Bernard's Summer School 2010

Irish dance, music, and more at this Summer School Staff

Written by Staff Published on 23.04.2010 11:32:35 (updated on 23.04.2010) Reading time: 18 minutes

Bernard´s Summer School 2010
Organised by the Bernard family
14 – 20 August 2010 in Prague, Czech Republic   


Elementary School  ZS Zárubova, 142 00 Prague 4.
Public transport information shall be published according to valid timetables for the summer months.



1.    Solo Irish soft shoe and hard shoe dancing – 3 hours daily. Every participant states the name of the teacher to whose lessons he/she applies according to level:

Ronan McCormack, ADCRG (IRL) will be teaching the most advanced groups (intermediate, open).

Tereza Bernardová (CZ) a Tereza Bachová (CZ) will teach classes for beginners and primary levels, i.e. more or less advanced dancers who know the basic steps (skips, sides, jump-overs etc.) There will also be hard shoe lessons for beginners and advanced beginners. Applicants enter only „Tereza“ in your application. The teachers will spend the whole day with the group without alternating. In case of greater interest a third teachers will be added.

Markéta Bernardová (CZ) will teach complete beginners, i.e. those who did not have an opportunity to try this type of dancing and do not have any abilities in this area. These will be soft shoe lessons only.  
2.    Sean-nós (old style) will be led by Gerard Butler (IRL) – this individual style of dancing  will be open to all, regardless whether they experienced this dance discipline before or not. Lessons will take 2 hours daily. Applicants will need shoes with good leather soles.

3.    Irish Set-dancing will be also taught by Gerard Butler (IRL) and it is meant for all those who are involved or would like to learn Irish set-dancing. Special stress will be put on the battering technique. The teacher will present selected set dances and possibly also interesting figures from individual dances.


The basic set of musical instruments remains the same as in the previous years, i.e. guitar, bodhrán, fiddle and whistles / flute. The classes will again have 5 – 9 players for optimum participation. The basic requirement is to own the appropriate instrument in usable condition.

1.    Whistles – this year we would like to contribute to greater efficiency of whistle lessons and due to various levels among the players we add two other teachers beside Michel Sikiotakis (F) – (Martin Penič (CZ) and Radvan Markus (CZ) who will teach flute). elementary music education and knowledge of playing the recorder required. The lessons shall be based on the traditional Irish style of learning, i.e. through listening. The programme shall focus on melodic ornamentation and its types, working with a new tune and “breathing into the whistle”.  It is good if the students are equipped with a recording device which can help further work with the material, listening to the teacher´s interpretation of a piece..

2.    Flute lessons are especially suitable for those who have already been using it in other genres and want to enrich their performance with Irish elements or for those who want to use non-traditional elements in Irish music. Classical flute contrary to the traditional wooden flute or whistles enables easy playing in all keys which facilitates work in a band and is suitable for those who would like to connect Irish music for example with jazz.

3.    Bodhrán – taught as usual by Roman Kozák (SK). Roman promised to  teach participant of all levels, which means that even complete beginners can apply.

4.    Fiddle – there is a new teacher, Alastair Edwards, who will complement previously taught Irish tunes by Scottish melodies. Students applying for these lessons should be able to play on the level of last years of Basic Art School.   The programme shall focus on rhythm (stress on the right beats), learning tunes by listening, basic melodic and rhythmical ornamentation  – cut, roll, triplet. Fiddlers will focus on Irish, Scottish and Shetland melodies (reel, jigs, slow airs), working with the bow, intonation, melodic ornaments, sound quality and other techniques.

5.    Guitar in Irish tuning  (DADGAD) – taught by David Mikulášek (CZ). Participants should know how to play the guitar in standard tuning (chords, right hand stroke).
6.    Uilleann pipes – teacher Michel Sikiotakis (F) – it is necessary to have own instrument. This course will be opened if at least 3 participant apply. Applicants are advised to discuss the type and quality of their instrument directly with Michel at msikio(at)

7.    Four-string banjo – taught by Marek Zienert. Basic requirement  – owning the instrument. Even complete beginners can apply. This course will be opened if at least 4 participants apply.

