Guided Session

The Virtual Guided Session began as a monthly event at the Somerville, MA Armory. Mid-tempo tunes for learners, second instrument players, or folks who just want to savor Irish tunes at a moderate pace.

When Covid cancelled in-person meetups, we moved online and now meet every Saturday, 2-3pm Eastern time.

All are welcome to join us live. Or check out the archived stream later on Shannon’s YouTube channel.


Our teaching session began with Medford-based Ellery Klein (fiddle) and Shannon Heaton (flute) leading tunes in the lovely Armory cafe. With help from Rosanne Santucci and Dan Accardi, we held our inaugural session on June 9, 2018 as part of FairPlé Day, a series of events across the globe to advocate for inclusivity in Irish music. And in March 2020, in response to Covid-19, we moved the party online, with Matt Heaton on guitar. As we have continued the Saturday session online, we’ve been happy to welcome folks around the globe. 

Learn with us, or practice your second or third instruments at this slower, relaxed session. This session is offered freely. For those still working and able to contribute to the (virtual) tip jar, we are grateful.


It’s been wonderful to have informed accompaniment (and company) from Matt Heaton. If you’d like more thoughts on chord voicings that help keep the melody clear and strong, check out Matt’s chordal ideas in our “Tune Cookbook,” IN HARMONY  and on the videos he’s posted on YouTube (chording tutorial playlist HERE)!

TUNES COMMONLY PLAYED at the VGS (Virtual Guided Session) —Updated January 8, 2022

There is NO such thing as the ultimate Irish fakebook. Every region….. and every session… has its favorites. This is a social, living tradition. And a repertoire evolves over time–it grows and responds with community input.

Since the guided session has moved and grown online, we have honored requests and  tried to rotate original Common Core selections. Over time we’ve settled on new favorites as a group, and some of our older hits have waned in popularity.

I’ve taken stock of everything (with the help of Clayton Cook’s VGSDB), and also took into consideration a good mix of key signatures and tunes we all “should” know to make this refreshed list for 2022! We will continue to bring in different tunes each week, but we promise to keep the Common Core tunes in heavy rotation.

If you are hungry for even more tunes one of our VGS Angels has created a google doc that allows you to search/find ALL the tunes we’ve played since beginning the online session!

Here’s our COMMON CORE LIST, updated for 2022


Báidín Fheilimí (D) 
Calon Lân (G) (Here is a great video in F
For Ireland I Would Not Tell Her Name (G) 
Hector the Hero (D) – FF
Inisheer (G)
Si Beag Si Mor (D) 
South Wind (G) (video here) – FF
Westering Home (D) – FF

Marches, An Dros:

+ Bill Malley’s Barndance (G)
Casabar (B min) – FF
Cricket’s March Over the Saltbox (D)  (video here)
Ger the Rigger (A Maj)
Highland Laddie (A) – FF
Lucy Farr’s Barndance (G) 
Sean South of Garryowen (G) – FF
Song of the Chanter (D)
The Wren (E min) – FF


Ballinafad (G) – IH
Ballydesmond Polkas (#1-3, A Min) 
Britches Full of Stitches (G, A, D)
Church Street Polka (G) – FF
Kerry Polka (D)
O’Connor’s AKA Hayden’s Fancy (G)
O’Sullivan’s AKA Callaghan’s #NYT (G) (video here)
Salmon Tails Up the River (G) – FF
Taur Polka (D) – FF
Top of Maol (A min) (video here) –FF
Tripping to the Well (G) 
Weaver’s Delight (D) – FF


Apple Blossom (G) (video here) – FF
Brosna Slide (G)
Denis Murphy’s (D) 
Gale Bridge AKA Siobhan Hurls’ (A) 
Hare in the Corn (G)  (learn from Julia Clifford & Denis Murphy!)
O’Keefe’s (E Min) – FF
Rathawaun (D) 
Star Above the Garter (G) 


