She is Magic!


I had just typed the title to this post when Vincent came up beside me, read it and asked, “Who’s this post about?” I asked him a question, “Who is the most magical person you know?” No hesitation: “Miss Beth.” There you have it. Beth Magill teaches both my boys penny whistle. She is passionate, open-hearted, gentle, and yes, some would say magical. Her lessons are the highlight of our week for many reasons. Beth also teaches Andrea’s kids. We all camp out at her house for about 2 hours every Wednesday while we catch up, knit and rotate the kids in and out. It is a wonderful way to mark the middle of the week. (You can read Beth’s take on our weekly version of “Occupy” here.)

Each child has a 20-30 minute private session with Beth. The sounds that emanate from behind the closed door range from shrill squeaks, to snatches of a recognizable melody to lively tunes that make you want to dance a jig. Beth’s enthusiasm for each child’s progress is unbridled. Listening to her engage with them, you would think not only is your child the best whistler to ever play “Hot Cross Buns” but that they also invented the tune and composed the music. Somehow, this effusive praise is never delivered with anything other than a pure heart and a genuine spirit. Under such light, we have seen our children grow musically in ways we never imagined possible.

I feel blessed to be able to drive to town every Wednesday and have my children sit and play with Beth. The good news is, you can too – no matter where you live. She is now offering lessons via Skype. If you are wanting to bring music into your everyday life, contact Beth by emailing her (beth at magills dot net) or by checking out her blog.

** Just a note: I am in no way compensated or rewarded by Beth’s tireless efforts to populate the world with penny whistles. She is a friend, a dear friend, and a resource I think everyone should know about.

8 thoughts on “She is Magic!

  1. Sheila, thanks for sharing this valuable information. After visiting Beth’s blog and immediately seeing that she loves Barber’s Adagio for Strings (and professed that love in the exact same manner I would express my own fondness for that work), I’m even more excited to learn more about Beth and her program.

    Would you mind filling me in on a few details? When did you begin with your kids? Which penny whistles do you use? Etc.? Feel free to email me, too. Thanks, again!

    • Hey Trace,
      I love that you connected instantaneously with Beth through that Adagio.

      We started last year when Vincent was 10 and Jude was 6. Jude is tiny for his age and he had a hard time covering the holes because his fingers were so small. We began with a group lesson, both my boys and another one, but that was not working for a variety of reasons. So this year we switched to private lessons. Jude started out with only 10 minutes, but has worked up to about 20. Vincent has made great progress and performed a piece with some of Beth’s other students. That was truly wonderful to watch, and we hope to do more group playing next year.

      We already owned the whistles that Jodie Mesler sells, but we switched to another kind. I think they are in the key of D (although I don’t really know what that means exactly.)

      Hope that helps. Feel free to ask anything else.

  2. Oh, excellent! I will certainly be looking into this! Skype would be so convenient for me (but I’d have more fun knitting and blathering with you and Andrea!) Oh, wait. This is supposed to be about the kids, isn’t it? ;)

    Off to check it out. Thanks, Sheila!

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