schedule. Note that for again this year, arrival will be on Wednesday afternoon, and classes start Thursday morning.


The week begins Wednesday, 10/05/16, with arrivals and sign-ins from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. We’ll also be signing people in Thursday morning, but bear in mind that classes start at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Each day begins with breakfast from 8:00 to 9:15 a.m. You can stay out late at the nightly sessions, sleep in a bit the next morning, and still catch breakfast!

Classes will meet once per day, and instructors will also spend individual, one on one time with you during the week. Based on our own experiences attending music camps, we want to keep the after-lunch periods fairly short and focused to help us all stay awake. We’ve planned afternoon workshops and learning sessions so you’ll have opportunities to learn from other instructors and focus on different aspects of the music.

We finalize both the class schedules and workshop agendas as the date draws nearer. This gives us a chance to try to schedule classes so that everybody can attend both classes they sign up for (but no guarantees, of course). Likely workshop topics include learning by ear, session playing strategies, regional and personal stylistic differences, and how to develop your own variations.

Course Descriptions can be found underneath each instructor’s name on the Staff page.

We’ve also included free-time from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. each day so you can practice, participate in the extra activities, go for a hike, or take a siesta. Dinner is from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., and sessions will take off from there.


There will be multiple sessions scheduled each day, including a mid-day slow session, and at least one evening session that will always include a few instructors.

Staff Concert

There will be a staff concert on Saturday evening, October 8, 2016.


We’ve arranged some unique and fun activities during the week for the non-musician (or the musician who just needs a break from playing). Portal boasts a remarkable natural environment, rich with things to do and see. These activities have become a very popular part of PIMW!

Some activities include:

Star Gazing

Portal is a dark skies community and enjoys some of the clearest night skies in the Lower 48 States. A professional astronomer will take us on a stunning tour of our night skies.

Wilderness Hikes

For the more actively inclined there will be an unguided hike into the Chiricahua Wilderness. Take the chance to see this spectacular wilderness area just as the aspen and sycamore trees explode into fall colors.

Natural History Presentations

Local experts in all things natural give lively and informative presentations from the natural history of the area to specific flora and fauna. Naked mole rats? Ants? Geology? History?