8.    Sean nós singing – taught by Máire Bríd Ni Mhaoilchiaráin (IRL)
The teaching will among other things include listening and analysis of a song – a story which is told in the text, listening to various singers and their way of interpreting … The lesson is conducted by listening rather than reading the text from paper, as Sean-Nós songs are not taught verse by verse but rather experienced as a whole song. The best thing about this style is that there is no right or wrong way to sing Sean-Nós, everyone sings in one´s range, creating an original version of the song. Lesson Sean-Nós singing will take up 2 hours per day.

Other Programme:


Irish – Gaeilge – taught by Radvan Markus. Open to complete beginners as well as those who already have some experience.

The Irish language, although spoken only by a minority of the population in Ireland, has a tradition of one and a half thousand years and its knowledge opens up a whole new dimension to those interested in the culture of the island. Have you ever wondered about the meaning of Irish place names, or were you intrigued by the song tradition of the west coast of Ireland? Both will be included in the lesson, together with the necessary grammar. However, whenever possible, we will focus on poetry, proverbs, and other attractions.

Lessons are intended both for those who want to get acquainted with this exceptionally beautiful language, as well as for those who already know the basics. In the case of large interest, participants will be divided into two groups, otherwise the lessons will resemble a hedge school on the Irish west coast (teaching several levels simultaneously where instruction will alternate with independent  work).
Accompanying programme

·    A small film festival which will offer a small sample of Irish cinematography in the evenings, to anyone who is interested. We won´t have time for too many films but we will try to select the most valuable ones. Katka Velanová will be responsible for this part of programme. Films will be shown free of charge.

·    An evening ceilí with live music in a nearby cultural centre. An occasion for presentation of musicians as well as dancers. We will also learn some ceilí and set dances during the evening.

·    Traditional finale of the Summer School is again planned to take place at a location yet to be confirmed. We welcome the cooperation of participating dance groups who can present their selected choreographies. Musicians will present their tunes from the lessons.

·    Traditionally, musicians and their teachers organise informal evening music sessions in nearby pubs or in a classroom.


Saturday 14 August

10,00 registration and accommodation arrangements for participants not living in Prague

20,00 evening ceilí with cd-music. Participants are encouraged to prepare an easy dance for the others to learn, accompanied with music (The dance does not necessarily have to be Irish).

Sunday 15 August

08,00 registration of participants at Zárubova Grammar School

09,00 opening of the 8th Summer School of Irish Dancing, introduction of instructors

09,30 dance lessons according to timetable

Monday 16 August

according to timetable

Tuesday 17 August

according to timetable

Wednesday 18 August

according to timetable

evening ceilí in a nearby cultural centre

Thursday 19 August

according to timetable

Friday 20 August

19,30 Final evening performance composed of dance performances of participating dance groups and live music.


Ronan McCormack TCRG, ADCRG (IRL) – dancer, musician and one of the most sought-after choreographers with twenty years‘ competing career started at the age of 3. Member of the original Riverdance cast which danced at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994. In the same year he successfully concluded his musical studies at Waterford Institute of Technology. He was not only a dancer in Riverdance, he was also a member of the Riverdance Orchestra where he played the keyboard. Upon returning to Ireland he passed his TCRG examination in 2000 and subsequently also ADCRG. The following years are filled by choreographic activities – for the benefit of both competing dancers and dance shows, adjudicating at competitions and also presenting choreographies in television.

Tereza Bernardová (CZ)
– Tereza has been practising Irish dancing since 1998, in  2001 – 2005 (with one-year break) she acted as artistic director of Rinceoirí, she is the co-founder of Rinceoirí Irish Dance Academy which she led for two years. She also regularly taught in Germany in 2004-2006. Apart from local feiseanna on the continent, Great Britain and Ireland she has also competed at important championships such as Great Britain, All Ireland and the World Championships. In autumn 2009 she became Connacht champion in her age category. She took part in many seminars and regular lessons led by qualified teachers,  Anne Marie Cunningham TCRG and Lisa Delaney ADCRG (two years in London). She has been living in Ireland since autumn 2007, taking lessons from Gemma Carney ADCRG, Deirdre Galagher and Mary McDonagh in a first-class dance school, the Hession School. Since September 2009 she also teaches some children´s classes there. She also occasionally leads seminars in Germany.

