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Music Generation 
Deadline: 23 April 2021

Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board (DDLETB) invites applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer (Fingal). They will be responsible for managing a programme of performance music education on behalf of Fingal Local Music Education Partnership. This is a five-year fixed term contract.

The successful candidate will have a broad understanding of the diversity of effective, contemporary approaches across the diversity of performance music education – and will have the skills and experience to develop a programme that responds to the specific needs of young people in disadvantaged communities.

Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme that gives children and young people access to high-quality, subsidised performance music education. Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Deadline: 4pm Friday 23rd April 2021

For more information on how to apply, see: www.musicgeneration.ie/news/job-opportunity-music-generation-development-officer-fingal

 

Music Generation 
Deadline: 30 April 2021

Music Generation invites individual or groups of professional musicians to tender to lead and develop distinct Communities of Practice with musicians that deliver Music Generation programmes; and to lead, develop and create new work for children and young people with musicians involved in Music Generation Communities of Practice.

Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme that gives children and young people access to high-quality, subsidised performance music education. Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Deadline: 5pm Friday 30th April 2021

For more information on how to apply, see: www.musicgeneration.ie/news/request-for-tenders-professional-musicians-provision-of-services

 

 

In 2020 ‘The Lonely Traveller’ Project was one of the recipient’s of the Portal Documentation Award. View the project documentation video here.

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Jacintha Mullins, Teacher

The initial aim of the project was simple: increase the access that deaf children have to the music and find new ways of delivering and differentiating the music curriculum for this cohort of pupils.  I enrolled on the Teacher-Artist Partnership (TAP) CPD summer course at Limerick Education Centre with the specific purpose of gaining a residency with a musician in order to achieve what I set out to do.

After being paired with Limerick composer Fiona Linnane we got the opportunity to get to know one another and discuss our project ideas at length during the TAP lead facilitator training which we were both chosen to attend. With an initial very loose plan/structure in place we kicked off the school based part of our project with a trip to University Concert Hall, Limerick to attend a “Music in the classroom” performance with the pupils.

A lot of background work was undertaken in the classroom prior to our engagement with Fiona. As my pupils had differing levels of hearing loss from mild and moderate to severe and profound it was important to explore with them how sound travels and how we can all experience sound in different ways ie some with ears and hearing some with hands and touch. It was important also to make the children aware that being deaf was not a barrier to experiencing, enjoying and producing music. In our english lesson we wrote to Dame Evelyn Glennie, a world famous percussion artist from Scotland who herself is deaf. The children were thrilled when Evelyn wrote back to them offering words of encouragement and praise. Ms.Glennie proved to be a very positive role model for all the pupils throughout the course of this project and her composition “The Lonely Traveller” became the central point around which our project evolved.

Fiona Linnane, Composer

Much of my preparation for this project involved meeting the students and gaining perspective on their experience of sound and music; the mix of abilities within the group; and how I would need to refine my practice to maximise the impact of the workshops for the group. This ranged from managing my communication style to allow for the use of ISL within the classroom to leaving more space in each session for students to move at a pace that worked best for them. I joined the teachers and students as they attended a “Music in the Classroom” performance at the University Concert Hall, Limerick and this provided me with great insight into how these children would respond to musical ideas.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Jacintha Mullins, Teacher

Fiona took the lead by facilitating engaging and experimental weekly workshops which were loads of fun. Both myself and the class SNA’s were on hand to assist with ISL and the provision of additional support to any pupil that needed it. After the first couple of sessions the pupils became very familiar and at ease with Fiona and after this point we all very much worked as a unit and in partnership with one another developing ideas and expanding on themes. Much of my curriculum planning for other curricular areas was influenced by the enjoyment that the children were experiencing in Fiona’s workshops. We chatted at length about “The Lonely Traveller” who it might be and where they might be travelling to/from in our oral language sessions. In history we explored the voyages of St. Brendan and the Imram tradition and in SPHE we spoke lots about how being deaf is no barrier to achieving one’s dreams as Dame Evelyn Glennie had illustrated.  Our workshops with Fiona influenced our class work and equally our class work across other curricular areas influenced the direction of our workshops with Fiona.

Fiona Linnane, Composer

I first designed and facilitated a series of workshops on experimental composition starting with simple rhythm exercises and graphic notation. Once I had established where the students were in their musical development, we began to plan a theme for our project. By linking in with the student’s interest in the work of Evelyn Glennie I introduced a simple piece (by Glennie) which I felt we could work within the framework of the project. Using chime bars and the graphic notation learned in the first phase of the project, we began writing songs and improvisation using The Lonely Traveller as a starting point. The students immediately responded enthusiastically to songwriting and so I began to look at ways to expand on this.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

Jacintha Mullins, Teacher

This was an incredibly successful project on so many different levels. Fiona was a joy to work with. She was always so patient, kind and enthusiastic. She brought an open mind, in depth knowledge and a great sense of fun to the project. She engaged with learning ISL from the pupils and  always followed their lead no matter where it went. We very quickly established a three way partnership between pupils, artist and teacher which worked for everyone. This project started out as something quite simple and small but very quickly grew to become a fairly ambitious project. We had secured funding from Limerick Education Centre for a follow on workshop with local Puppeteer Emma Fisher to develop the visual aspect to our project. Unfortunately with the arrival of the covid 19 pandemic, extended school closures and no visitors policies we were unable to go ahead with this. However a promise is a promise and when schools reopened I took what little knowledge of shadow puppetry I had gained from my conversation with Emma and made this the focus of our art classes to complete the visual aspect of our project. The film was made with a mix of live acting and shadow puppetry. Working with deaf pupils in near darkness wearing visors and masks whilst maintaining social distance and pod groupings was challenging indeed but we got there in the end and we all agreed on seeing the final piece it was worth it.

Fiona Linnane, Composer

This project’s success was driven by the investment by the teacher, Jacintha Mullins.  It is difficult, as an artist to attempt to link in the topic your are covering with the subjects in the classroom as we are only physically in the classroom for the sessions.  Jacintha immersed the class in the project by linking it with other aspects of her teaching.

The usual challenge of engaging all students, even reluctant ones, was present but not to the same extent as other projects.  Again, I feel this was thanks to Jacintha’s leadership.

Obviously the big challenge arrived in the form of schools being closed in March.  We had just enough material already recorded to put the film together but plans to continue our work together had to be put on hold.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Jacintha Mullins, Teacher

The increased levels of self esteem and confidence that our pupils displayed both during and after this project were incredible. They were immensely proud of the work they had done and what they had achieved. Singing was something that these children had always done primarily with their hands through ISL. Hearing them spontaneously burst into song with their own compositions on a regular basis in our classroom and around our school is something really special indeed.

Fiona Linnane, Composer

I listened to the announcement of school closures in my car just before what would be our final session.  It was an especially poignant session – I remember feeling a sense of calm in the classroom, while chaos ensued in the world around us.  It would be my last engagement with a school for the rest of the year and, most likely, until September 2021.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Jacintha Mullins, Teacher

Working in partnership with a professional in the area of the curriculum that I found challenging was a very valuable experience. It showed me the value of arts in education and how bringing someone into the classroom can open up endless possibilities and new ways of teaching and learning for all involved. I will be seeking out opportunities to engage in further partnerships in the future.

Fiona Linnane, Composer

I recognise the importance of real engagement by the teacher.  Also not to feel like everything about the project is my responsibility, allow others to cover their areas of expertise.

On the flip side in future I will allow myself to be more involved in the artistic outcome.  Before this I had always allowed the students complete control over the final work, however, as I finished editing the sounds we had recorded it occurred to me that if I take on the more technical work myself it allows more time for the students to explore the more creative aspects of the projects.

 

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

I had run similar intergenerational projects in Kerry in the past, using music, songwriting, singing, and visual art to express ideas and feelings about our own stories. These projects always received great support from local partners and the press, and culminated in a public exhibition and/or a performance. The interaction between the generations was a most important part of this project.

I moved from Kerry to Cork in 2016, and I was touring two one-woman shows. One of the characters in the shows is my Jewish grandma, and there was a lot of audience interest in this character. I started researching the Cork Jewish community as it was in the early 1900s, and writing a musical play on the subject. I’ve always played Jewish music, and I saw great interest in Cork in its Jewish historical past, which I wanted to know more about, and to share my knowledge of. This had not been evident in my 28 years in Kerry, as there was no Jewish community in Kerry previously.

I had built up a relationship with the Arts Officer in Cork County Council, Sinead Donnelly who suggested running the project in two areas, Youghal and Bandon.

We worked with Bandonbridge Primary School sixth class pupils and their teacher, Freda O’Neill and the Bandon Daycare Centre, with support from Bandon Library.

The project took place over four Tuesdays in September and October 2019. Two workshops would take place in each centre (the schoolchildren had their workshops in Bandon Library), one visit by the children to the Daycare Centre, and a visit by the daycare participants to the school for the concert day. In the end, I visited Bandon a total of 7 times – two introductions, the four planned dates, and one evaluation day.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

The children completed a number of workshops with Ruti, in the local library, in school and at the day-care centre. The goal was for both groups, the children and the day-care patients to compose and perform a song for each other and to enjoy a singsong and each other’s company at the final performance.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

I worked with the principal, the teacher, the daycare staff, and the 2 groups (older and younger).

In the first workshop,  I introduced each group to a little bit of Jewish Irish history and Jewish culture, I taught them a song in Yiddish, and we had a little jam with me on accordion and them playing percussion. I then asked them to think about how it might be to move to another country, and about any experiences they had themselves of living in other places, or moving from one place to another. I asked the groups to say out loud how they might feel if they moved to a different place. These words were written up on a flipchart. We used chime bars (each person gets a note to play, from a kind of xylophone) to work out a melody that might be nice for a song. Then we fitted some of the words that the group had come up with into the melody, and with a bit of adaptation from myself, we worked the words and melody into two songs. One verse only was developed that week. I also taught the children the song In My Town, a song I wrote and recorded on my CD for children, Stomping in the Woods.

The following week, the children came to the Daycare Centre to meet the older people. We had a singsong, which I facilitated as I had brought song lyrics, my accordion, and some percussion, and the children had prepared questions to ask the older group about where they went to school, did they ever travel, etc. One lady had brought some instruments that she had bought in Ghana years before, and she passed them round to everyone. I had brought apples and honey with me as it was Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and this is a traditional food for this festival, so everyone had a slice of apple with some honey.

It was a lovely intergenerational, intercultural sharing. Everyone really enjoyed it, and the older people commented on how polite the children were. The groups sang their song verse to each other, and they shook hands and looked forward to meeting again.

The next week was a workshop where each group completed the song, with my help, and we added instrumentation to it. The children brought in violin, tin whistle, keyboard, and guitar, and I brought percussion instruments and chime bars.

A lot of work at home followed, as I wrote out precise arrangements for the teacher to work with the children on, and recorded both songs, and sent them to the schools.

The final week, I arrived early at the school, with the film maker Dervla Baker, and ran through the original song, and the Yiddish song, with the children, while Dervla set up the video camera. The older group arrived, and about 20 of the children’s parents, and two other classes from the school, and their teachers, so the hall was packed. The new songs were sung, as was a Yiddish song that I had taught the children, and a song about Bandon Town that the older group sang. Then there was dancing to live klezmer (Jewish wedding music) as my band, Pop-Up Klezmer, came from Cork to take part in the concert. It was great to see the children and adults of all ages singing along and dancing and clapping to the music. And to give the older and younger groups a chance to perform original songs. All agreed it was a great experience. After the audience left, the children chatted with the older people and shook hands again before everyone left.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

The children chose to work on their lyrics first and then to add in the melody and instruments afterwards. They worked in small groups initially and then Ruti helped them to collaborate to create a whole class edition. We practised on a daily basis leading up to the final performance. Some of the children worked through a couple of lunchtimes to perfect their parts.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

The challenges were mostly weather, as the children had a long walk to the daycare centre and library, although they weren’t deterred. For me the biggest challenge was setting up the project, as it was a complicated project, and it was quite tricky communicating with the funders, as one of the arts officers was off sick. So the admin side took a lot of time and energy.

