The lessons of Ryan Duns

Beginner's Lessons

Tin Whistle Lesson Week One

Mary had a little lamb

Tin Whistle Lesson: Week Two

Review of holding the tin whistle from lesson one, discussion on tonguing; high register notes

The Dawning of the Day:
Slow, once thru: Starts at 1:54
Twice through faster: 4:31 - 5:41

Tin Whistle Lesson Week Three

Peg Ryan's (aka Egan's) Polka

Tin Whistle Week Four

Star of the County Down

Tin Whistle Week Five

Cuts, using Star of the County Down

Tin Whistle Week Six

Hit (strike).
In the context of Star of the County Down

Tin Whistle Week Seven

The Roll

Tin Whistle Lesson Week Eight

A reel - the Silver Spear.

One time through slowly, then played twice through with ornaments.
See also Silver Spear as an additional tune, Intermediate Tin Whistle Lesson Three using the Silver Spear as an example of how variations can be made, and finally Tonguing and the Tin Whistle in which slides are added.

Tin Whistle Week Nine

Learning a jig (saddle the pony) and a hornpipe (Boys of Bluehill).

Saddle the pony:
Slow starts at 1:10
Up to speed, with variations: 2:16-3:16

Boys of Bluehill:
Slow starts at 4:32 Up to speed, with variatons and ornamentation: 5:43-6:42

See also the additional tunes: Tin Whistle: Tar Road to Sligo & Saddle the Pony and Boys of Bluehill

Intermediate Lessons

Intermediate Tin Whistle Lesson One

Intermediate Tin Whistle Lesson Two

Intermediate Tin Whistle Lesson Three

Silver Spear Redux - 3:02 onwards.

Fordham's Intermediate Lesson IV: The Cat's Meow

Broken down in phrases.
See also additional tune: Jesuit Tin Whistle: The Cat's Meow (by Joanie Madden) and Tin Whistle Trio

Additional topics and tunes/Supplemental videos

Breathing on the Tin Whistle

Tonguing and the Tin Whistle

Tin Whistle Sliding

Introduction to the slide, including going down.

Scale starts at: 1:37
Adding slides to Silver Spear: 2:20 (2:26 / 2:34)

Tin Whistle Lesson: Supplemental Tunes

  1. Roddy McCorely (March) [1:28 - 2:10]
  2. Boulavogue (Waltz) [2:47 - 3:35]
  3. Song of the Chanter [4:14 - 4:56 ] (
Roddy McCorely - good for getting into the rhythm of the music.
Boulavogue - good for learning switching between high and low register.
Song of the Chanter - good for finger dexterity: combination of C-B-C-D and also Low E -> Cnat

The Britches Full of Stitches

Ryan Duns says: For my Fordham students. This polka is played three times: once very slow, once medium, once fast. This is not a "performance piece" but, rather, a demonstration of a tune.

Fordham University: Three Jigs

  1. The Blackthorn Stick
  2. Frost is all over
  3. Donnybrook Fair (The Joy of my Life)

Tin Whistle: Two Jigs and Reel

  1. Willie Coleman's
  2. Wheels of the World
  3. Reel - The Rainy Day

Note, Ryan Duns says this:

The second tune, "Wheels of the World" is another old tune. Tom Hastings, my teacher, modified the ending so that that the transition to the reel - "The Rainy Day" - would be smooth.

TinWhistle Jig - Kings of Inishbofin

TinWhistle Reel: Over the Moor to Maggie

Tin Whistle: Carmel Mahoney's

Knights of St Patrick


Lad O'Berne's

The Wonder Hornpipe

Trim the Velvet, Toss the Feathers, Martin Wynne's #3

Three Reels


Out on the Ocean

Tobin's Favorite

Flogging Reel and Golden Keyboard

Tin Whistle: Ships are Sailing/?

Tin Whistle: The Dusty Windowsills

Written by Johnny Harling from Chicago

The Foxhunter on a Peruvian Whistle

Jesuit: John Brennnan's and The Shaskeen

The Wise Maid

Tune of the Month over at

Tin Whistle: The Butterfly

A very common slip jig

Dennis Ryan's/The Butterfly

Tin Whistle: Road to Lisdoonvarna

slide (12/8 time), but on Peruvian flute.

Harvest Home

A very common hornpipe

Wild Rover

Kerry Jig/Gallagher's Frolics/Munster Buttermilk

The Sally Gardens

Moving in Decency, Ah Surely

Two reels. Ryan Duns says: ... I bungled the repeat of Ah Surely - the second time through the B part was a failed attempt at a variation. I went to go into it, thought better of it, but couldn't reverse in time. It must be my age!

Tin Whistle: The Musical Priest

Musical Priest/Maid Behind the Bar/Moving Cloud

Ryan Duns says: Our vacation "Villa" is in Omena, MI and this was filmed in the chapel about a month ago. I know that it's a repeat of a tune I recorded earlier, but I thought it'd be fun to post a tune from a location different from my bedroom. The tunes are: Musical Priest, Maid Behind the Bar, and the Moving Cloud.

Jesuit: The Soldier's Song

The Kid on the Mountain (See Description)

slip jig

Jesuit: Give Me Your Hand

Waltz, C whistle

Jesuit: Simple Gifts (Lord of the Dance)

C whistle

An Irish Yahoo Christmas

trio of Michael English, Brian Holleran, and Ryan Duns playing two tunes (Sally Gardens and Maid Behind the Bar).

Tin Whistle: Morning Dew (The Boys in the Hood-ies)

Can hear the tapping of feet.

Candidates Weekend

Michael Magree and Ryan Duns
"The Cat's Meow" and "Willie Coleman's"

Ryan and the Accordion (Jesuits Un-Plugged)

Michael Magree and Ryan Duns