Programme Design

Blas has a well developed ethos where access to the best of tuition from some of the most famous musicians, singers and dancers is combined with classes and lectures given by experts in the academic study of our traditions. This follows the overriding ethos of all Irish World Academy of Music and Dance endeavors, where performance and reflection are seen as equal of stature and mutually beneficial.


These aspects of the Blas ethos are translated into the programme design which incorporates the following:

  • Expert tuition: Masterclasses taught by renowned performers, experts and teachers of Irish traditional music, song and dance. True to its name, Blas gives its students a taste of different styles with most students having more than two different masterclass tutors per study area each week.
  • Performance & Reflection: Blas is unique among summer schools in that it offers strong academic, as well as practical content.
  • Intimacy: The school is kept deliberately small in scale so that access to tutors remains intimate. Blas students receive a high level of attention from tutors and organisers. As a result, numbers are limited so early booking is advised.
  • International accreditation: Blas, through the University of Limerick, is linked to the international credit system in education. Therefore study at Blas could count towards your education award back home. Blas is the only summer school in Irish traditional music and dance to offer this feature.
  • Extra activities: Lectures, workshops, sessions and other evening events. During the two weeks of Blas, a number of concerts are put on for Blas students and the general public. In previous years Blas concerts have featured Flook, Martin Hayes & Denis Cahill, Noctú, Altan, Solas and Ragus Dance Show. All concerts and events are free to Blas students. Tutors also give free lunchtime concerts during the two week of Blas to allow our students the chance to see their tutors perform as well as teach.
  • Self-Tailoring: As a student, you can specialise in an individual instrument, song or dance class, or can sample from a number of instrument/song/dance classes to your requirement.