Although it was lovely working with both groups, there were challenges with the older group, as one or two of the participants were partially deaf, or just didn’t have the energy to participate very much. But most of them were delighted to take part.

The feedback from the Daycare Centre group was that they enjoyed the interactions with the children, but that they could have done with more workshops to prepare them for the concert, and that it took them a while to be clear what the project was about. They enjoyed playing different instruments, hearing great musicians, and the chats with myself and each other. The staff said it was challenging to get the participants confidence up for singing in public.

The feedback from the school children was that they enjoyed learning the dances, playing the instruments, meeting the daycare group, learning about Jewish culture and religion, hearing the klezmer band, learning new songs,  and the final performance. They would have liked longer with the older group, and more time to learn the song lyrics and instrumental parts.They would have liked more musical styles and more younger children attending the concert. The feedback from the teacher, Freda, was that the children loved it, the venues worked well, the final performance was fantastic, positive, and seeing the interactions between the groups was lovely.

My personal experience of the project was very positive. Everyone involved saw the benefits of so many aspects of the project – making music, creating new music, discussing ideas, and the interaction between the generations.

Both groups and all staff agreed that they would like to do a project like this again.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

The project was a great success. The children really enjoyed the music side of the project but mostly responded very positively to the intergenerational element. It was wonderful to see how both groups interacted so pleasantly with each other.

A challenge may have been the time allowed for this project. Another couple of meetings and practices with Ruti would have been worthwhile.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

Intergenerational interaction, composition in groups, arranging music, and performance  – these are all aspects of this project that I would like to highlight as significant. Composing in groups means working together to create something interesting, meaningful, and hopefully, beautiful. This is a good team-building exercise, and just a lot of fun. Also great for confidence and interaction. Performing one’s own composition in public, and getting recognition for its value, is one of the most uplifting things I enjoy as a performer, and I think that this was so for the participants also. The Jewish aspect was also meaningful to me – to teach children a song in Yiddish – a language they have never heard before – and to lead them in dancing to klezmer music, was a privilege.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

Sixth class were enthusiastic and happy while participating in this project which made it quite easy to manage for me as their teacher. As mentioned above, the most significant part was how well both groups responded to one another.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

I have more confidence in bringing Jewish material to schools (although I have been doing this in different ways, eg candlemaking workshops at Chanuka, for many years anyway). I bring my interests into the classroom, and I do quite complex projects, even though it is a lot of work and tires me. I put a lot of energy in, and often don’t feel that I am earning enough to warrant the amount I put in. But that is my journey. I have been very lucky to be supported along the way by a lot of lovely people. It’s worth it!

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

I would definitely be open to taking part in a project like this again. Also, the inclusion of the older generation in some school activities would be something I would consider more now.

 

Music Generation Leitrim

Deadline: 12 noon, 8th December 2020

Mayo Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSL ETB) invites applications from suitably qualified persons for the following position:

Music Generation Development Officer (Leitrim)

This is a five-year fixed term contract.

Application form and further details are available at: msletb.ie

Closing Date: 12.00 noon, 8 December 2020

Late applications will not be accepted.

Please note that applications must be made through the MSL ETB website. Any queries should be directed to employment@msletb.ie.

Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board is an equal opportunities employer.  Canvassing will disqualify.  Shortlisting may apply.  Late applications will not be accepted.  Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board is registered as a Data Controller.

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/opportunity-music-generation-development-officer-leitrim 

Music Generation Kildare

Deadline: 12 noon, 19th June 2020

Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB) are delighted to invite applications from suitably qualified persons for the following:

Musician Educators

Suitably qualified persons to be placed on a panel for part-time Musician Educators for the following Music Generation Kildare Programmes:

Post details and application are available on http://kildarewicklow.etb.ie/kwetb-vacancies/

Administrator

Applications for the position of Music Generation Kildare Administrator, Clerical Officer Grade III (3 year fixed term contract)

Musical experience is desirable, but not essential. No CV’s accepted. Applications will not be accepted after the closing.

Application form, job specification and person specification, are available on: http://kildarewicklow.etb.ie/kwetb-vacancies/

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms for both positions is: 12.00 noon, Friday 19th June 2020

Kildare has been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme- that transforms the lives of children and young people through access to high quality performance music education in their locality. Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Music Generation Kildare is locally funded by KWETB and Kildare County Council.

KWETB is an Equal Opportunities Employer

Branar Téatar do Pháistí

Deadline: 5pm, 1 may 2020

Do you have an idea for a show for young audiences?
Would you like to explore that idea?
Do you want to work with new art forms?

Branar’s Tiny Shows/Seóanna Bídeach initiative offers artists & theatre makers time and space to explore & develop new skills, new roles and new work in a developmental context.

This weekend long residency will facilitate the early stage development of ideas for new shows for young audiences.

The residency provides artists with the opportunity to:

Expected outcomes of this initiative include:

Previous applicants are welcome to apply again, with the same or new idea.

For further information or questions about Tiny Shows, please contact Niamh on info@branar.ie or go to www.branar.ie/tiny-shows.

 

Calling Young People, Musicians and Educators!

Have Your Say! A Survey on Music Education Opportunities for Children and Young People in Fingal.

Fingal County Council, in partnership with the Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board, invite you to complete a survey that will help us understand your views regarding access to performance music education for children and young people in the county.

This research will support a submission to Music Generation, the national performance music education programme, to extend and enrich the partners’ commitment to children & young people in Fingal.

This step taken by the partners emphasises the importance of retaining support for arts and education initiatives now and in the times ahead as we build connections with one another and ignite hope and inspiration.

Your views are important to this process and will enable the partners to develop and deliver music education programmes that suit the needs of those aged 0 – 18 years, now and into the future.

There are three surveys to choose from:

We invite Children & Young People to complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FingalMusicYoungPeople

We invite Schools, Music Education Providers & Musicians to complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FingalMusicProivders

We invite the General Public to complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FingalMusicGeneralPublic

Should you require assistance or alternative mechanisms to complete a survey please email Fingal County Council’s Youth & Education Officer julie.clarke@fingal.ie

Be in with a chance to win!

Children and Young People are invited to enter a draw to win a gift voucher for one of Fingal’s Arts Centres – Draíocht and the Séamus Ennis Arts Centre, upon survey completion. See information within Children &Young People survey link.

 

 

Deadline for survey submission: Thursday 30th of April 2020.

Music Generation

Deadline: 4pm, Thursday 28 November 2019

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (dlr) County Council invite applications for the position of: Music Generation Development Officer

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by dlr County Council and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of dlr Local Music Education Partnership.

Music Generation dlr is part of Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Temporary five year fixed term contract (Salary range: €47,588 – €58,157 per annum)

Application forms and full particulars are available online at – www.dlrcoco.ie

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out.

dlr County Council is an equal opportunities employer.

Deadline: 4pm, Thursday 28 November 2019 (Late applications will not be accepted)

Job reference: 008488

Waltons Music for Schools Competition

Entry Deadline: 24 January 2020

Founded in 2012, the Waltons Music for Schools Competition is a non-profit national event celebrating and supporting music in Irish schools. The Music for Schools Competition is produced by Waltons New School of Music and generously supported by RTÉ lyric fm. All primary and post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland are eligible to enter the Competition, and schools from all 26 counties have participated.

Each year’s Competition culminates in a gala Finalists Concert, in which twelve Finalist school music groups (six primary and six post-primary) perform before their peers and two distinguished adjudicators. At the end of the Finalists Concert, the adjudicators announce six winning primary and post-primary schools, which receive awards totalling €7,000 worth of vouchers for musical instruments and equipment from Waltons Music Ireland, including two First Prizes of €2,000 vouchers.

The Process

2020 Calendar 

For more information and entry forms go to www.newschool.ie/musicforschools

 

 

 

Music Generation 

Music Generation is delighted to announce that Paula Phelan has been appointed as Head of Quality, Support and Development within the National Development Office. In this new senior role, Paula will drive the implementation of a new national Music Generation Quality Framework,  support the planned growth of the national network of Local Music Education Partnerships (LMEPs), and lead on professional development and learning programmes and initiatives for Music Generation over the coming years.

Paula brings a breadth of experience to the role, spanning the worlds of arts and corporate management, music education leadership and practice. Most recently she held the position of LMEP Support Manager at the Music Generation National Development Office. From 2013-2018 she was Programme Director for Music Generation Carlow. In addition to her extensive work with Music Generation, she was previously General Manager of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, a Post-Primary Teacher, Freelance Musician Educator and General Manager of Belvedere Youth Service.

A native of Kildare, Paula completed her undergraduate BAmus degree in NUI Maynooth. She holds an MA Baroque Performance Practice from Queens University Belfast, an MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from University College Dublin, a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from NUI Maynooth and a Postgraduate Diploma in Early Childhood Music from Birmingham City University.

For further information about Music Generation go to www.musicgeneration.ie

Music Generation

Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board

Deadline: 12 noon, Friday 27 September 2019

Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board wishes to recruit and place on a panel suitably qualified and experienced part-time musicians/music tutors to deliver the following Music Generation Kilkenny programmes:

Musicians/music tutors will work with children and young people in group/classroom contexts and may work on one or more programmes at any given time. A willingness to deliver programmes in more than one location in County Kilkenny would be desirable.

The closing date for receipt of applications is: 12 noon, Friday 27th September 2019

Late applications will not be considered.

Provisional interview date: Week commencing 7th October 2019

For further information and application forms go to  www.kcetb.ie

Louth and Meath Education and Training Board

Deadline: 12 noon, Friday 13 September 2019

Louth and Meath ETB is now inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer, Meath.

Post Reference Number: C218

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by Louth and Meath ETB and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of the Meath Local Music Education Partnership.

Meath has recently been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Five year, fixed-term contract (€46,771 – €57,157)

Application form, job description and person specification and other details available from – www.etbjobs.ie

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms is: 12 noon, Friday 13th September 2019

Late and/or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out.

Louth and Meath ETB is an equal opportunities employer.

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/opportunity-music-generation-development-officer-meath-re-advertisement/

The Ark 

Dates: 19 – 23 August 2019

Back for a fourth summer, The Ark are excited to present this really popular engaging arts summer course focusing on the two curriculum areas of Drama and Music.

This is a five day Department of Education and Skills and EPV-approved summer course for teachers.

Working with two outstanding creative practitioners, you will enjoy a week of experiential learning and development. Your confidence and skills in both music and drama will increase through highly participative and inspiring course content.

Using themes drawn from SPHE, English and other subjects, participants will explore a variety of imaginative approaches to integrated curriculum delivery. Teachers of all levels of experience will be able to fully engage in this rich week of professional development.

Course content and highlights will include:

 

Artists – Anita Mahon (music) & Joanna Parkes (theatre)

Dates & Times – Five Day Course
19-23 Aug 2019, 10am to 3pm each day

Presented by The Ark & Dublin West Education Centre

For further information and ticket booking go to https://ark.ie/events/view/teachers-5-day-course-creative-music-drama-1

 

 

Music Generation 

Deadline: Thursday, 20 June 2019

South Dublin County Council (SDCC) is now inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer.

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by SDCC and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of South Dublin Local Music Education Partnership. Music Generation South Dublin is part of Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Specific Purpose Contract (Maternity Cover) (Salary range: €46,771 – €57,157 per annum)

Application form, job description and person specification available online at – www.sdcc.ie

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: Thursday, 20 June 2019

Late applications will not be accepted.
Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out. SDCC is an equal opportunities employer.

