If you’re an aspiring Celtic violinist, or you simply want to listen to some traditional Irish music, then there’s no better place to be than Ireland. Grammy- and Emmy-nominated artist and composer Mairead Nesbitt was born in Loughmoe, which is in County Tipperary in the southern and central regions of the Emerald Isle. While Mairead got her start playing music with her family in Tipperary, there is plenty of splendid music to be found all across Ireland. In this post, we’ll look at a few spots to visit should you find yourself in this enchanted land.

Galway Bay’s Celtic Music Feis

While this year’s iteration of the Galway Bay’s Celtic Music Feis just finished on October 29th, it’s an event that those in western Ireland look forward to all year long. With more than 30 bands and musicians appearing over the course of the festival, you’re sure to see violinists, guitarists, singers, and more. There’s also a vendor village, prize giveaways, and of course, a brew pub tasting. If you’re traveling to Galway next October, be sure to get your tickets!

Catch a Show in a Dublin Pub

No visit to Ireland is complete without a visit to the capital city of Dublin. With plenty of pubs, live music, and more, there’s plenty of chances to see a fantastic show. You’ll see traditional performers and step dancers, as well as contemporary bands and those who blend both traditional and modern sounds. You can stop by the world-famous Temple Bar, or head down the street to The Quay’s Bar to catch a live performance. Chances are if you’re in a pub in Dublin, there will be live music.

Willie Clancy Summer School

If you find yourself in Miltown Malbay in County Clare, not far from Mairead’s birthplace in County Tipperary, during the month of July, you must visit the Willie Clancy Summer School. This school is a gathering place for traditional Irish musicians, dancers, and more, and there are workshops throughout the second week of July where students can attend lectures, seminars, and workshops to improve their knowledge and their skills. Plus, there are beautiful views from Spanish Point of the western coast and the Atlantic Ocean!

If you’ve listened to Mairead’s music, whether it is her solo pieces or her work with Celtic Woman, or you simply love Irish music and you want to experience it firsthand, then it’s worthwhile to visit these and other musical spots in Ireland. You can go from Dublin to Cork, Limerick to Galway, and you’ll encounter musicians of all types and skill levels who are playing all types of traditional and modern instruments. If you want to learn to play an instrument, what better place than where it all began?

To learn more about Mairead’s latest album, Hibernia, click here. If you want to hear the music that got Mairead started on her journey across Ireland and around the world, check out the Devil’s Bit Sessions, which she recorded with her relatives at the Nesbitt family home!