Event Calendar


February 15th, 22nd, March 1st, 8th, 15th


7:00 pm

Ticket Prices:

All 5 Classes Inclusive Fee: $60.00

Tarpon Springs Cultural Center:

101 South Pinellas Ave (Alt. 19)

Tin Whistle Music Classes

Location: Cultural Center

5-week progressive sessions

Fee: $60 (all 5 classes inclusive)

Instructor: Nancy Lyon

The Tin Whistle

The tin whistle, or penny whistle (today sometimes called the Celtic Whistle) used to be made of tin and it used to cost a penny. Today this six-holed wonder is made of everything — from copper and brass, to rosewood and African blackwood and PVC plumbing pipe, colorful resins embedded with glittery bits, and now even carbon fiber. Whatever it is made of, this simple instrument is musically accessible to all. Yet the whistle’s complex technical possibilities make it a satisfying instrument for even accomplished musicians.

You will be excited to learn about the wide range of world music that can be played on a simple tube with only six holes. The tin whistle is magical portal to Celtic music from Ireland, Scotland and Cape Breton Island, and Brittany, and also French, Quebecois, Cajun and American Bluegrass music. The tin whistle can also be a musical bridge to playing the flute, bagpipes or fiddle. Many a piper and fiddler have started out playing the tin whistle, and yearned out from there. Aye!


Tin Whistle Workshop with Instructor Nancy Lyon

Have fun learning Irish traditional music on the tin whistle. Participate in a class of 5-15 students, of all ages and musical backgrounds. Real Irish tin whistle provided, along with tin whistle tunes CD and printed materials, and references to online tin whistle resources.  During the classes, regardless of the musical backgrounds of the workshop participants, all music will be taught by ear, the most popular and socially accessible way of learning traditional music. This is the way musicians learn tunes at informal sessions.  However,  sheet music for the tunes and recordings will be provided for students to take home at the end of each class.


About Instructor Nancy Lyon:

Nancy Lyon first heard the tin whistle at a concert of Irish traditional music in New York City in 1973. Bill Ochs (creator of The Pennywhistle press www.pennywhistle.com and producer of Micho Russell CD’s and videos) and an accomplished Irish uilleann piper and whistle wizard gave Nancy her first of many whistle lessons, with Bill, and other masters as time went on. After getting hooked on Irish traditional music, Nancy spent three years in Ireland – in Connemara,  in County Kerry, on Inishbofin and Sherkin islands, and in Dublin, where she had the good fortune to hang around great whistle players like Joe McKenna and Mary Bergin, and get weekly lessons from the late Donncha O’Briain at his very musical family’s home.

This gifted whistle player, who cheered all with his extraordinary spirited playing and cheeky humour, despite being stricken by muscular dystrophy, passed away at the young age of 30. Nancy has many of his recordings from her lessons with him, and you can hear a wonderful sample of his playing at http://www.tradschool.com/

Nancy subsequently taught the whistle at The Irish Arts Center in New York City http://www.irishartscenter.org from 1975-80 and for four months in 1982 to children on Inishbofin, County Galway (before the island got electricity!!!). In Montreal she lead the first tin whistle classes at Montreal’s Siamsa School of Irish Music http://www.siamsa.org and gave a whistle workshop at 171 Cedar Arts Center www.171Cedararts.org in Corning, New York and at events organized by Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann www.comhaltas.ie
Nancy has a wealth of rare personal tin whistle field recordings of Donncha, Micho Russell, and others to share with workshop participants, as well as whistle tutor books and CD’s  from America and Ireland. Nancy’s focus will be on Irish tunes, her specialty.


Tin whistles available for sale in the Cultural Center Gift Shop or bring your own. For more information, please contact the Tarpon Arts Box Office 727.942.5605.

Have fun learning Irish traditional music on the tin whistle. Class maximum is 15 students. All ages and musical backgrounds welcome.

Learn more about the tin whistle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_whistle