Music Generation

Deadline Date: 12 noon, Thursday 6 June 2019

Kerry ETB, Kildare and Wicklow ETB, Longford and Westmeath ETB, Louth and Meath ETB and Tipperary ETB are now each inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer.

Post Reference Numbers:

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by each education and training board and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of the Local Music Education Partnership in each county.

All five counties have recently been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Five year, fixed-term contract (€46,771 – €57,157)

Application form, job description and person specification and other details available from –

Kerry: www.kerryetb.ie
Kildare: www.kildarewicklow.etb.ie
Longford: www.lwetb.ie
Meath: www.etbjobs.ie
Tipperary: www.tipperary.etb.ie

Closing date: 12 noon, Thursday 6 June 2019

Late and/or incomplete applications will not be accepted. For more information go to https://www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/new-opportunities-in-kerry-kildare-longford-meath-and-tipperary/

Music Generation

Deadline: 7th June 2019

Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSL ETB) is now inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer, Sligo.

Post Reference Number:MGSO19

The Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by MSL ETB and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of Sligo Local Music Education Partnership.

Five year, fixed-term contract (€46,771 – €57,157)

Application forms, job descriptions and person specifications available online at – www.msletb.ie

Applications on the official MSL ETB Application Form are only accepted by email to: employment@msletb.ie

It is vital to insert the Reference Number of the Post in the subject line of your email.

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: Friday 7th June

Late applications will not be accepted.

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out. MSL ETB is an equal opportunities employer.

Music Generation

Kerry, Kildare, Longford, Meath and Tipperary have been announced as the next five counties to join the Music Generation programme.

As part of Music Generation, each of the five new areas will receive funding to create access to affordable performance music education for children and young people in their communities. Minister for Education and Skills Joe Mc Hugh T.D. welcomed this next big step on Music Generation’s road to nationwide expansion by 2022:

‘Giving our young people access to high quality musical education is a key element of Creative Youth, part of the Government’s Creative Ireland plan.

‘Music and the arts inspire us all and Music Generation is having enormous impacts in communities, with young people having instrument, ensemble, voice and choral experiences that simply wouldn’t be possible without this programme…’

Music Generation projects are benefitting from €3.485 million funding from the Department of Education and Skills in 2019.

Responding to the news, U2’s The Edge said: ‘Every milestone reached on this journey is a source of great pride for the band as well as everyone who has worked so hard to make it happen. With this latest announcement, the finish line is firmly in sight and our dream of an accessible music education for every young person in Ireland is getting ever closer. We are beyond excited.’

Music Generation was originally co-funded with philanthropic donations from U2 and The Ireland Funds, supported by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, along with funding from local partners.

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/music-generation-announces-expansion-into-five-new-areas-of-ireland/

Music Generation

Deadlines: 8th & 10th May 2019

Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan:
CMETB invites applications from suitably qualified and experienced persons to be placed on a panel for part-time musicians/music tutors for the following Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan programmes –

Further post details and applicant information are available to download from: http://www.vecjobs.ie/index.cfm/section/job_one/vacancy_key/5062

Closing date for receipt of applications: 12 noon, Wednesday 8 May 2019.

Music Generation Kilkenny:
KCETB on behalf of Music Generation Kilkenny wishes to recruit suitably qualified and experienced part-time musicians/music tutors to deliver the following programmes –

Further post details and applicant information are available to download from: kilkennycarlow.etb.ie/vacancies-2/musicians-tutors-music-generation-kilkenny/

Closing date for receipt of postal applications: 12 noon, Friday 10 May 2019.

Music Generation

Deadline: 5pm, Thursday 9th May 2019

Established in 2010, Music Generation’s ambition is to transform the lives of children and young people through local access to high-quality, subsidised performance music education.

To enable Music Generation to reach its next stage of development, the National Development Office is now seeking to appoint a Head of Quality, Support and Development. This new senior role within the organisation will be key in the implementation of Music Generation’s Strategic Plan during a significant period of growth, planned from 2019 to 2022.

The successful candidate will be a skilled professional with a demonstrable track record of delivering results, high standards and achievement in music education development. The position requires someone with leadership and senior management experience that can support the planned growth of the national network of Local Music Education Partnerships, and enable the stated priorities for Quality in line with the organisation’s Strategic Plan.

The current strategy maps out an exciting period of growth and change for Music Generation and this role provides a rare opportunity for an experienced and dynamic music education development professional to contribute to and shape those ambitions.

For a job description and details of the application process, please contact John Deely at Pinpoint:
Email: Recruit@pinpoint.ie
Phone: +353 1 642 5721

Closing date for applications: 5pm Thursday May 9, 2019

Music Generation is a Music Network initiative, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Music Generation

Deadline for Clare: 26th April 2019

Applications are currently being sought for the roles of musician/music tutor in Clare.

Music Generation Clare:
Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board is now inviting applications from suitably qualified persons to be placed on a panel for part-time tutors in the following areas of practice within Music Generation Clare

 

Further post details and applicant information are available to download from: https://lcetb.ie/recruitment/

Music Generation

Music Generation is delighted to share news of the appointment of three new Music Development Officers in Cavan/Monaghan, Galway City and Mayo.

Mairéad Duffy has taken up the position at Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan, one of the most recent Local Music Education Partnerships (LMEPs) to commence participation in Ireland’s national music education programme, led by Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board with support from Cavan and Monaghan County Councils.

Karen Dervan has commenced the role at Music Generation Galway City, another new LMEP under the leadership of Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board together with Galway City Council.

One of the first LMEPs established as part of Music Generation, Mayo now welcomes Laurie Barrett as new Music Development Officer. Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board is the lead partner on this programme.

In their new posts, Mairéad, Karen and Laurie will have responsibility for developing and managing affordable and accessible local performance music education programmes for children and young people ages 0 to 18.

This will include the coordination of music tuition services within the counties, working in partnership with schools, community music groups and centres in the formation of choirs, ensembles, multi-genre performance initiatives, and more.

Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

For further information go to https://www.musicgeneration.ie

 

 

 

Fingal County Council

Deadline: 8th March 2019

Fingal County Council is announcing a new opportunity titled Musician-in-Residence Programme 2019 ~ and is inviting expressions of interest from Musicians who wish to be included on a Musicians’ Panel, with a view to delivering high quality music lessons to children in primary schools during the academic year 2019 – 2020. The application deadline is March 8th 2019.

For further information go to www.fingalarts.ie/education to download the Application Guidelines & Criteria and Application Form.

 

Waltons Music for Schools Competition

Entry Deadline: 22nd March 2019

Running since 2011, the Waltons Music for Schools Competition is a non-profit national event celebrating music in Irish schools run by Waltons New School of Music and generously supported by RTÉ lyric fm. All primary and post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland are eligible to enter the Competition, and schools from all 26 counties have participated.

Each year’s Competition culminates in a gala Finalists Concert, in which twelve Finalist school groups (six primary and six post-primary) perform before their peers and two distinguished adjudicators. At the end of the Finalists Concert, the adjudicators announce six winning primary and post-primary schools, which receive awards totalling €7,000 worth of vouchers for musical instruments, accessories, books, music technology or PA equipment from Waltons Music, including two First Prizes of €2,000 vouchers.

The Process

 

Friday, 22 March 2019, 5 pm • Entry Deadline 
Friday, 29 March • Announcement of Finalists
Tuesday, 7 May • Finalists Concert, National Concert Hall

For more information and entry forms go to www.newschool.ie/musicforschools

Music Generation & GRETB

Deadline: 12 noon, Monday 17 December, 2018

Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB) is now inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer, Roscommon. (Reference number: R18-02)

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by GRETB and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of the Roscommon Music Education Partnership. County Roscommon has been selected for participation in Music Generation– Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Three-year, fixed-term contract.

Application form, job description and person specification available online: galwayroscommon.etb.ie

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: 12 noon, Monday 17 December, 2018

Late applications will not be accepted.

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out.

GRETB is an equal opportunities employer.

For more information go to galwayroscommon.etb.ie/job/oifigeach-forbartha-athfhogairt-music-generation-re-advertisement/?vacancy=

Music Generation

Deadline: 12 noon 15th October 2018

Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) is now inviting applications from suitably qualified persons for the post of Music Generation Development Officer, for Music Generation Clare.

The post is being offered on the basis of a fixed-term contract for a period of three years. The closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon, Monday, 15 October 2018.

Application form, post details and applicant requirements are available online from the LCETB website at limerickclare.etb.ie or by email from recruitment@lcetb.ie.

It is proposed to conduct interviews at the earliest opportunity following the closing date.

Please note that shortlisting may apply. Canvassing will disqualify. LCETB is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

About Music Generation Clare
Music Generation Clare is a performance music education service for children and young people in County Clare that provides opportunities for children and young people to access a range of vocal and instrumental tuition in their local area.

Established in 2014, it is among the 11 MEP Areas that were selected for participation in Phase 1 of Music Generation. Locally, Music Generation Clare is supported and funded by Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, and Clare County Council. Visit www.musicgenerationclare.ie

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/job-opportunity-music-generation-development-officer-clare/

 

 

Music Generation 

Deadline: 12 noon, Friday 28 September, 2018

Cavan & Monaghan ETB; Galway & Roscommon ETB; Kilkenny & Carlow ETB; and Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim ETB each invite applications for the position(s) of Music Generation Development Officer.

A Music Generation Development Officer(s) will be appointed by each Statutory Agency and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of the Music Education Partnership in each area.

All areas have been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Three-year, fixed-term contract.

Application forms, job descriptions and person specifications available online at the links below –

Please note that each post requires a separate application.

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: 12 noon, Friday 28 September, 2018

Cavan & Monaghan ETB; Galway & Roscommon ETB; Kilkenny & Carlow ETB; and Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim ETB are equal opportunities employers.

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/opportunities-music-generation-development-officer-6-posts/

Music Generation Clare

Closing Date: 12 noon, Wednesday 29th August, 2018

Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board invites applications from suitably qualified persons to be placed on a panel for part-time tutors in the following areas:

Post details and applicant requirements are available to download from www.lcetb.ie. The closing date for receipt of online applications is 12 noon, Wednesday 29 August 2018.

LCETB is an Equal Opportunities Employer

Music Generation Clare is part of Music Generation, Ireland’s national music education programme initiated by Music Network, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. Locally, Music Generation Clare is managed by Clare Music Education Partnership, led by Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board in partnership with Clare County Council, University of Limerick and Clare Education Centre.

Music Generation Laois

Closing Date: 12 noon, Wednesday 29th August, 2018

Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music are now seeking submissions from an experienced Violin Tutor to deliver their programmes. Training in whole-class string tuition will be provided to the successful candidate. Music Generation Laois works in partnership with Laois School of Music to deliver whole-class, group and one-to-one violin lessons in Co Laois.

Closing date for completed submissions: 12 noon, Wednesday 29 August, 2018

Interviews are scheduled to take place on: Wednesday 5 September, 2018

Full details and application information are available online at: www.musicgenerationlaois.ie

Submission forms can be submitted electronically by email to rflannery@laoiscoco.ie

Music Generation Laois is a performance music education service for children and young people in Co Laois, part of Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds together with, The Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. Locally, Music Generation Laois is funded by Laois County Council, Laois-Offaly Education and Training Board and Laois Partnership Company.

Music Generation

Deadline: 12 noon, Friday 4 May, 2018

To support the current and future development of both new and existing Music Education Partnerships, Music Generation is now inviting applications for the role of Music Education Partnership Support Manager.

Established in 2010, Music Generation’s ambition is to transform the lives of children and young people through local access to high-quality, subsidised performance music education.  Music Generation has recently embarked on a new phase of expansion into 9 new areas of the country, building towards nationwide rollout by 2022.

This new role at the Music Generation National Development Office presents an exciting opportunity for an experienced professional who combines strong expertise in music development and management with excellent interpersonal and leadership skills, initiative, and determination for results.

