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Caitlin Irish Concertina Lessons or OAIM?

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My wife got me an Anglo concertina as a retirement gift (a McNeela Wren).  I have had it for a couple of weeks and I am working through Gary’s great 1-2-3 book. I am wanting to choose some online lessons to help me along. I am torn between Caitlins site and the Online Academy of Irish Music. I have read through some of the excellent recommendations on this site. Can anyone compare and contrast the two sites for me?


I can read music tolerably well, can play the piano accordion some. My main interest, at least for now, is Irish traditional music. I also have interest in learning a bit of tin whistle or even the bodhran. Any help is much appreciated.

All the best,


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I’ve tried both briefly, & found both excellent. Caitlin’s is possibly more coherently structured, in terms of progressing through the levels. OAIM had 3 different teachers when I used it, giving you more opportunity to learn from different styles of playing. With OAIM you get access to courses on other instruments for no extra charge.
In case you didn’t know, Jack Talty has also recorded an online course. I haven’t tried it, but I believe that it’s available via McNeela Music.

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Faced with a similar choice a while back now, I chose the Caitlin course because it seemed more clearly set up, and I never regretted it. It's true that OAIM offer quite a lot of extra facility in the form of session tracks etc but I found Caitlin's Facebook page, the one limited to her students, incredibly encouraging and helpful too with some really nice students (and sometimes Caitlin herself) contributing (from just about everywhere in the world). When eventually I stopped subscribing I think I missed that more than anything (and I did get a 'free ride' on there for a few months which was kind)


Good luck Jim whichever you choose.



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I am a huge fan of Caitlin's course.  I also subscribe to OAIM.  I find I learn more from Caitlin (I'm halfway through the "Improver Course," but I like the variety on OAIM and learning from other tutors.  Plus there are tons of tunes.  I'm just at the point where I am trying to play along with their pub sessions...but not nearly up to speed yet.  I tried Jack Talty's course and I'm sorry to say, I did not like it and cancelled after a few lessons. 


If I had to chose one, I'd go with Caitlin.

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