Tereza Bachová (CZ) started her dancing career in a dance group called Caramella where she danced for 8 years. At the end of the 90´s she activated the interest in Irish hard shoe dancing in our country and most Prague-based dance group leaders started their hard-shoe efforts in her group. In 1999 she founded Kaskáda dance group which specialises in Irish hard shoes and Irish dancing. Kaskáda won many awards at dance competitions throughout CZ. In October – December 2001 she studied with Carmel McDoherty TCRG in Dublin and from October 2003 until summer 2004 she was getting further experience under Lisa Delaney ADCRG, TCRG in London. After the qualification in November 2004 she took part in the World Championships in Ennis in March 2005 (under Anne-Marie Cunningham TCRG) Since 2006 she has been dancing again under Lisa Delaney ADCRG, TCRG. With her supervision and support she is now preparing for her TCRG exams. Tereza already taught at the 2nd, 3rd and 9th Summer School (2002, 2003, 2009).

Markéta Bernardová (CZ) – her Irish dancing activities are closely linked with Rinceoirí dance group where she participated for more than ten years from its beginning until 2008. The formation of her dance style involved a number of high quality and qualified teachers from An Coimisiún (Sean Kilkenny, Mary Sweeney, Lisa Delaney, Kelly O’Boyle, Shane McAvinchey, Stephen Scariff, Anne Marie Cunningham). She manages Irish dancing in all its breadth – a very good dancer of Irish set dancing as well as Sean nós. She used her visits to Ireland and particularly to Willie Clancy Summer School to learn these types of Irish dance with Mick Mulkerrin and Máired O’Casey. She performed four songs as a guest singer on the second CD of the Shannon band. Currently she teaches Irish dance at a Children´s leisure Centre in Prague – Modřany and participates in the of the family team organization of BSS and other events.

Gerard Butler (IRL) – currently one of the most sought-after Irish set dancing and sean-nós teachers whose dance activities can be traced all over the globe. He comes from a family where dance was richly endorsed – Gerard´s parents we active in ceilí and set dancing. Gerard has won numerous all-Ireland competitions as a member of Elphin Set Dancing team. He led his first seminar at the age of 19 and has been successfully continuing in this activity ever since. Apart from dancing he is also a keen musician and performs in a music group called Tico Tico Band.


Roman Kozák (SK) bodhrán and other percussion player and band leader of the Slovakian group Keltieg (, performs traditional repertoire of all Celtic nations. He also uses the bodhrán in another band, Banda ( for Slovak folklore and occasionally as a guest player for flamenco, jazz, middle-east, hip hop, R&B. He plays percussion instruments since the age of thirteen. Performed with Luar Na Lubre, Corquieu, Flook, Capercaillie and others. Recorded two CDs with Keltieg and took part in others. He owns probably the biggest collection of quality functional bodhráns in our area.

Michel Sikiotakis (F), whistle player, is very well known in Irish music circles as a very talented musician and music teacher. He plays in a manner he learned directly from Irish musicians. He started visiting Ireland already in 1980. He founded a group called  Shamrock in Paris and participated  in the All Ireland Music Championships with them in 1984. In the following year he also performed as a whistle player. He recorded a  Polydor album Mo Chrop Thú with Shamrock. In the following years he cooperated with Breton harpist Anne-Marie Jan. In 1988 he founded a group called Taxi Mauve with fiddler Jean-Claude Philippe and recorded an album for Keltia Musique called Far Off Fields. In 1996 he founded a group called Mugar.

Michel has been teaching Irish music in Paris since 1992 and leading workshops not only in France but also in Ireland, including Fleadh Nua Festival in Ennis in 1995.

Michel was born in Paris in 1961 to a French mother and Greek father. He has been interested in music since childhood. Apart from Irish whistles he can also play guitar, banjo, bombarde and uilleann pipes.

Martin Penič (CZ) – was declared one of the best whistle players of Willie Clancy Summer School 2002 in Miltown Malbay, Ireland. He spontaneously started playing the recorder at the age of four. Several years later he switches to classical flute and studies it in Moscow. After his return to Bohemia he  becomes a member of a folklore ensemble called Vycpálkovci and of a flute quartet at the Basic School of Art. Thanks to these groups he attended many festivals and music competitions throughout Europe. Only then he discovered the mystery of Irish melodies in a group called Fiannan. In 2006 and 2007 he taught whistle and low whistle at the Summer School of Irish Dancing organised by Rinceoirí dancing group where he was also a member. A frequent visitor to the green isle and a consumer of selected Irish digestion-supporting delicacies. His second instrument is the saxophone which took him to festival journeys from rock´n´roll to hardcore to ska. Currently he is one-fifth of a band called Shannon which has been a firm member of the local Irish music scene, participates in several rock bands and frequent guest of various music projects.

