As Fleadh season starts, parents desperate to lure top music teachers to spend extra time with their wonder kids have found a new way to coerce musicians to put in that extra effort.
Dublin fiddler Seamus O’Flannagan explained to The Drone that it started last year when he was in Waterford giving group lessons on a Friday night and one of the mothers wanted private for her son the next morning.
“I told her I had no place to stay in Waterford and I couldn't make it home to Dublin and back to Waterford and still get my sleep. Well, with a wink she said I could stay the night at her place. Needless to say some music was made! “
“One weekend stay led to the next and with all the extra lessons the little fellow started winning medals. When all the other mothers started seeing his amazing progress and heard about his extra lessons, they wanted to help get the extra time for their child. Well, when the ladies started dropping off their children for lessons, it was like a Victoria's Secret runway show!”
Soon other top music teachers started getting offers for the “Teacher with Benefits” program as it is now being called. In addition to their normal hourly rates, traditional musicians are now finding the affection and attention they never received in their playing days.
Treasa Ní Fhaighin says her lessons have become like Chippendales auditions now that all the fathers are desperate to turn their kids into Fleadh monsters: “Jaysus it’s wonderful! I’m treated like a Goddess! All these men desperate to wait on me hand and foot! And I’m 70 years old!”
Hearing of the opportunities, even 77 year-old Paddy Bean has started teaching lessons again. Regarded as a master of the uilleann pipes after winning multiple All-Ireland medals in the 60s, the legendary piper has found himself in great demand.
“At my age, a few bob from lessons didn't matter much to me”, said Jimmy. “But having these young mothers throwing themselves at me is a different thing altogether. As a piper, I never had many groupies around me. Now I get a chance to see what it’s like to be popular musician.”
Some people in the music community are worried about the message it sends to the young children. “I do feel a bit sad for one poor lad”, Jimmy grudgingly admitted. “Him sitting out on the steps like Forrest Gump while I give his mum some…private tuition.”
There has been no word from Cult-Ass if these shenanigans violate any of the dozens of rules for competition. But they did comment earlier in the week that they are thrilled with whatever is causing the higher standard of playing this year.