Discover the history, heart and soul of Irish folk music - and learn to play - in our immersive 6-week course.

Whether you're a seasoned musician or just beginning your musical journey, this class is for you.

Over 6 weeks, you'll experience Ireland coming to life through its vibrant folk music, taught by members of Irish Folk Band Dòrain.

Each week will also include an Irish Whiskey pairing (whiskey not included, and totally not required if drinking isn't your thing!).

Plus, experts from all sorts of Irish and Irish-adjacent subcultures will be jumping in to say hello and share information about their communities.

You'll learn to play Hornpipes, Jigs, Reels, and more, while experiencing the cultural and literal flavors of the Emerald Isle!

Who this class is for:

This class is for people who play and love music.

Any instrument will be able to join. The main designations used in the curriculum are melody or rhythm.

For example, a flute is a melody player; a guitar is likely a rhythm player.

Specific callouts are given for flute, pennywhistle, fiddle, guitar, piano, and singing. However, anyone with a basic grasp of their instrument will get value from the content.

This class is for a wide range of levels.

Instruction includes simplified options as well as opportunities for advanced players to explore individual variation and expansion.

What this class is not:

This is not a place where you learn how to play your instrument.

There will not be basic instruction on fingerings, breath, etc provided on an instrument-by-instrument basis.

If you're new to your instrument, you'll need to have supportive materials (lessons, fingering charts, Youtube videos etc) that cover these.

Note: while this class is pretty beginner-friendly, it does go into some accessible music theory and uses some basic musical lingo. If these are brand new to you, you may struggle keeping up with the curriculum.

We are happy to speak with you if you are concerned about the level of the class compared to your musical experience!

How we deliver:

  • Video lessons: Engage with in-depth lessons uploaded to your member site every Monday.

  • Supportive content: Reading, recipes, dance videos, listening homework, and more, all conveniently loaded into your member site.

  • Facebook Group: Connect with fellow learners, share your homework each week, receive feedback and seek guidance.

  • Live Group Sessions: Get to know your fellow students and receive personalized feedback in 2 live sessions.

  • References and Resources: Including a great new playlist, worksheets, artist recommendations, and more!

Classes begin May 20, 2024

Student Testimonials

For Zeitgeist Academy classes

"This is reigniting stuff for me! I've been playing on and off for about 10 years - this class is what I needed to remember "you enjoy this!"

"If I can give an analogy, it's like I'm not just memorizing words anymore - I'm learning the grammar. I'm starting to think 'hey what would it be like to write my own music.' This is an incredible tool."

"Last week it really clicked for me: THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING."

"It's on point! Homework is doable, interaction level is great, length of class, all of it."

"This is really giving a framework/foundation to think about the [music] with.... There's stuff each week I didn't know and hadn't been exposed to."

Join Irish Immersion!



Dòrain is a 4-piece band featuring four-part vocal harmonies and toe-tapping trad tunes. They sing in both English and Scots Gaelic and play a mix of Scottish and Irish traditional music.

From left to right:

Mattie Ernst fell in love with Irish music when she started playing harp at the age of 12 after having started as a violinist as a young child. She is now a regular musician at local sessions around Minnesota on the concertina and fiddle. On fiddle, Mattie has studied under great players such as Jode Dowling, Bill Hinckley, and Connie O’Connell. Familiar with both classical and Irish fiddle/violin technique, Mattie enjoys teaching students of all ages and abilities. She is an avid composer of both Irish and classical chamber music, holds a BA in Music Composition and is a very talented seamstress and costume artist!

Cara Weggler Menke grew up playing classical violin, studying technique through the Suzuki Violin method. She was introduced to different fiddle styles: Klezmer, Bluegrass, Jazz and Irish while studying at Macalester College and through the folk music group on campus: Flying Fingers. Friend and bandmate, Iain Dove McAfee introduced Cara to traditional Irish music sessions, where she fell in love with that style of music, and became a common participant in the Twin Cities. Cara studied Irish fiddle technique with fiddlers Mary Vanorny and Danny Diamond through the Center for Irish Music and took up the Irish bouzouki. Cara features her bouzouki, fiddle and vocals in the band, Dòrain. When Cara is not playing music out in her community, she is writing code as an Android Engineer.

Iain Dove McAfee is a muli-instrumentalist and singer originally from Chicago, now living in St. Paul, MN. He grew up singing in a choir and teaching himself to play the whistle, both since he was 8. Since then, he started playing the guitar, the Scottish bagpipes, and then at long last, the Irish flute. He first started playing at traditional music sessions while studying for a semester in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is where he also began learning (and singing in) the Scots Gaelic language. When he’s not playing music, he teaches math to middle schoolers and teaches whistle and Irish flute at the Center for Irish Music in St. Paul.

Alexander Dove Lempke (far right) plays guitar, bodhran, and vocals. He won't be teaching this class, but he's awesome too!

Meet Your Curator: Morgan Roe

A performer, teacher, speaker, and anthropologist, Morgan has shared stages around the world with artists like Andrea Bocelli, Carlos Kalmar, and Amber Wagner. Morgan founded the Zeitgeist Academy to share the richness she's found in music by tying in the cultural elements that helped create it.

Morgan uses her anthropological training to bring to life the cultural forces that create music and educate people at all stages of their musical journeys.

Questions not answered here?

Email us at [email protected]