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About Fiddlers Retreat 

Theresa Bourke and Marie Bourke at the Taj Mahal, India

Travel loving Theresa and Mum Marie

Fiddlers Retreat was established in 2004 by Theresa Bourke - accomplished musician - qualified teacher - cultured traveller - passionate home cook and welcoming homemaker. After university she took to the stage in over forty countries as a professional fiddle player with internationally renowned Irish dance shows Lord of The Dance, Spirit of Ireland and Bru Boru. Theresa experienced various countries and cultures from a musical perspective and met many wonderful people along the way. 


These experiences let her to establish a dedicated Irish Music and Tourism enterprise from her home in Co. Tipperary that enables visitors access and experience a unique Irish music and culture holiday. She not only invites you into her home, but, shares her musical talent, local heritage knowledge and insights into aspects of Ireland that often escape tourists. You will discover why she is passionate about sharing Ireland with guests at Fiddlers Retreat.  She believes, "Ireland is the best little country in the world!" 


The Irish Fiddle and Culture Holiday was created especially with fiddlers in mind. Irish music is enjoyed and played all over the world. Irish bars from Hong Kong to Hawaii try to emulate the elusive traditional Irish music pub session and Theresa has enjoyed playing in many of them! Classical violinists want to hear that distinctively Irish sound when they play Irish music. People have bucket lists and sometimes one wish is to be able play "just one tune in an Irish pub session." Others want to develop their repertoire, technique and style. People get to experience the buzz of joining in an inclusive Irish music session, meet new musician friends, share tunes, chat and get to know how the sessions in this locality work. Whatever stirs your interest in Irish music it will certainly be musically fulfilled while at Fiddlers Retreat. 


On many occasions musicians partners also wanted to come and enjoy the Fiddlers Retreat experience too, but without the Irish fiddle tuition. The Irish Music and Culture Appreciation package was created to include an array of different activities for all guests to enjoy. We have families and groups of friends who come from far flung places wanting to explore local Ireland. We leave no stone unturned in ensuring you experience exceeds your expectation. All holiday packages are designed and created specifically with you, the cultured traveller, in mind and are tailor made to suit individual and group requirements.

Our Musicians Therapeutic Wellbeing Retreat evolved after Theresa undertook her Masters Degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy in 2018. In acknowledgement of the unique needs of musicians in a therapeutic capacity; thus devising the Musicians Therapeutic Wellbeing Retreat. This uplifting retreat is focused on a holistic approach to mental, spiritual, physical, social and emotional wellbeing. Her experience and training as a musician, talk therapist and sound therapist is instrumental to the programmes success.


Specialising in areas such as:

  • Performance anxiety and stage fright - playing in front of family and friends or performing on the world stage in front of tens of thousands

  • Raising levels of confidence and self-esteem

  • Supporting through trauma, grief and loss in its various guises

  • Addressing personal and professional problems

  • Psychological issues

  • Recovery from burnout and exhaustion

  • Wellbeing and Self-Care

Each persons journey in life is unique. Our retreats are distinctive in being tailored for each musician's individual needs, finding joy, balance and a renewed sense of joie de vivre through talking therapy, sound therapy, nature therapy, meditation and mindfulness along with compassion, empathy, non-judgement and unlimited TLC!

Theresa welcomes people from all over the world, both musicians and non-musicians alike on her various retreat options.


Come, join us and see for yourself.

Picture of Theresa Bourke

Biography - Theresa Bourke 

Your host is Ms. Theresa Bourke, Course Director and Co-Ordinator at Fiddlers Retreat.  


Theresa’s teaching career started when she gained her traditional Irish music teachers qualification, Teastas I dTeagas Ceolta Tire, in 1993 awarded by the national association of Irish music, Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann. An All-Ireland Champion Traditional Irish musician she competed at all levels and enjoyed bringing home the trophies! 


In 1993 Theresa was asked to join the acclaimed Irish music, song and dance show, Bru Boru, in Cashel, Co. Tipperary, which she was a member of for 7 years,


After completing her secondary school education at the Ursuline Secondary School, Thurles, Theresa gained a B.A. Music with English degree at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth in 1997 and followed that with her secondary school teaching qualification, the Higher Diploma in Education, Trinity College Dublin in 1998. Theresa taught music and english in various secondary schools in Dublin and returned to pursue an M.A. in Traditional Irish music performance at the University of Limerick in 2001.


Following this Theresa embarked on a world tour as a professional fiddle player with internationally renowned Irish dance shows Bru Boru, Spirit of Ireland and Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. Theresa spent 3 years touring and performing in prestigious venues in over 40 countries throughout the world. Theresa left Lord of the Dance to establish Fiddlers Retreat and still finds the time to travel, perform and teach Irish music abroad when the opportunities arises.


In 2007 Theresa gained a Higher Diploma in Public Relations, with Irish Academy of Public Relations at University College Dublin and during the same time, took part in a Business Management Development Programme through Tipperary County Enterprise Board and the Institute of Technology Waterford.


Between 2010 and 2013 Theresa again pursued her academic teaching career spending time in the Russian Federation as a classroom teacher in Moscow and Head Teacher, School Principal, in establishing a completely new Cambridge International School in St. Petersburg. She continued to run Fiddlers Retreat during the academic holiday periods!

By 2018 and owing to meeting such a variety of musicians and guests over the intervening years Theresa's interest in the psychological wellness of people was stimulated. She undertook a Masters Degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy.    

Theresa and her family continue to welcome fiddlers and guests throughout the year.


Guests tell us when their window of opportunity lies regarding suitable arrival dates, we check our availability and together we come up with a plan! 

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