 

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/job-opportunity-music-education-partnership-support-manager/

Closing Date: 12 noon Friday May 4, 2018

Music Generation is a Music Network initiative, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board

Deadline: 5.00pm, Tuesday 1 May 2018

Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB) invites applications from suitably qualified persons for the positions of Administrator, Music Generation Waterford (1 post) and Administrator, Music Generation Wexford (1 post).

Both posts are full-time, 37 hours per week, and the successful candidates will be employed on fixed-term contracts for a period of three years.

Post details and applicant requirements are available to download from www.wwetb.ie/vacancies

The closing date for receipt of applications: 5.00pm, Tuesday 1 May 2018

WWETB is an Equal Opportunities Employer

Music Generation Waterford is part of Music Generation, Ireland’s national music education programme initiated by Music Network, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills, and managed locally by Waterford Music Education Partnership, led by WWETB in partnership with Waterford City and County Council.

Improvised Music Company & The Ark

Deadline: Thursday 29th March

Fun Size Jazz – Performance and development opportunity for jazz and improvising musicians and ensembles from IMC in partnership with The Ark

Improvised Music Company in partnership with The Ark are looking for applications from professional artists and ensembles in jazz and improvised music for short ‘scratch’ performances aimed at young audiences. The chosen artists will have an opportunity to devise, create and deliver their short live performances for audiences of children at The Ark this summer 2018.

This new initiative, jointly presented by Improvised Music Company and The Ark, stems from an original production developed between 2014 & 2016, called Monster Music Improv, which toured across Ireland and the UK in 2016.

Applications should present considered, innovative and engaging approaches to creating memorable and enjoyable performances of between 15-20 minutes duration designed to specifically appeal to young audiences aged between 4 and 12 years.

Fun Size Jazz will result in 2 performances taking place on the May and August Bank Holiday Mondays respectively (7th May & 6th August 2018).

Further Information go to www.improvisedmusic.ie/news/fun-size-jazz-performance-and-development-opportunity-for-jazz-and-improvis

The Civic Theatre, Tallaght

Schools Performances – Thursday 25th at 12 pm & Friday 26th January at 10am and 2pm

Original plays, written by 15/16 year old playwrights, provide a unique glimpse into the world of our young people; articulating their experience and their reality.

TENDERFOOT, meaning neophyte, newbie, greenhorn, is The Civic Theatre’s apprentice theatre programme for transition year students.  Now in its eleventh year the programme provides students from eight different schools in the South County Dublin region the opportunity to create and perform original work for the stage. From January 25th to 27th this work can be seen in The Civic Theatre.  Plays written by young people, telling their stories, presenting the world as they see it.  These diverse and exciting plays, the work of young theatre makers, include –

The End of the Beginning by Tadhg Slye, an exploration of male friendship in a world of exams and first girlfriends and exploding toasters.

Plastic by Jordan Lee, a supernatural chiller guaranteed to make you jump out of your seat.

Seaside Story by Aidan Kelly, a comedy about families, holidays and global warming.

And Just for the Cracked by Chloe O’Flaherty which takes a fly on the wall look at a group of young people who find their friend unconscious and unresponsive at a party.

Tenderfoot Performances 2018

Schools Performances Thursday 25th at 12 pm & Friday 26th January at 10am and 2pm

Admission €10 / €5 concession

Booking 01 4627477  www.civictheatre.ie/ whats-on/tenderfoot-new- writing-showcase-2018/

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Sleeper Creeper was a collaborative creation between Robbie Perry (musician), Annie Callaghan (artist) and Philip Doherty (playwright) and was performed in Townhall Cavan at the end of 2016 as part of their seasonal programming for children. The success of the show duly inspired Joanne Brennan (Arts in Education CMETB) to approach Robbie and Annie and adapt Sleeper Creeper for a pilot project to run in two selected primary schools, one in Cavan and one in Monaghan. The original show was quite complex in its clever use of artistic disciplines. From live and improvised music being layered throughout, the use of loop machines to projected shadow puppetry involving unique, as well as, everyday objects. All of this was performed with no dialogue and told the story of an old and lonely inventor who miraculously creates a living being from parts that he finds amongst junk. Their friendship grows from their collaborative performances and zany situations they find themselves in.

Rather than try to create the same performance for young students, Robbie and Annie chose an entirely new story titled, Paddy Red Downey and the Voice in the Dream in which Paddy Red Downey fishes for junk and finds himself transported to a world beyond his wildest dreams eventually hearing an old women’s voice calling him to return home and share his new found wonders with everyone.

Andrea Malone, Teacher

The Paddy Red Downey and the Voice in the Dream project was easily one of the most effective projects I have been involved in. Initial conversations with Joanne Brennan (Arts in Education CMETB) and meetings with Robbie and Annie entailed planning, organising and ensuring all requirements were met e.g. garda vetting, school space, curriculum linkage etc. Robbie and Annie also met with the children to introduce themselves and explain the project.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Annie Callaghan & Robbie Perry, Artists

The ideas were developed as a direct result of the principles of Sleeper Creeper. A multidisciplinary approach to art form and the themes based around recycling and repurposing of everyday materials and junk. The story itself was created as a catalyst for inspiring young minds. Using the story as an opening for the project workshops, we were able to demonstrate to the young audience aspects of theatre, drama, storytelling, music and shadow puppetry that they would in turn learn to use over a two day period for their own collective performance.

The teacher allowed Robbie and Annie to bring the children around the school grounds to examine and collect, in pairs, any objects they found of interest. These objects were then projected through the use of an analog overhead projector and discussed openly and collectively on how their appearances changed with our changing perceptions. This example facilitates a validation process for the individual in what they later view as art and how it can then be manipulated and viewed to help create a story.

Then began a separation of the group into two halves. One half facilitated by Annie and the shadow puppetry and the other half by Robbie and music creation as a means to underscore the students very own production.

The teacher’s role within this workshop was almost only to observe and maintain any control if needed. It cannot be overstated how important this approach was to the project overall. Conversations and shared opinions with the teacher, revealed aspects and qualities of each student’s character as they worked closely and intensely with the artists that were keenly observed and somewhat enlightening to the teacher.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

Annie Callaghan & Robbie Perry, Artists

The project itself was quite experimental. We hadn’t taken something as complex as our performance, and adapted it with a workshop in mind ever before. Also, there were many challenges such as time needed for the students to learn multiple skills with a final performance, questions regarding the suitability of their classrooms, rather than a hall for the workshops etc. We were very pleased to find that we coped quite favorably with all these challenges which were also challenges for the schools. The fact that we could work within the classroom meant no upset to the rest of the school in organizing or rearranging scheduled use of alternative rooms. Also, the fact that the hours we put in were arranged for an intense two days consecutively meant a greater opportunity for all involved to focus and achieve a fully immersive creative experience.

Catherine Mc Guirk, Teacher

One of the activities that I felt really supported the children’s confidence with regards to the music aspect was the time in which they were allowed to explore the different instruments. I found that at the age the children were at doing the projects, they were conscious of whether or not they were “good at” something. It can often be hard to try and get them to engage fully in something if they feel it is on an area that they aren’t talented in. However, the vast arrange of musical instruments that were available to them allowed them to try out their musical abilities on them. I found that my class would often associate musical talent as to whether or not you could play the piano etc. However, with the way in which they were able to explore the vast array of instruments and create backing music for a story, it was a whole new side to music for them. It was also something that after we had engaged with in the workshop, they wanted to do it more in class. The more exposure they get to experience this, the more confident they will grow in it.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Annie Callaghan & Robbie Perry, Artists

Probably the most significant thing for us was the true potential of each and every student to achieve in an extremely short but significant amount of time, an entire production. From inception until final performance in front of an audience, the entire class worked as a team with individuals quickly finding their strengths and how best they could contribute to the group as a whole. It was wonderful to observe, for example, two students that were much happier to be a part of the technical projection work rather than perform music or drama. This revealed for us the complex range of interests within any given group and reinforces the idea that we need projects that provide more opportunities which exercise the potential for total inclusivity.

Catherine Mc Guirk, Teacher

Telling of a story is something most children love to do. Some I have found can find it difficult telling a story when they have to write it- for many different reasons. E.g. some might find spelling difficult and get so caught up on whether a word is spelt correctly or not hinders their story telling ability as they don’t get their story finished. The way in which the children were allowed to tell a story through art and music really developed confidence in not only the children who love writing stories but also in the children who find that hard. While doing this they were also developing their Drama skills- even though they may not have realised that. They were able to use their imagination and tell a story not only with their drawings but just by using environmental objects- again, allowing those who didn’t feel confident in their artistic abilities to still their artistic confidence by using environmental objects in an artistic way. It was something that they really enjoyed. They developed so many different skills by doing the project, learnt lots of new things without realising it.

Andrea Malone, Teacher

This process of choice supported confidence in its own right. The children learned through many different methodologies that suited all learners. Robbie and Annie facilitated so appropriately but still allowed the children to have responsibility for their own learning.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Annie Callaghan & Robbie Perry, Artists

It has only further increased my belief in the creative potential of children and the potential of group orientated creative projects

Catherine Mc Guirk, Teacher

It has changed the way in which I teach arts education as it reminded me how important it is to not only teach the subjects but to allow them to co-exist with each other, to use them together as a way to allow for further exploration as to what they can achieve when combined.

It has given me more confidence in doing projects like this, integrating the Arts subjects- along with others, in the classroom

Andrea Malone, Teacher

This project has given me the confidence as an educator to give the children much more responsibility for their learning. My Arts lessons are less structured which has resulted in a smoother flow to lessons. The power of integration throughout the Arts subjects was evident throughout the ‘Paddy Red Downey and the Voice in the Dream’   project hence I have increased integration throughout Drama, Art, Music and Physical Education.

‘Paddy Red Downey and the Voice in the Dream’ was a wonderful project where I witnessed children growing in self-confidence, learning and having so much fun!

Music Generation

Closing date: Monday 15 January, 2018

Waterford & Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB) is now inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer (Wexford).

Appointed by WWETB, the Music Generation Development Officer will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of Wexford Music Education Partnership.

County Wexford has recently been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Three-year fixed-term contract.

Application form, job description and person specification available online at: waterfordwexford.etb.ie/vacancies/

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: Mondy, 15 January 2018

Late applications will not be accepted.

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out.

Waterford & Wexford ETB is an equal opportunities employer.

Music Generation

Closing date: 5pm, Friday 24 November, 2017

Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme which helps children and young people access high quality music tuition in their local area. To support both its ongoing work and an ambitious new phase of expansion, applications are now being invited for the new role of Communications & Administration Officer.

This is an exciting opportunity for a team player who combines rigour, energy and ideas with a qualification in marketing/communications and/or arts/arts administration, and a minimum of one year’s professional experience.

For a job description and details of the application process, please contact:

John Deely, Pinpoint

Email: Recruit@pinpoint.ie

Phone: +353 1 642 5721)

Closing Date:  5pm, Friday 24 November, 2017.

A Music Network initiative, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

For more information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/blog/article/job-opportunity-communications-and-administration-officer/

The Ark

Date: School Day performances: Fri 1-Thu 21 Dec

Back by popular demand this Christmas, follow The Henry Girls into an enchanting world of winter!

From sparkling icicles to wolves in the forest, the joy of sledding at high speed or the wonder of the Aurora Borealis on a frosty night, discover the magic and mysteries of the festive season.

Perfect for all primary school classes, this show is an ideal opportunity to explore the Listening & Responding, Composing and Performing strand units of the Music curriculum. Attending this live music performance means children will see and hear outstanding Irish musicians performing brand new music on a range of instruments including piano, harp, voice, accordion, fiddle and double bass as well as percussion.

