Summer Adult Session 1

August 7 – 11, 2023

Come learn with us! Immerse yourself in Cape Breton’s rich Gaelic culture for a getaway like no other. Escape the fast-paced world and spend a week (or two) among old pals and fast friends, secluded next to the beautiful bay of St. Ann’s, studying under some of the area’s finest musicians and tradition-bearers. With a variety of options in classes, instructors, levels, and accommodation needs, we hope to offer something special yet flexible for all who attend. Start planning your Cape Breton learning adventure now.

To find out more about Summer Adult Session 2, click here.

Students choosing to live-in on campus for the week will arrive Sunday evening between 6pm - 8pm for registration. There will be no supper provided although a wee night lunch is served in the evening. Monday morning begins with breakfast between 7:30am - 8:30am, with day students able to register between 8am - 8:30am. All will gather in MacKenzie Hall for a welcome, overview, and introduction to instructors at 8:45am, then we're off and running to classes.

NOTE: 2023 introduces modified student levels. There are four standard levels of instruction available: Beginner, Slow, Moderate and Fast. Students choose their own level based on experience and their ability to learn new material. You're free to try different classes, but we encourage you to find your class level early in the week.  Gaelic Song, Story and Weaving classes are "open" to any level of student.

  • Beginner sessions are for those who have never tried the discipline, or have extremely limited experience with it;
  • Slow sessions are for people who have some experience, but need extra time with new material and concepts at this point in their journey;
  • Moderate sessions are for those with a little more experience;
  • Fast sessions are geared towards those who are comfortable learning new material and concepts and want to delve into more nuanced discussions/lessons about the discipline.  

Also new for 2023 is the integrated session before lunch time. These sessions are designed to bring students together in combinations which are integral to Gaelic culture. There are three choices and their summaries listed below. Instructors will be divided between each option, so that multiple instructors will be facilitating each session together. These integrated sessions offer students the opportunity to create something new, to integrate concepts they've learned through the week, and to present them to their fellow students at the end of the week (should they wish) in a céilidh setting. Note that Weaving is an alternate option to these sessions during this time period.

  • Option 1: Music & Song – this session combines the music and song traditions, with participants exploring how music and song overlap in the Gaelic tradition, how they might accompany and enhance each other, and the many things we can learn from each other;
  • Option 2: Music Ensemble – this session combines different musical disciplines to work together in a "jam session" environment and explore what playing with other instruments means and how intentionally collaborating with musical peers can result in a sound greater than its' individual components;
  • Option 3: Music & Dance – this session combines the inseparable Cape Breton Gaelic traditions of step dance and music, exploring how that special relationship exists and can be strengthened through a mutual understanding of the each other.  

Each class is 50 minutes, and there are 5 a day. We have a short break in the morning from 10:50 to 11:10, and then break from 12 – 1:30pm for lunch, and wrap up class at 3:20pm. Outside of keyboards and some chanters which can be borrowed, students are to provide their own instruments, ready in good condition for learning.

We encourage students to also explore the local area during this time, sampling live music at ceilidhs, concerts, and square dances which are plentiful this time of year. A rented car is helpful, and ride-sharing with others is often arranged. Please feel free to call us with any other questions or concerns you may have. 902-623-0455, or email school@gaeliccollege.edu. Can't wait to see you here!

Live-In Adult

  • $375: Tuition
  • $375: Private Room or $325: Shared Room
  • $250: Meals
  • Total: $950-$1000

Day Student Adult

  • $375: Tuition
  • $80: Meals
  • Total: $455

Interested in attending and want to know the full scoop? Click over here to read up on class descriptions, find out shuttle info, and more.