Radvan Markus (CZ) – he has been playing the flute since 1998. He performed in a number of groups focused on Irish music and world music, such as Cabelique (Breton and Balkan music), Kal y Kanto (Sephardic and Balkan music), and especially Dún an Doras (CDs Sweet and Sour – 2003, Rua – 2005, evaluated as the best “Celtic” album of the year in an international Indie Acoustic project competition, among such top bands as Old Blind Dogs and Kate Rusby). He also studied classical music under the guidance of Professor Dagmar Smetáčková. He is currently a member of the band ¡Seis! (Spanish and Latin American folk songs with singer Bára Garcia), and an occasional Irish grouping  with Ken Ó Donnchú & Friends.

Alastair Edwards (Scotland, CZ) – Started playing fiddle with Trevor Hunter at age 7, later adding piano. Later studied at St. Mary´s Music School, Edinburgh under Nigel Murray and others. 1989 – 92 University of Manchester (Mus B. Hons). Composer: works for Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Lindsay String Quartet, Edinburgh Quartet. Works premiered at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Bretton Hall Summer School, Hoy Summer School (under Sir Peter Maxwell Davies). Two years Post Graduate study at Edinburgh University under Nigel Osborne. Since 1996 resident in Czech Republic, former fiddler of Czeltic, now with his own band, Alastair based in Liberec.

David Mikulášek (CZ) – Guitar. He started playing guitar at age six at the Basic Art School. About 13 years ago he first encountered Irish music and was involved in the Kirsty’s Choice project in Brno, playing traditional Irish music. He began playing guitar accompaniments in the Irish DADGAD tuning. In 2004 he went to Ireland, where he fine-tuned his style playing at many sessions throughout the country. The last six years he has been playing with the Marw group and in other projects inspired by music from all corners of the so-called Celtic regions (Ireland, Asturias, Brittany …). Among other guitarists he is most captured by Ed Boyd.

Marek Zienert (CZ)
– Four string banjo. Marek began as a musician in folk and country bands while also studying the guitar. In 1996 he found his way into a musical ensemble performing traditional jazz, where he began to take an interest in the techniques of the 4-string banjo. After  „transferring“  to traditional Irish music he focuses on the four-string banjo and bouzouki which he pursues with necessary fervour. Before founding Shannon he also performed in other similar bands in Prague, such as Cat Crochta, Czeltic or Bandshees where he played guitar in DADGAD tuning. However only in Shannon he managed to bring his banjo playing style to perfection which makes it a natural leading melodic instrument of the band. He is also currently interested in playing the uilleann pipes and is engaged in making Caillagh whistles. Seamus Egan is his favourite performer. You can find lot of music not only on banjo on the website of his band at

Máire Bríd Ní Mhaoilchiaráin (IRL) – Sean Nós singing. Máire is a young lady who will join the Summer School, coming from Carna, Connemara. Carna is famous for its traditional Irish culture, starting with the Irish language, singing, dance and music. Máire has been devoted to traditional singing since childhood and her singing family was a great support. She holds a B.A (Hons) in Irish and Mathematical Studies from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and an M.A. sa Nua-Ghaeilge (Modern Irish), at the same university. At the end of her studies she specialized in Ethnomusicology, concentrating specifically on Sean Nós singing. In the academic year 2008 – 2009 she taught Irish at universities in Prague and Olomouc and led a Sean Nós singing seminar at the “The Irish Studies Week” organized by the Centre for Irish Studies” of the two universities.      


Radvan Markus (CZ) He has been learning Irish since 1999 when he joined the Irish courses at the Department of English and American Studies of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Charles University. He participated in several intensive language courses on the west coast of Ireland (NUI Galway, Oideas Gael),  in 2009 he successfully concluded his studies by passing the internationally recognised test Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge on the  C1 level (equal to  CAE of the Cambridge English Examination). In March 2007 the Baronet publishing house published his translation of a novel „L´Attaque“ by an Irish author Eoghan Ó Tuairisc (historically a second novel translation from Irish into Czech). He has appeared in two TV programmes about Prague on the Irish-speaking channel TG4 and occasionally works as the Prague correspondent for Raidió na Gaeltachta. He currently teaches Irish at the Department of English and American Studies, Faculty of Arts of Palacký University in Olomouc.