A free downloadable classroom pack is available to teachers which will provide a range of accessible music activities and creative approaches connected to the theme of the show. The activities will encourage music making projects in the classroom and support imaginative music responses to the performance which are relevant to the composing and performing music curriculum strands.

For more information go to ark.ie/events/view/cpd-for-teachers-exploring-winter-through-music

The Ark

Date: Saturday 11th November, 10:30 am to 1.30pm

Refresh your music repertoire for this wintry time of year as you discover a number of great new seasonal songs that children will love as well as a range of creative ideas for using them in the classroom to deliver both the Performance and Composing strands of the music curriculum. Along the way you’ll be encouraged to throw out any preconceptions you may have about having a good or bad voice and nurture your love and passion for singing. With Lorna’s guidance you will explore how to work creatively with music in the classroom within a winter theme alongside exploring a number of ideas presented in our free teachers’ resource pack that accompanies the show.

Lorna McLaughlin, who is a member of the band The Henry Girls, will lead teachers in a hands-on music workshop working with songs and music material from our winter music show Tracks in the Snow which was commissioned by The Ark and written by The Henry Girls especially for young audiences.

For more information go to ark.ie/events/view/cpd-for-teachers-exploring-winter-through-music

 

13th December 2017

On December 13th The Mansion House will play host to celebrate 120 years of school choirs in a special event ‘It’s the Taking Part that Counts’. 

The event will celebrate and highlight the positive impact of school-based choral participation on both choir members and the wider school community and will feature prize-winning Irish school choirs alongside a community outreach school choir formed ‘from scratch’ specially for the celebration. This ‘scratch choir’ involves one of Ireland’s DEIS schools – St. Vincent’s GNS, Dublin who is being trained by Wesley College choral conductor Helen Doyle for this their debut concert, and beyond.  Joining them will be the Feis Ceoil prize-winning school choirs, along with members of two of Ireland’s leading professional choirs.

Additional choirs ‘from scratch’ will attend the event as they begin their year-long journey, culminating in the celebration of Christmas in their own schools in 2018.  With a keynote address from Assistant Professor in Education Marita Kerin, Trinity College, the event will celebrate school-based choral activity while demonstrating its powerfully transformative effects on school communities, thus encouraging every school in Ireland to get involved in choral singing.

The Mansion House event, ‘It’s the Taking Part that Counts’, takes place on Wednesday, 13th December at 2.30pm.  Please lend your support to this project and attend this choral celebration of our school choirs.

For more information find go to @schoolchoirs120 on Facebook or email schoolchoirs120@gmail.com

To book tickets go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/its-the-taking-part-that-counts-tickets

FeisCeoil-120

Music Generation

Closing Date: Closing date: 12 noon, Friday 3 November, 2017

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council; Galway & Roscommon ETB; Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim ETB; and Waterford & Wexford ETB each invite applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer:

Reference numbers –

 

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by each Statutory Agency and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of the Music Education Partnership in each county.

 

All five counties have recently been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

 

Three-year fixed-term contract.

Application form, job description and person specification available online –

 

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: 12 noon, Friday 3 November 2017

Late applications will not be accepted. Short-listing may apply.

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/blog/article/job-opportunities-music-generation-development-officer-5-posts/

Music Generation

Closing Date: 4pm, Friday 13 October 2017

Louth and Meath Education and Training Board on behalf of the Music Generation Louth are inviting applications the following positions that may become available in the next academic year 2017/18:

 

Music Generation Louth Tutors

with specialism in the following areas:

 

Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will receive further contact.

Please note that no CVs – only official application forms – will be accepted. Application forms and further information can be found online at: http://bit.ly/2g4vBCY

LMETB is an equal opportunities employer.

 

Essential requirements:

Candidates must demonstrate a strong passion for teaching and learning, and for nurturing the musical development of children and young people of all ages and abilities. Qualification in Music is essential.

 

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms:

4pm, Friday 13 October 2017

For more information go to www.musicgenerationlouth.ie or www.vecjobs.ie/index.cfm/section/job_one/vacancy_key/4106

Music Generation

Music Generation has announced the 9 new areas of Ireland that will receive philanthropic funding from U2 and The Ireland Funds to create increased access to non-mainstream music tuition for children and young people in their local area.

Following an open national call for applications earlier this year, the 9 new areas selected for participation are: Cavan/Monaghan; Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown; Galway City; Galway County; Kilkenny; Leitrim; Roscommon; Waterford and Wexford. The programmes will be managed and delivered by local Music Education Partnerships in each area. Operating on a 50/50 matched funding basis, these new Music Education Partnerships will receive an investment of €5m raised by U2 and The Ireland Funds, and will also generate a further combined €5m in local investment over the next five years.

Ireland’s national music education programme, Music Generation was initiated by Music Network in 2010, and is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

For more information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/music-generation-announces-9-new-areas-of-ireland-selected-for-partici/

Tell us the story of your project – What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Leanne Kyle, Teacher

We were working with Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership on a project called Virtually There. In this project the artist doesn’t actually come into the classroom. We correspond mostly via the interactive whiteboard. I was ICT coordinator and this project really appealed to me. It was different and offered  a new experience for me and the children.

Initially the artist (Lisa) came to meet us at the school. It was great day because we were able to chat and have a planning session. We went on a walk around the school. We decided to use nature and the actual school environment as a beginning point. I wanted to use the school garden and create links to the eco-school ethos. We tied this all together into a project which focused on the topic of ‘senses’. This topic is very popular and suitable for P2 and 3. Later we narrowed this down further to the sense of touch with many trips outside working with the trees. It was Autumn time so we began to focus on the leaves. Lisa taught a ‘leaf dance’. From here, it just took off with a focus on nature and touch.

Lisa Cahill, Artist

My ‘Virtually There’ journey with Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership, Leanne Kyle and the P2 & 3 Class of Aughnacloy began in September 2016. At this time I was also Dance Artist in Residence at the Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education at Maynooth University. The Autumn of 2016 marked the final phase of the three year residency. I had received an Arts Council, Young People Children and Education (YPCE) Bursary Award. The focus of my investigations included the development of frames and activities that engaged the sensory body in the outdoor environment of a school site. Over those Autumnal and Winter months the creative journey with many partners unfolded.

Developing the body’s sensory attunement through engagement with the site is an important element of my practice. I was spending a lot of time outside. I was out in the garden , fields, orchards, forested areas of the University campus. My explorations involved movement, writing, art making, gathering sounds and natural materials, reading and learning more and more about the natural environment that I was in.

I wanted to bring these explorations into the Virtually There project. I really looked forward to sharing these with Leanne and the children. I wanted to notice and hear their responses through multiple and different forms of documentation. I wanted to see what emerged through our collective journey.

Leanne shared my curiousity in this discovery process as we set about investigating:

 

We committed to holding an intention of listening to the needs and responses of each partner. We committed to capturing each of our responses to the tasks and activities. These responses might emerge in different forms, such as verbal, written, a gesture or movement, a photograph, a word, a drawing.

I felt my role was to invite and remind us to return to our body and the sensations and feelings we were experiencing right now in each moment.

And so our journey unfolded.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Leanne

At the first online session, the children introduced themselves to Lisa. They wrote a little about themselves and they read this to Lisa through the interactive whiteboard. We began to work on the leaf dance and talked about the different seasons. We were in the season of Autumn. We went outside and discussed how the leaves were falling and blowing in the trees. Lisa shown us her leaf dance. That really got the children thinking about what they would like to do. They had a lot of input. We created some sensory warm up audio clips with Lisa.

https://soundcloud.com/lisadance/virtually-there-warm-up

She was great to ask the children for their ideas. The children decided that they would like to bring things in from the outside. We played with different ways of using these materials in our warm up clips. This resulted in the children bringing in leaves and things like that. This then resulted in their favourite activity; leaf tattoos. The children loved this. It was so simple, yet so effective. This all tied in well with our topics in school because we look at the different seasons. It tied in with our literacy, particularly poetry. When we arrived at the season of Spring, we wrote poems. We’d explored so much by this stage. We looked at our hands, created drawings of our hands, gone outside to find natural objects to mark make on paper. Actually, this mark making was something they really loved.

The children, in small groups, began to form their own dances. They led the learning at this point. Some of them started to think and dance about trees being chopped down. This led us to a new topic, which I had never done before in school; the topic of deforestation, looking at the Amazon rainforest and the effect of deforestation. The children really led this bit. There were lots of woodcutters chopping down trees. But also planting new trees. This was really the chidren’s own ideas, which came from Lisa’s input. At a later stage in the project, the children made campaign posters to send to the Prince’s Rainforest Trust. We are a UNICEF school and it all tied into the modules of Your Rights and You Have a Right to Have an Opinion. The children had a right to voice their opinion that deforestation is wrong.  They led the learning completely.

I would say it was very collaborative project, a journey in working together.

Lisa

The intention Leanne and I brought to the development of our work together was to listen to each other and the children. In listening, we focused on attuning to the energy and responses of the children. How were they responding? At what moments did energy heighten and flow?

Indeed it was often a great challenge for me to notice and ‘feel into’ the energy of the children, the temperature of the room in response to an activity. My own sensory experience of been in the class room through the interactive whiteboard at times felt frustrating and even at times lonely. Looking at the classroom through the narrow screen of my laptop made me consider other ways of discovering and identifying the information I needed to ‘feel into’ and sense in order to learn about this room full of people. I had to ask specific questions to the children and Leanne to receive their feedback.

I will always remember Leanne’s description of the children’s response to the task of creating leaf tattoos. She described the children’s joy and laughter coupled with their attention in colouring and pressing leaves on their bodies.

Throughout the duration of the project, I continued to share elements and small samples of work from my own practice. From these sharings, Leanne and the children began to develop their own questions, tasks and creative forms of response and reflection.

I found it so exciting to see, hear and feel individual’s process, their ideas, questions and responses.

What aspects of the project made you smile? What aspects of the project made you feel challenged?

Leanne

I’ll start with a challenge. It was session 9. Everything had been going so well on our computer programme, Blackboard Collaborate. But on lesson 9, the technology would not work for us. Lisa couldn’t connect with us. I felt lost. The C2K school network in Northern Ireland is very strict. I couldn’t use facetime or skype to connect with Lisa. So we ended up communiciating via whatsapp. It was a whole new way of connecting with Lisa. We were able to communicate with Lisa using whats app voice messages. We sent photographs of what we did that day (which was a continuation of what we were doing). So when technology fails – that is a challenge.

The highlight was when Lisa came up to the school for two days in April. I will never forget that the time that she spent with them before we went out filming their dances. I will never forget that. The children will never forget that. It was amazing. We spent all this time working collaboratively online.  Then she was there in person. That was a highlight for me and the kids.

Lisa

Indeed, like Leanne, memories of session 9 haven’t softened for me. Our means of communiciation didn’t work. I lost a little confidence with the technology after this point. I felt anxious in the lead up to the next sessions. When technology fails, it definitely poses a big challenge.

But, because of the realisation that we could not rely on our online connection, we began to develop less focus on me as the leader of sessions. I look back now and realise that this was a really important moment of our journey together. After session 9, I think Leanne and the children really took off and entered their full flow. Up to session 9, we spent much time getting to know each other, exploring ideas, trying things out, engaging with our senses indoors and outdoors, experiencing each others small creative forms and experiments. I know that the children had developed skills and knowledge and were full of passion for creative movement and the natural environment around them. In stepping back a little, I created more space for this dynamic partnership (teacher and children) and individuals to embrace their own creativity. When I reflect on this, I smile.

What insights from the project are worth sharing? (These may seem small, but are significant to you)

Leanne

At the start I wasn’t really sure where it was going to go. I needed to take a step back and breath. Lisa encouraged us all to concentrate on the simple things. But the simple things turned out to be very effective.

