Lesson Plan

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Lesson notes

The Star Of The County Down is a traditional Irish tune that tells the story of the most beautiful girl in Ireland, Rosie McCann, with the ‘nut-brown hair.’ It has been recorded by countless artists, including The Chieftans (with Van Morrison), The Irish Rovers, The High Kings, and Loreena McKennitt. The melody can be played with some variation and embellishment, the progression can be done in many different patterns, and many different rhythms are possible as well.

This lesson is designed to have the student come up with the progression and rhythm and create their own arrangement. We start with a review of the chords in the key of E Minor, a look at which chords include each note of the scale, and different voicings of the chords. These segments are followed by a couple directions to choose. Later segments will look at some of the rhythmic possibilities.

The student is heavily encouraged to do as much of their own work as possible before looking at the attachments.