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Shepherd School of Irish Music

T he Shepherd School of Irish Music offers high quality Irish music lessons on all instruments, to musicians of all ages and experience levels. Our teachers have many years of experience teaching and performing internationally. Our students gain strong technical ability and musical expression, while developing their own personal style informed by familiarity with the music of Irish music masters. Students taking group lessons bond with one another, & learn to work as a team as they gain experience performing together. We teach students to become confident musicians, and confident people.

Our students have performed on a variety of radio shows, at the Gaelic Park and Irish American Heritage Center festivals, on two Chicago St. Patrick's Day parades, and have opened for Irish music super-group Solas. Having earned silver at the Midwest Irish music competition (the Midwest Fleadh Cheoil), they qualified to compete in Ireland at the world level. Through these experiences, they have become good friends, and have learned to work together. They have also learned to be humble in the midst of these outward achievements, understanding that Irish music is a vast art form they have much to learn about.

We teach that Irish music is a subtle art. In the hands of a good musician, Irish melodies are capable of expressing a large variety of emotions and sentiment. Irish music is the product of centuries of great creativity. We teach our students how to observe and appreciate the intricate, detailed nature of rhythm, phrasing, ornamentation, and variation in the music.

While lessons take place on the north side of Chicago, we also offer online lessons via Skype or FaceTime, for out-of-town students, or when travel is inconvenient. We have found that students taking online lessons are very satisfied and improve greatly.

Devin Shepherd
Devin Shepherd


Devin Shepherd begen learning the fiddle at an early age and soon became enamored with Irish music, which was nurtured by his mother who immersed him in the deep-rooted Irish music scene of his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Devin was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Master- Apprentice grant to study with famed Liz Carroll when he was only twelve years of age. During this formative period he won first prize in the Midwest Fleadh Cheoil fiddle competition for nine consecutive years—another testament to his dedication to the tradition. Shepherd learned much about the styles and repertoire of Chicago by playing with many native born musicians including Phil Durkin, Frank Burke, Albert Neary, Pat Cloonan, and Úna McGlew. Most recently he has enriched his style through the recordings of legendary fiddlers Bobby Casey, Michael Coleman, and John Doherty, as well as living legends James Kelly and Paddy Cronin. Since 2000, Devin has been a full-time teacher and performer of Irish music throughout the US and abroad.

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