In main stream schools at the minute, it’s all about getting children in touch with their senses again. There are so many children coming into school at the moment with sensory issues. With the warm ups, we focused on the sense of touch. Before each lesson the children were so excited about working with Lisa. The warm ups helped calm the children.

The sensory issue is a big thing at the minute in main stream schools. We recognise the need to support children to return to the basics, being calm in themselves and able to regulate themselves. The warm ups for me were great. They focused on touch and feeling, touching your arm, leg and head. From a sensory perspective, this was significant for me and I thought it prepared them well for their dances.

Lisa

Something I would like to share is how we endeavoured to document the process through gathering multiple means of documentation. Leanne is an avid photographer. She created, gathered and drew our focus to this form of visual documentation.

It feels now, following completion of the project that the engagement with multiple forms of documentation was a really important layer and container for the processes and choices that emerged throughout the project. Methods included: photography, film, writing, art, movement and the gathering of materials. These forms illustrated and offered many entry points for others into the work and processes of the project.

Has anything changed as a result of the project?

Leanne

Yes. The impact of the audio warm ups and our attention to the senses made me take a step back and realise everything in mainstream teaching is done at a pace. You are going at a rate of knots to try and get everything covered because there is so much curriculum to cover. At the end  of the day as society goes on, moves more into technology (and yes our project was based around technology), this project brought out the importance of just been still. Breathing and regulating yourself, mindfulness. Being aware of your space, being aware of your own body and senses, which alot of children at this age are missing. I’d say that has really made me think as a teacher.

Dance does not have to be very structured. It can made so creative and the children proved that. I was thinking where is this going to go with the boys? How are the boys going to get into this? And I not being a dancer, I was thinking, ‘gosh, where is this going to go? I think at times I worried about the end product. But I realise now it’s really about the process. The amount of work the children put into the process of it all was unbelievable. Those dances didn’t happen overnight. The children took ownership of their own process. I loved the days when Lisa worked with small groups, chatting to them about their dances, giving them feedback, hints and tips. The children loved this. It was really about the process but it’s also nice to have an amazing end product. But it really is about the process.

For me the parents really getting on board was important. It was a risk you take. Our sessions took a whole day. It was a whole day out of the normal curriculum; numeracy and literacy. For this day, you are dancing!

It was really important that the parents were on board with this. And they were. They kept involved all the time. Right from the class assembly, when we shared an interview between the children, teacher and artist. They absolutely loved it. They got to see Lisa. They had heard so much about Lisa from the chidlren. But they got to see Lisa and they were so keen to learn more about her. I think that was important, getting the parents on board and getting them involved. We created a DVD as part of our project. The DVD idea wasn’t my suggestion. It wasn’t the childrens or Lisas. It was the parents’ suggestion. Parents came to me after the class assembly and asked me for the footage. We had shown a film of an interview between Lisa and the children. We had two interviewers who asked Lisa questions. They did a super job and their parents were so proud watching the footage of  them confidenctly posing questinos. This project was inclusive of all chidlren in the class and particulary appealed to those chidlren who learn best through kinaesthetic learning.

Our final DVD came from the parents request to see footage of this interview. The parents wanted to see the children’s dances and share it with others. I think this is important. It is not just a partnership between the teacher, children and the artist. It is also a partnership with the parents.

When Lisa came to the school in April, it was amazing to see the parent’s excitement. She got out of her car and they were all saying hello. She had never met them before. But they all felt that they knew her. It’s amazing how you can work with someone all year and ye’re at opposite ends of the country. When something like this comes together, it’s pretty special.

Lisa

I think what I am left with at this stage and what I would like to remember as I go forward with Leanne, the children, families and community of Aughnacloy PS, is my curiousity around makings connections and asking questions.

I have neither an answer or a method as to how to achieve these successfully. But I think we can rely on our intention to listen, trust and be curious.

Here is a note from my journal (which was written throughout the project).

What question(s) can be shared to offer permission for an experience to ‘unfold’.

I think there are different ways of thinking about this.

The possibility of making connections – learning about something and learning about myself simultaneously.

Again, what question(s) encourage openness and curiosity – giving ownership back to the individuals.

Recognise

Acknowledge

Acceptance – acceptance of where someone is right now.

A non-linear approach to learning and achievement.

What is between the teacher and the artist?

The known and the unknown. Staying at this edge. It might feel like a void or a delayed in-between stage.

Developing structures together which are composed from all the sensations of the work and materials.

A sense of intimacy and dialogue with the work – listening to it.

There is a need to explore and create frames and structures, which are away from the demands of an end product or production.

A project where we can all ask questions of each other.

“What do you know now?”

“How are you now?”

Music Generation has announced that it will expand into nine new areas of Ireland within five years, thanks to the ongoing support of U2 and The Ireland Funds who together will have raised a total of €6.3m for the programme’s second phase. This combined investment in ‘Phase 2’ of Music Generation will include donations from the proceeds of U2’s The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, as well as donations previously raised for Music Generation through the band’s iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour in 2015, alongside further philanthropic investment by The Ireland Funds. A grant from Bank of America, through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, forms part of The Ireland Funds’ investment in this second phase of Music Generation.

Phase 2 of Music Generation has been assured of long-term sustainability through a commitment by the Department of Education and Skills to co-fund the new areas into the future, together with Local Music Education Partnerships.

Read the full story here

The Association of Irish Choirs presents its 38th International Choral Conducting Summer School from 6th-12th August 2017, for conductors, teachers, music students, choral singers and musicians. The only one of its kind in Ireland, this seven-day intensive course offers a wealth of expertise from international tutors, all of whom are active conductors and experienced teachers of conducting. With courses designed to meet the needs and abilities of every student — from beginners to experienced and established conductors — participants at all levels will develop and refine their core conducting skills, with more advanced classes focusing on areas such as rehearsal technique, interpretation, vocal technique, style, and pronunciation of languages. EPV accredited.

For more info:

www.aoic.ie/education_training/education_programmes/full_article/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=779&cHash=e47fd129fc39265abf306c9a5ae3d3d8

 

Music Generation

A ground-breaking research document, which was launched on Friday 4 November at the 6th Annual Conference of the Society for Music Education in Ireland, has revealed a new model for the provision of music education that can achieve powerful and positive outcomes for children and young people. ‘Possible Selves in Music’ challenges traditional thinking about music education, uncovers an entirely new approach and opens up a wealth of knowledge to all who are interested in bringing music into children’s and young people’s lives.

As Ireland’s national music education programme, Music Generation seeks to transform the lives of children and young people through access to high-quality vocal and instrumental tuition (also known as performance music education). Working through local Music Education Partnerships, the programme provides children and young people with a multitude of different ways to engage with music.

National Director of Music Generation, Rosaleen Molloy said that: “‘Possible Selves in Music’ reveals rich and valuable information about how children and young people flourish when they connect with music. We now know that children and young people engage with music learning to enrich their lives in a range of different ways. ‘Possible Selves’ is a useful concept to capture the various ways that they imagine music will be part of their lives in the future.”

‘Possible Selves in Music’ is the outcome of a two-year research partnership between Music Generation and St Patrick’s College Drumcondra (now DCU). The research, which will be of significant interest to musicians, educators, policy-makers, youth workers, and national and local government agencies at home and overseas, was commissioned by the Board of Music Generation in 2013 and carried out by Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Thomas Johnston, who worked with Principal Investigator to the project Dr Patricia Flynn (DCU/St Patrick’s College).

The Research Board comprised Dr Patricia Flynn (DCU/St Patrick’s College); Rosaleen Molloy (National Director, Music Generation); Prof Stephanie Pitts (University of Sheffield); and Prof Emer Smyth (ESRI).

For further information about the research and to download the document visit www.musicgeneration.ie.

 

 

The Big Bang: Young Composer Mentoring Programme

Belfast-born Brian Irvine was appointed Music Generation Sligo Composer-in-Residence in September 2012. Brian’s work has been commissioned and performed widely by the National Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Players, the Roald Dahl Foundation, Sesame Street, Channel 4, RTE & BBC TV, the Welsh National Opera, Opera Theatre Company and Carlow County Council to name but a few. He has collaborated with a variety of artists from the late great Seamus Heaney to Snow Patrol. The Composer-in-Residence Programme was funded by the Per Cent for Art Scheme as a Public Art Commission.

Brian’s brief was to create a new work to be performed by young people in Sligo and, significantly, to work with a number of young people from Sligo in a Young Composer Mentoring Programme. This aspect of the programme was requested by the commissioners, the Public Art Steering Committee of Sligo County Council Arts Service. Six young composers worked with Brian from their base at the Foroige Youth Café in Sligo town ‘The Crib’ from October 2012, with five bringing their work to completion to be performed by their peers on stage alongside Brian’s own compositions, giving us The Big Bang.

The project was a significant & magnificent undertaking for all concerned. Music Generation Sligo is lucky to have the talent, commitment, energy and enthusiasm of our young composers, orchestra and choir and of course their leaders & teachers. Sligo has a wealth of musicians and volunteers who, together with Music Generation, are making music education happen for the young people of Sligo, the next generation of musicians, teachers and audiences.

Introducing Music Generation Sligo Young Composers:

Alice Purcell

“My piece explores the trust in the space between people and how you should leave your mind wide open because YOU can achieve anything! This last year has been a magic carpet ride for me and I’d like to thank everyone who made the carpet ride happen.”

Matthew Rooney

“Music is a big part of my life. I love to play the guitar and sing. Music Generation has really opened my mind to new music. Brian Irvine has really helped me progress in my composition skills and I am very grateful to have had this experience. Who knows, maybe I will compose more music in the future, whether it be songs on the guitar or classical music.”

Ferdia Durkin

“Music has always been part of my life. It has shaped me into the person I am today. After years of studying and performing music, this piece, entitled SPACE, is my personal contribution to music. I have tried to express my idea of space through the notes and rhythm: an infinite void of peace, mystery, danger and wonder.” Now a fifth year student at Coola Post Primary School, Ferdia’s ambition is to study history and music at University.

Niamh Feeney

“I love music, and I spend most of my time either listening to it or playing it, but the Music Generation programme has opened up a whole new dimension for me. It has given me the opportunity and the confidence to create my own music – a fantastic life skill. I’m very grateful to have had the chance to work with and learn from Brian Irvine. It has been a wonderful experience that I will never forget.”

Ciara Murphy

“Music gives us an identity and my composition has allowed me to explore sounds, arrangements and lyrics to communicate my ideas. Working with Brian was an opportunity to develop my knowledge of music and explore its limitless potential.” Ciara is 13 years old. She attends The Royal Irish Academy Of Music for cello classes and studies singing and piano in Sligo. She is a member of Sligo Baroque Orchestra. Her love of music began very early and she may one day choose a musical career.

A composition in seven movements:

  1. 1. Overture ‘Where never lark nor even eagle flew’: Brian Irvine
  2. 2. Realtin: Alice Purcell
  3. 3. Infinity & Further: Matthew Rooney
  4. 4. Space: Ferdia Durkin
  5. 5. You could be an astronaut: Niamh Feeney
  6. 6. Dreaming: Ciara Murphy
  7. 7. Big Bang: Brian Irvine

“Each of the five young composers have produced extraordinary pieces. It’s been a delight working with them.”

Brian Irvine composer

The Big Bang: The show

This was a performance of the new music created by Composer Brian Irvine & the five young Sligo composers… Ferdia Durkin, Niamh Feeney, Ciara Murphy, Alice Purcell & Matthew Rooney. 120 children & young people in the Music Generation Sligo Youth Choir performed together with 80 young musicians from Sligo Academy of Music Sinfonietta Orchestra, under the musical co-ordination of Niamh Crowley. The piece was inspired by the mystery and wonder of space and our place within it.

