How to Create a Scottish/Irish School Program

Every year, I perform as a storyteller and musician (guitar /vocals) at Celtic Festivals. I also perform a Songs & Stories of Scotland and Ireland at many schools.  Usually each presentation is no more than 45 minutes.  If you are interested in creating your own program for schools to honor St. Patrick’s Day, Tartan Day, St. Andrews Day or other Celtic holidays, here are my suggestions as to how you can do that:

  1. Start with flags. Each of the seven Celtic nations has a flag with its own rich story. You can see some of these flags on the school flyer I’ve attached. Flags make a beautiful visual display. You can use flagpoles, tack or tape them to walls, or hang them easily from bookshelves. You can buy 3 x 5 foot flags cheaply on Amazon.
  2. Create your costume. I usually wear my kilt, though I may change that depending on weather, travel or other factors.
  3. Obtain some good music. There’s so many great musicians and bands to choose from. One good program often on NPR stations is Thistle and Shamrock. I generally use a CD of fiddle music, one of bagpipes and drums, and one of the ballads (including my own, The Minstrel Boy by the Bard of the South. See it HERE🙂
  4. Have a table with show-and-tell items. On my table, I have photos, toys, wooden weapons replicas (a targe, claymore, Roman sword, gallowglass sword, dirk, etc) historical items etc.
  5. Costumes for the kids (little kilts, priest robes, various hats, folding fans and parasol for girls etc. Kids liked to dress up and it gives lots of photo moments,
  6. Percussion instruments so a little band can play along wilth me on songs like “Molly Malone,” “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean etc. I have a bodhran, penny whistle, a harp (when I have room to bring it), maracas, tambourine and other percussion instruments.
  7. Some good stories and legends. For example, I use the story of William Wallace, Loch Ness Monster, the tartans, the druids, stories of the Scottish and Irish Saints, etc.
  8. I also have a dozen or so icons of Scottish, Irish, Welsh saints.

I will be happy to give more ideas or comment on yours if you’d care to share them.  Maybe this will get you started. Just write me at rickeyp at Good luck with your program.