The Irish are known throughout the world for their love of life and dynamic culture. This picturesque nation offers opportunities for adventure as well as tranquility, boasting the Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle, Killarney, and the incredible scenery of Galway.

Ireland’s third-largest city, Limerick offers the cultural excitement of a metropolis yet still retains the charm of a town. The easygoing city will captivate you with its surrounding bright green landscape, historical buildings, and friendly residents. Explore ancient castles, walk along the River Shannon, or spend the day in Limerick’s modern downtown.

With many venues for Irish music and well-known institutions such as Irish World Music Centre and the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Limerick is a cultural and artistic center. The city’s mild weather makes it easy to take advantage of the old world pubs, delicious restaurants, and many sports venues.

Our Ireland Programs

“You work with some of the biggest names in Irish music, sitting across from and learning from people who are international music stars. The living and social situations are supportive, fun, relaxed, and great for building new long lasting friendships.”

“Blas is one of the best experiences I’ve had. It gave me the opportunity to make friends from several nations and a wide variety of ages, work with some of Ireland’s greatest musicians, and immersed me in Irish music. I met people I know I’ll continue friendships with and talk to for a long time. The faculty at Blas were wonderful and helpful. I one hundred percent recommend this program!”

“I literally have nothing bad to say about this program! All of the logistics were made clear from the start of the application process and because of this I felt very comfortable with leaving the country by myself. The classes were all great with some truly phenomenal instructors in the Irish music scene. The food was good, transportation was easy to arrange and the culture was relatively easy to adapt to. Most importantly, my fellow students became very close friends over just two weeks and I know that we will keep in touch even though the program has ended.”

“During my time at the Blas Summer School, I had one of the best experiences of my life. I made friendships and connections that will last a life time, I learned about traditional Irish music and dance, and I got the chance to work with some of the best Irish musicians and tutors out there.”

“It was incredibly refreshing to learn how another culture experiences music. With the opportunity to learn Irish Traditional Music, I was able to enjoy music free from any competitive atmosphere. I felt free to try new instruments and I felt welcomed by musicians of all levels. Experiencing music from a different cultural context brought new life into my approach towards music. Music became a means of therapy rather than a means to gain a competitive edge. This was just the kind of trip I needed to bring life into my own approach towards composition and performance.”

“The Blas program was an amazing experience! It’s a great chance to learn how to play traditional Irish music, and take lectures from the university professors to hear their research on the music.”

From the blog


Jumping Off A Musical Cliff

Cello Performance graduate student Rebekah Thompson spent two weeks exploring beyond the musical boundaries of her classical training during PAA’s Irish World Academy Summer Music Intensive. This June I attended an outdoor festival in Nelsonville, Ohio to hear folk bands…


Adventures in Limerick, Ireland

Emily Lehr is a music therapy major and Appalachian Music minor at West Virginia University. This summer, she branched out and explored the music of Ireland on PAA’s Irish World Academy Summer Music Intensive. I traveled abroad by myself for…


Music and Culture in Ireland

Liz Baker, a music teacher from California, spent part of her summer on Performing Arts Abroad’s Irish World Academy Summer Music Intensive, where she immersed herself in the music of Ireland. There are so many things I could say about…


Music, Dance, and Great Craic

Jared Coller is a music industry major at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.  He is a percussionist, and has also studied piano, tuba, guitar, ukulele, Chinese cucurbit flute, harp, string methods, scoring and arranging, and composition.  This summer he attended the Blas…

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