The performance took place at the Hawk’s Well Theatre Sligo on 10th November 2013 as part of Sligo International Choral Festival and was re-staged in the Hawk’s Well Theatre on 3rd October 2014 and in the National Concert Hall on 13th October 2014 as part of the Music Generation National Gala Concert.

Performers included members of the Sligo Academy of Music Sinfonietta and Music Generation Sligo Choir, comprising: Grange Post Primary School Choir Choir director, Emma Purcell); Sligo Community Youth Choir (Choir directors, Emma Purcell & Eileen Curley); Ursuline College Choir (Choir Director, Edel Murray)

Briefly tell us the story of your project – What was it about? Who was involved? How did it get started?

Jennie:

In early 2014 I received the Thinking Visual Residency Award, run by Wicklow County Council & Mermaid Arts Centre. I proposed a new type of residency within Blessington Community College, where artists John Beattie, Sven Anderson and myself as project curator would work with transition year students to explore activities that lay between producing new artwork and developing a conceptual framework within which to present it. This residency provided a unique experience for both the students and the school to focus on this process-driven phase of contemporary art production, and highlight vital links between the artist as researcher and students as inventive learners. John Beattie gave a focus to moving image work and Sven Anderson evolved sonic frames of reference with the students.

Sven:

The curator Jennie Guy invited me to take part in a six-week residency programme working with transition year students in Blessington Community College in County Wicklow, in late 2014. Between October – December, I met with the students, Jennie Guy, and the art teacher Turlough Odonnell once a week.

Much of my practice is focused on contemporary sound art practices, so I initiated the project with an energetic workshop based on physically manipulating vinyl LPs. Using blades, electrical tape, and sandpaper, the students made physical marks on the surfaces of records that I sourced in a bargain bin in a charity shop in Dublin. Most of the students had never been near a record before .. and immediately we found ourselves having conversations about media manipulation, the sense of hearing, noise and silence, and what distinguishes noise from music from art.

I spent the next sessions presenting a variety of material to the students – some of it interactive, some of it more based on creating the time and space to listen to and comment on significant artworks in this field. These conversations crossed many boundaries by addressing subjects and techniques that were outside of what many of the students would consider as art. Each week provided the chance for another listening session – and we listened to works by Max Neuhaus, Bill Fontana, John Cage, Alvin Lucier, Christina Kubisch, Sam Auinger, and Luc Ferrari (amongst others).

After one particular conversation about sound installations in public places, the students began to express a strong interest in making a sound installation for their school. We quickly focused on conducting site surveys of the schools grounds (looking for the right site to work into), developing a concept for the work’s structure and content, and going over all of the practical aspects of making such an installation. We invited the school’s principal to the next workshop and the students themselves made a presentation proposing the installation, and asking for permission to construct it.
On the final day of the residency, I spent the entire day at the school working on the installation.

The final sound installation (installed by the students with help from their teachers from art, woodworking, metalworking, and the school’s maintenance staff) is formed by four boards spanning over 40 ft, mounted overhead in the outdoor passageway. The boards are fitted with sound transducers, transforming the boards into resonating speakers. The students choose combinations of sounds from an online database of field recordings uploaded by various sound artists that drift between boards throughout the day (played back from a computer / hardware setup installed in one of the classrooms), providing a backdrop to the everyday sounds taking place outside their school. This piece is still installed outside of the school in early 2015.

Turlough:

Between September and December 2014 Jennie Guy (Art School / Mobile Art School) curated an artist residency in Blessington Community College. The residency consisted of six workshops for the Transition Year students. There are two classes in Transition Year in Blessington, one class worked with artist Sven Anderson and the other class worked with artist John Beattie. Over the six weeks students were introduced to the work of their resident artist, experimental workshops were carried out where students explored the processes involved in Sven and John’s work. From these explorations proposals for works in video and sound were developed. These proposals were then presented to the School Management and ultimately art works were produced with the artists working closely with the students at all times.

What aspects of the project made you smile? What aspects of the project made you feel challenged?

Jennie:

As each subsequent week of the residency went by I looked forward to each residency session as I knew that there would a lot of unexpected laughs generated by each artist’s session. John Beattie really pushed the boundaries of the students perceptions of experimental moving image works. He gave the groups he worked with such freedom that they were able to devise and follow through with their ideas from session to session. Seeing the students achieve such experimental works was really exhilarating for me as an observer and really fun for the students. At times I felt quite challenged at the end of each session in trying to describe what had happened from the artists and students perspective. I knew the ideas and research that the artist was trying to evolve but somehow trying to make it relevant to this student audience I would begin to stutter in my round-up. Turlough O’Donnell the art teacher has a really unique talent of being able to process the ideas the artist was bringing to his classroom and school but somehow contextualise it as a teacher and then re-present each session with great articulation to his students that I felt that I was learning a lot from him.

John:

During my third session with the students, I set a self motivated brief for the day, to give the students an opportunity to experiment with ideas independently using the camera & lens, throughout the grounds of the school. The students explored ideas and methods discussed and demonstrated from previous sessions. At the end of the task, students gathered in the art room, and I projected all images the students had shot large scale for all to view and critique. To my delight, a group of students had created a sequence of images, illustrating one of their peers “flying” steadily, in the air, through the school building. Using a Stop-Motion camera technique, the students discovered an imaginative approach, which later became the central focus of the projects final video. A fantastic moment.

Working with large groups of mixed teenagers can be very challenging to ensure that each individual feels apart of the process. Also, monitoring how engaged students are, and if students are engaging at all. It’s crucial for me that I create that space for students to feel comfortable and confident to come forward and be involved in the creative process. This was the most challenging yet rewarding aspect of the project.

Sven:

There were so many moments working on this project that made me smile. One of the funniest moments occurred when we were talking about the artist / composer John Cage, in particular his composition 4 minutes 33 seconds. This piece is a performance in which the audience (and performer) remains silent for this exact duration of time, highlighting the ambient sounds of the performance space and demonstrating that there really is no such thing as silence – and that many incidental sounds can become ‘material’ when given appropriate focus. We were in the middle of uploading our own version of this piece via a new 4’33” iPhone App – sitting in a circle, listening to the sound of nothing – of our breath, of the creak of chairs, the subtle passing of cars outside. This duration can feel like a long time for a group of teenagers – sitting still, trying not to laugh, trying to stay quiet. One of the students was holding a ‘virtual baby’ / ‘infant simulator’ – one of these fake baby dolls that the students have to take care of, tending to their needs. Suddenly – in the middle of our silence – the baby let out a computerized cry. The laughter that had been hiding behind the silence suddenly broke and we were all laughing, the sound being uploaded to the app to be stored with hundreds of other ‘silences’ recorded around the world.

There were many moments like this – in which our focus on listening, and on the medium of sound, forced us to negotiate with many aspects of space and experience that we would never have had to confront if we were working in a more visual medium. By the end of the residency, I felt that we had a strong group dynamic, and a good understanding of how we could work together as a group both to understand more difficult concepts, and to work towards producing a significant impact on our environment – as evidenced through the successful installation of the sound installation outside of the school.

Turlough:

Seeing the student’s reaction to appearing in the video work really made me smile, particularly because the young girl who became the focus for the main video piece is a very quite student, and she got a real kick out of making the piece. Also the first video piece involved another student being given the power to move chairs with his mind this also was very funny to see his performance in front of the students.

In the sound work shop seeing all the students engage with the artist made me smile. I and the students really enjoyed the field recording trip to Dublin also. On this trip we recorded the everyday sounds of the city; these sounds were later incorporated into a piece of sculpture the students had made in response to Sven’s sound workshop. The whole project / residency challenged the students notions of what is and what is not art and they now have a broader appreciation of what is involved in contemporary art practise.

What insights from the project are worth sharing?

Has anything changed as a result of the project?

Jennie:

I must acknowledge the strength and benefit of forming strong background relationships that substantiate residencies like this. For example, without the backing, support and most importantly the creative vision of Wicklow Country Arts Office and Mermaid Arts Centre this project would never happen. My approach to creating firm and supportive relationships has deepened even more, this does take more time but now that I can see how exciting ongoing connection with schools can emerge from this type of relationship gives everybody involved in this type of project a great sense of achievement. The same approach goes for really involving the artist as early as possible before a project, either in conversation and or doing site visits and being able to communicate as much as possible before a project starts. This project has given a lot of confidence to approach new contexts.
John: I heard from the schools art teacher that after one of our sessions, a usually quite student came up to him and said that the session and work done was; “poetry in motion”.

Another aspect worth sharing from the project, is the careful and considered level of detail carried out by curator Jennie Guy, with the school and art teacher Turlough, to co-ordinate and manage this process. The atmosphere and fundamental creative environment, had been set in place and in motion, making this an extremely smooth and successful project.

I think there is a large number of things that have changed as a result of the project, some measurable, many others not so easy to measure: For the school, Principal, art teachers, and most importantly the students, to experience a sense of what is possible, what can be done, of how to step outside of the school curriculum and produce innovative and challenging work. I feel people’s perspective and perceptions changed in relation to art within the secondary level education system. This also goes for myself as an artist and educator, that we can bring dynamic, relevant, and engaging art practices into the school education system, and produce work and working relationships, where the integrity of project is completed with the highest level of engagement.

Sven:

The project’s structure – established by the curator Jennie Guy – was quite a substantial framework to begin with. I have had experiences with workshops in which the artist is completely responsible for establishing frames of reference with the teaching staff, the school, and the students. In this case, the curatorial framework that Guy established with Turlough ODonnell (the art teacher) set the ground for more adventurous work within the residency – in which I was free to develop my own ideas in response to the students’ interests as they emerged / developed over the course of the residency. The resulting environment (within these sessions) allowed us to move very quickly and to cover quite a bit of ground in six weeks, and the support and exchange with the students, the art teacher, and the curator all felt substantial and easy to balance.

I sense that the impact of having the sound installation – quite a substantial experiential structure – built outside of the school in Blessington marked a significant change in all of our expectations concerning how far we might go with this kind of experimental learning framework. This was not an expected outcome of the project – and beyond the process of producing what I consider to be a considered artwork, our experience working together and learning to ask for a chance to shape or author our environment – in this case the environment of the school – was quite significant. I believe that enabling the students to make a legible mark on their surroundings is a valuable experience in breaking down the borders between self / space (environment) / and authority, resulting in a more active approach to establishing democratic spaces.

Turlough:

The approaches of both artists have given the students great insight into the working practices of contemporary artists. Sven’s work in the field of sound sculpture has the potential to create a greater awareness in students to their surrounding particularly to the sound environment of the school. As a teacher the engagement with both artists has had a very positive effect on my own approach to teaching. I believe that it is very important as a teacher to open the subject up and by getting professional artists into the art room with the students has an energising effect.

I think that students will be more open minded as a result of the project. Some students have even started to explore new media on their own. One group of students created their own video piece in and entered it in a competition called “Youth Connect”. Their work was short listed to 12 which were screened in the Savoy cinema last week. I have no doubt that the video residency with John would have influenced and informed their approach.

Students’ report

Our names are Shona O’Connor and Aoife Mescall, we were students involved in the residency who worked with Sven in the area of sound sculpture.
On the day we were introduced to Jennie and Sven, Sven told us about his area of work and told us what he wanted us, as a class, to learn from the residency. To introduce us to the basics of sound, he brought us in old records with very different genres and sounds and played them on his record player, which he also taught us how to use throughout the day. As an experimental activity, we each chose a record at random and used tape, sand paper and knives to mark and scratch the record to make different sounds and interruptions on the track when it played.

Following up on working with records, Sven gave us the task of making some sort of sculpture using the record covers. The class decided to build a ‘sound tower’ by taping the covers together in various different ways and installing small speakers to the sculpture.

After a couple of weeks, along with Sven, the class came up with the idea of making putting up a semi-permanent sound installation somewhere in the school to make others aware of the sounds around them. We came up with the concept of attaching four small speakers to four long planks of wood that would go up on the ceiling of the shelter outside the first year corridor.

