I have been playing same old wooden flute for over 30 years.
I cannot read music or anything like that but I seem to understand the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland and can pick up tunes pretty easily by ear. I know hundreds.
I learnt the subtleties of the style during periods spent on the west coast of Ireland in the late 70s and early 80s. Ireland was not prosperous in those days and the music was not well-known. The only way to learn was to sit down and listen very carefully to what the man who had just got off his tractor was playing and try to do the same thing. These were wonderful players but not gifted in pedagogy.
I slowly picked up technique but it was a struggle. Traditional Irish music is not simple. To play well you must master the “roll”, the “cran”, the “tap”, the “cut” and so forth. Listen to this:
This is incredible playing. The man playing the flute has made millions from prancing around in spangled g-strings and chaps wearing make-up. It is true.
Anyway recently I stumbled across a site called http://www.oaim.ie/
Here wonderful players teach you how to play. They explain and demonstrate the technique. They play the tunes very slowly. They take each part and carefully work through it explaining the things you should be looking out for. They are nice. It is addictive. I have just spent 30 minutes on “The Connaught Heifers” on a beautifully sunny Sunday afternoon.
I wish this site had been around 30 years ago. Although I know nearly all the stuff demonstrated in the lessons, it is very beneficial to start from scratch again and practice the basic technique. Thank you people at OAIM.