Do I need to play music to use this tutor book?
No, the book begins with the basics of the whistle, and is accessible to absolute beginners.
Do I need to read sheet music?
No, whistle tablatures are included with the sheet music for those who can't sight-read. Indeed, I mention many times throughout the book that the audio examples are the most important aspect, and that sheet music is always secondary to, and inferior to, the audio source.
I already play music, can I use this tutor?
The principal part of this book (pages 50-286) deals with the playing of Irish traditional music in the "right" style and can be of benefit to those who want to develop their whistle skills and style; or indeed, to "newcomers" from other musics such as classical or folk who wish to discover the music of the Irish tradition.
Is it possible to learn Irish traditional music from a book?
I don't think it's possible to learn any music completely from a book; my goal with this tutor is to give the student an understanding of, and firm grounding in, the traditional style, as well as the tools (both technical and stylistic) to find his own way at the end of the book.
I firmly believe that Irish traditional music, as an orally-transmitted folk music, is necessarily based on a simple system. To enter into the tradition (i.e. to play in the "right" style) an understanding of the system is necessary - this is what I explore throughout the book.
And, to qualify my above words, "simple system" does not equal "easy to play"! Like any instrument, the whistle needs work; however by working in the right direction the student can quite quickly gain a basic mastery of the traditional idiom. Afterwards, how far we go is up to ourselves!