Primary Tin Whistle – A Complete Course; A Review

Over the past 3 years, I have been teaching tin whistle to children in my school – both in the classroom and as an extra curricular activity. I have used lots of different resources and books as well as teaching by  ear. I received this book by Denis O’Toole last week and really like it.

The book begins with an introductory chapter which goes through musical rules, bar lines and time signatures, holding and blowing the tin whistle as well as reading music score.

This is followed by a huge amount of tunes starting with top hand notes, moving onto both hands and then the pieces get progressively more advanced. I love that each piece has the note names written underneath as well as a ‘tin whistle’ showing the children exactly where to place their fingers.  This is brilliant for children to practice at home! The book contains easy to play nursery rhymes, easy songs in Irish, first communion hymns and traditional Irish music. Also, all the songs have lyrics included. Included is a free reference CD with all the music and new notes to learn.  To complete the lessons there is a section on ornamentation or technique.

This then moves onto note names only as children become familiar with how to play each note.

Overall I think this book is really excellent as it offers a step by step approach to teaching tin whistle. Whether you are an experienced tin whistle player or a beginner yourself, this book is a fantastic teaching resource and pupils book.

To purchase;

  • Ceoltracks – €20
  • You can email Denis –
  • Denis has also offered a class wholesale discount of 40% if a teacher is willing to get the pupils to use the book.


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