In the gym or classrooms for CZK 40,- / night (own sleeping bags necessary). You can also find other accommodation possibilities on the internet, e.g. in the following accommodation facilities:


From own resources, possibility of preparing hot drinks or food; there are several supermarkets and restaurants in the neighbourhood.


·    Intermediate + Open  with Ronan McCormack – 2900,- CZK (18 hours)
·    Advanced beginners and Primary with Tereza Bernardová and Tereza Bachová – 2500,- CZK (18 hours)
·    Beginners with Markéta Bernardová – 2000,- CZK (18 hours)
·    Set-dancing – 1950,- CZK (15 hours)
·    Sean-nós – 1900,- CZK (12 hours)
·    Musical instruments – 2200,- CZK (18 hours)
·    Sean-nós singing – 1800,- CZK (12 hours)
·    Irish – 1500,- CZK (18 hours)

Participants who will join 2 or 3 courses will receive a 20% discount off the lowest course price at  the end of Summer School. If the participant pays a class which he/she will not be able to join due to a change of schedule, the deposits and fees will be returned in full. All lessons shall take place at ZŠ Zárubova Grammar School and in gym of schools nearby.

Registration and Payment

Use the form attached below, fill out and send. Each participant applies directly to a specific teacher. In case you find out at the beginning of the lessons (dancers) that you did not choose correctly, change is possible. If you are interested in participating in several programmes, check the timetable whether the lessons do not overlap. Music lessons will be organised upon agreement of participants with the teachers (e.g. if all agree, lessons can be moved to the morning). Then send the below mentioned deposit for each individual selected programme. This also applies to all foreign participants.

A payment for lessons which takes place after 31 July without prior agreement is subject to an additional fee of 500,- CZK in case of participation. Cancellation of participation at BSS after 31 July 2010 is subject to a cancellation fee of 500,- CZK.

Lessons and fees for BSS 2010 can be newly also paid by an invoice. In case the invoice is not paid by 31 July 2010, i.e. the amount is not deposited on the organiser´s account, and additional fee of 500,- CZK will be requested from the participant.

With regard to your concern about the birth number: it is used only for the identification of your payments and age. For some born at a „good“ time it may also have the effect of receiving a good chocolate. If you have a problem with stating your birth number (or you do not have one – as foreign participants), please state at least your birth date.

The list of all applicants shall be published on and shall be regularly updated. This means there will be no other sent confirmation of your application.


The closing date for applications is June 15, 2010. You can apply using the on-line form below. Together with the application form the participants are requested to consign a deposit of CZK 1,500 to the account number 159562937/0300 (Account holder: Václav Bernard, bank: ČSOB, Na Příkopě 14, 110 00 Praha 1, SWIFT CEKOCZPP, IBAN CZ71 0300 0000 0001 5956 2937) and use the birth date as a variable symbol. It is also possible to send the deposit by postal order to the following address: Václav Bernard, Kutilova 3066,  Praha 4, 143 00. The rest should be paid by July 31, 2007 in the same way.


The closing date for applications is June 15, 2010. You can apply using the on-line form below. Together with the application form the participants are requested to consign a deposit of CZK 1,500 to the account number 159562937/0300 (Account holder: Václav Bernard, bank: ČSOB, Na Příkopě 14, 110 00 Praha 1, SWIFT CEKOCZPP, IBAN CZ71 0300 0000 0001 5956 2937) and use the birth date as a variable symbol. It is also possible to send the deposit by postal order to the following address: Václav Bernard, Kutilova 3066,  Praha 4, 143 00. The rest should be paid by July 31, 2007 in the same way.

Music lessons will take place on condition that there are at least five players for each particular instrument (unless stated otherwise). If there are not enough people, respective music lessons will be cancelled and paid deposits fully refunded. Applicant shall be informed only if the classes are cancelled.


Same conditions as for above stated lessons apply. The deposit is CZK 1000,-.

For dance groups

Dance groups participating in the programme can advertise their group (posters, pictures) in the school lobby. We encourage dance groups to perform in the final evening show on 20 August in the evening. Those interested are asked to contact the organizers in advance with details about their performance (time, number of dancers).

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