Boys of Bluehill (D) – IH
Cronin’s HP (G) – OFTC
Fairies’ Hornpipe (G) – FF
Few Bob – #NYT (G) (video here) – IH
Golden Castle (A Min) – IH
Harvest Home (D) – IH
Little Stack of Wheat (G) – IH
Off to California (G) – IH
Plains of Boyle – #NYT (D) (video here) – FF
Poll Halfpenny – #NYT (A min) (video here) – OFTC
Rights of Man (E min) – IH
Stack of Barley (G) – IH
Wicklow HP AKA Delahunty’s (D) – IH

Slip Jigs:

Butterfly (E min) – IH
Elizabeth Kelly’s Delight (A Min) – IH
Fig for a Kiss (E min) – FF
Foxhunter’s Slip Jig (D)
Give Us A Drink of Water (G) – IH
Hardiman the Fiddler (D) – IH
Humors of Derrycrossane (G) – IH
Humors of Whiskey #NYT (B Min) (video here) – IH
Moll Roe (Red Molly) (G) – FF
Night Before Larry Was Stretched (B min) – FF
Redican’s Mother AKA Ryan’s Slip Jig (D) – IH


Anthony Frawley’s (G) – FF
Apples in Winter (E Min) – IH
Banish Misfortune (D)
Buried My Wife and Danced on Her Grave #NYT (D) (video here) – IH
Calliope House (D)
Cliffs of Moher (A min) – IH
Connaughtman’s Rambles (D) – IH
Fair-haired Boy (A Min) – IH
Gallagher’s Frolics (E Min) – IH
Geese in the Bog (C) – IH
Hag at the Churn (D) – FF
Haste to the Wedding (D) – IH
Haunted House (G) – IH
Humours of Glendart (D)  (video here) – IH
Kesh Jig (G) – IH
Killavil (E min) – OFTC
Lark in the Morning (D) – IH
Leitrim Fancy (E Min) – IH
Lilting Banshee (A min) – OFTC
Maid on the Green (G) – IH
Mist Covered Mountain (Amin)
Morrison’s Jig #NYT (E Min) (video here) – IH
Munster Jig (G) – IH
My Darling Asleep (D) – IH
Old Favorite (G) – IH
Out on the Ocean (G) (video here) – IH
Rollicking Boys of Tandragee (E Min) – IH
Rolling Waves AKA Humours of Trim (D) – IH
Rose in the Heather (D) – IH
Southwest Wind (D) – #NYT – IH
Swallowtail (E min) – IH
Tobin’s Favorite (D) – IH
When the Cock Crows it is Day (G) – FF
Willie Coleman’s (G) – IH


Ashplant (E Min) – OFTC
Bird in the Bush (G) – OFTC
Cooley’s Reel aka Joe Cooley’s (E min) – IH
Devanney’s Goat (D) – IH
Doon Reel AKA Callaghan’s (D) – FF
Donald Blue (D) – FF
Drowsy Maggie (E min) – IH
Earl’s Chair (D) – IH
Far from Home (G) – FF
Father Kelly’s (G) – IH
Hunter’s Purse – #NYT (video here) – IH
Jackie Coleman’s (D) – IH
Maid Behind the Bar (D) – OFTC
Man of the House – #NYT (video here) – IH
Many’s the Thing I Saw (G) (video here) – FF
Maud Millar (G) – FF
Musical Priest (B Min) – #NYT (video here
Otter’s Holt (B Min) – OFTC
Pigeon on the Gate (E Min) – IH
Rainy Day (A min)  (video here) – IH
Rollin’ in the Ryegrass (D) (video here) – FF
Sally Gardens (G) – IH
Shaskeen (G) – IH
Ships are Sailing (E min)
Silver Spear (D) – IH
Skylark #NYT (video here) – IH
Sligo Maid (A min) – IH
Swinging on a Gate (G) – IH
Torn Jacket (D) – IH
Traveller (G) – IH
Wise Maid (D) (video here) – IH
Woman of the House (G) – #NYT (video here) – IH

Assembled by a VGS angel.

The Heaton List