In preparation for proposing our idea to Mr Burke, our principal, we had to plan to tell him what we wanted to do, how we were going to do it and what we wanted to get out of this project. We chose two pupils to help Sven to pitch the idea to Mr Burke and from the very start he was on board with helping us complete the task. Different people were given different jobs that they had to complete as their part-taking in the completion of the project. Some were in charge of preparing the wood for the speakers to be securely installed and others helped in choosing the sounds we were going to play.

At first no-one could really hear the sounds we were trying to make noticeable, so Sven and Mr O’Donnell worked on fixing it and making it louder.
On the last week in the residency, Sven came in and helped us put everything together. Outside Sven helped other pupils feed wires and cables through the wall to ensure we would be able to connect the speakers to electricity, while the rest of the students helped Donal, our care taker, secure the planks to the ceiling of the shelter to be ready to be connected. Other students stayed inside to make a final decision on the sound they were going to play and what went well together. Everything was just about finished when the final bell of the day rang. To thank Sven and Jennie for all their hard work and time they had spent with us, we presented them with a bottle of wine as a small token of our appreciation.

When people were beginning to become aware of the sounds being played, confusion was their initial reaction. They were curious as to where it was coming from, as they were not aware we had been working on this project. However when they got used to it, they listened closely and carefully to the sounds and tried to figure out the type of sound that was being played.

We feel our class really enjoyed the experience and learned a lot about how art is not just in pictures and paintings. We all got along really well with Sven and found it a very interesting and new experience. We were also thought about how interesting it is to stop and listen to how versatile the sounds in a particular environment can be.

Overall we think the project was a massive success and really enjoyed working in such a different area of art.

Tell us the story of your project – What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin? How did it develop?

Artful Dodgers is a unique early years arts education programme that commenced in September 2013 and continues to evolve today in two community crèche services in Fingal, north county Dublin. The programme is pioneered by Artist Jackie Maguire and Naomi Draper with Julie Clarke of Fingal County Council Arts Office, Fingal County Childcare Committee, Ros Eo and Little Learners Community Crèche and Prof. Carmel O’Sullivan and Prof. Noirin Hayes of the Arts Education Research Group, Trinity College Dublin (AERG).

The programme aims to provide an exploratory, creative and playful artistic space for children to develop and grow. To investigate the impact of this engagement on the children’s early development with particular focus on literacy and numeracy skills; and to build the capacity of the early years educators to embed music and visual arts in their settings. The project team adopted an artist is residence model for Phase 1 where both artists were located in the services on a weekly basis over a twelve week period. Each week they delivered a music and visual arts workshop in partnership with the staff of both settings. The artist in residence model was significant in that the artists were embedded within the settings allowing the artists, early years teachers and children to build relationships and to get to know each other over time. Over the period of the residency the artists worked closely with the children and early years teachers in both settings, where they explored the world of music and visual arts together.

The evaluation of Phase 1 (2013) indicated changes in pedagogical planning and style in the early years teachers over the twelve weeks period. Their language became more reflective and their practice incorporated a wider and richer range of materials; there was greater evidence of more child-led activities and unstructured play opportunities over the duration of the study. The data suggests that children’s social, cooperative and communication skills were enhanced. There was evidence over time of improved self-regulation, recall and recollection, and attention to activities. In addition, children’s curiosity and exploration was encouraged leading to enhanced vocabulary and greater persistence at activities. To assist the sustainability of the learning and practices developed during phase one the partnership provided the required resources to establish second phase. During this phase the teachers were encouraged to continue with the arts in their practice and the artists came to work with staff in both settings once a month. This kept the momentum of the project going without interruption. The focus of Phase 2 (2014-2015) was to develop ‘creative exchange’ between both the artists and early years teachers through a co-mentoring process. It was designed to consolidate arts practice within the early years settings, build a creative environment and strengthen relationships between the participants (artists and early years teachers) through reflecting on practice and children’s engagement.

A key element of phase two was the introduction of the ORID framework by the artists with the early years teachers to evaluate and reflect on the process. This framework facilitates focused conversation between participants in order to reach some point of agreement or clarify differences. ORID is as an evaluation framework developed at the Canadian Institute of Cultural Affairs. The framework gave everyone a voice and provided sound evidence to direct and inform future delivery.

A preliminary evaluation of Phase 2 suggests that changes occurred in early years practice, in terms of curriculum planning, relationships with children, staff and parents. Co-mentoring across different disciplines is very powerful particularly when it is experiential and all parties, in this case artists and early years teachers, are actively involved. The artists highlighted the value of the co-mentoring approach, which informed their planning for each setting visits. The early years teachers reported better understandings of children’s learning and sensitivity to the uniqueness of every child. They also reported a deepening understanding of Aistear, the early childhood curriculum framework and a greater appreciation of the importance of ‘tuning in’ and responding to the children’s behaviour. As the project evolved the partnership grew stronger and a third phase, the ‘parental involvement programme’, was created. This work is ongoing.

Ash Ryan of Little Learners Community Crèche, Mulhuddart
What aspects of the project made you smile? What aspects of the project made you feel challenged?

The Children, staff and parents’ engagement made me smile. I would glance around the room, which looked chaotic – paint everywhere, children’s faces and hands a multitude of colours, parents on the floor weaving, staff laughing with the children – and smile! However there were plenty of challenges. I had to rethink my teaching practice, both in terms of how much I controlled the outcomes of art projects with the children and my own feelings on ‘messy play’.

What insights from the project are worth sharing? Has anything changed as a result of the project?

Both the parents and staff have a different view on how the children engage with art materials, originally dirty clothes were a problem, but now parents expect the children to leave looking like they’ve been involved in activities during the day, and they always oblige with a change of clothes when necessary. My whole practice has changed. I have a far better understanding of creative play and its links to Aistear. Children have more of a say in the activities we provide and they have the freedom to choose materials and ideas for their own artwork. Parents have become more involved in the service as a result of their direct involvement. Children are generally having great fun while learning. We have stopped group activities where twenty children are making the same thing from a template. Templates are no longer used in the service. Artful Dodgers has managed to put an ethos in place that no college course for early years teachers has been able to achieve to date. The artists’ hands on engagement showed how a different approach works in practice; the staff could see the methods and begin to use them easily in a supported way.

Debbie Donnelly & Mary Farrell of Ros Eo Community Crèche, Rush
What aspects of the project made you smile? What aspects of the project made you feel challenged?

Seeing the enjoyment shining through the children throughout their involvement in the project made us all smile a lot. Jackie would break into song unexpectedly and both Jackie and Naomi’s personalities brought warmth and positivity into the classroom, which was a huge factor in the enjoyment and success of the project.

As safety officer I worried about the safety of the children while working away from the desks, on the floor, using materials they hadn’t used before, especially when we had a large group of children together. At the beginning I felt a little out of my comfort zone, as I was familiar with working a particular way. I also worried about fitting all the new arts activities in with the already full curriculum. I doubted my own ability to be a worthy capable participant in the project as I am not an artist.

What insights from the project are worth sharing? Has anything changed as a result of the project?

A new lease of life was injected into staff as we learned new ways to teach. We now use props to enhance language skills and the children’s understanding of a particular story or activity. We learned to share the workload better among staff. We now make time to reflect on activities afterwards. We discuss the positives and negatives and question how to improve or deliver something that didn’t work so well differently the next time. The weekly reflection is a very informative experience and positive way to finish the week. As a staff team we are more open to trying new things with the children. We know that what we are doing compliments the curriculum so we are more confident about delivering the curriculum. I’m definitely not afraid to move out of my comfort zone now.

I realise that I don’t have to be ‘talented’ at art or music to use it in the classroom. I’m willing to try new things and learn alongside the children. We don’t dwell if something doesn’t go to plan, we move on and try it again another day with something different. My advice is to keep trying and be adventurous. You’re never too old to learn.

Artist Naomi Draper
What aspects of the project made you smile? What aspects of the project made you feel challenged?

The welcome we received on every visit made me smile. Every week we arrived to an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation from the children, their parents and the staff. They were always waiting for us to arrive, they knew we were coming. During this residency I really felt part of the setting, a part of their week, a part of the team! I do think that this came from the strength of the relationship we developed with the staff who made us feel welcome, valued and supported in our work there. We also had time to establish these connections, time for reflection together and when we could see that we had developed something worth holding on to, the arts office gave us more time to develop these partnerships, supporting one another through a shared learning exchange, and broadening our partnerships to engage parents in a parental involvement phase. Our approach was probably a challenge initially, as we completely took over every corner of the crèche. But you could see confidence growing with every visit and as new materials were presented or alternative spaces were used, no instruction was required, the children, staff and parents too were willing to play, experiment, and see where it would bring them. Watching everyone’s confidence grow and observing how our practices changed and developed was very exciting.

What insights from the project are worth sharing? Has anything changed as a result of the project?

Jackie introduced us to the ORID reflective tool, which became an important tool to critically reflect and change. ORID also played a huge part in the development of our relationships with one another. It enabled us to openly and honestly speak about what happened and what we observed. It provided a supportive environment for me to learn and develop a better understanding of working in this context. Another aspect of my work that I am interested in exploring is the physical spaces we are part of. The initial residency period of the AD programme allowed me to test and examine the potential of the spaces in terms of children’s learning and development. Together with the staff we realised new possibilities for spaces that were not used in the crèche and found ways to activate and utilise them further.

Professor Nóirín Hayes, on behalf of the research team:
“As an academic with a long history of research in early childhood the potential value of arts education in early education, for both children and staff, has always been an interest of mine – particularly the challenging link between arts education and the role of play and process in early learning.

A key attraction of working with Artful Dodgers has been the collaborative approach, the creation of a learning community comprising children, parents, educators, artists and academics. The project, throughout, endeavoured to create a context that encouraged careful attention to planning through a mutual respect for the expertise of both the artists and the early years educators. Reflection informing future actions was a central dimension of the project at all stages. The success of this approach was evident in the engagement of all participants and the outcomes for children. Throughout the project careful records were maintained and shared by the artists and the early years educators. This material, alongside observation records and documentation of practice in process, provide a rich source of data to inform practice, policy and further research. Over and above this the project has brought parents and early educators close together in the shared education of young children. It is a privilege to have become part of the team and I look forward to furthering the dissemination of this important action research arts education project.”


!!!! Opportunity: Music Generation Development Officer (Fingal)

Music Generation 
Deadline: 23 April 2021

Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board (DDLETB) invites applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer (Fingal). They will be responsible for managing a programme of performance music education on behalf of Fingal Local Music Education Partnership. This is a five-year fixed term contract.

The successful candidate will have a broad understanding of the diversity of effective, contemporary approaches across the diversity of performance music education – and will have the skills and experience to develop a programme that responds to the specific needs of young people in disadvantaged communities.

Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme that gives children and young people access to high-quality, subsidised performance music education. Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Deadline: 4pm Friday 23rd April 2021

For more information on how to apply, see: www.musicgeneration.ie/news/job-opportunity-music-generation-development-officer-fingal

 

!!!! Opportunity: Music Generation Callout for Musicians

Music Generation 
Deadline: 30 April 2021

Music Generation invites individual or groups of professional musicians to tender to lead and develop distinct Communities of Practice with musicians that deliver Music Generation programmes; and to lead, develop and create new work for children and young people with musicians involved in Music Generation Communities of Practice.

Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme that gives children and young people access to high-quality, subsidised performance music education. Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Deadline: 5pm Friday 30th April 2021

For more information on how to apply, see: www.musicgeneration.ie/news/request-for-tenders-professional-musicians-provision-of-services

 

 

!!!! Teacher-Artist Partnership (TAP) Project – The Lonely Traveller

In 2020 ‘The Lonely Traveller’ Project was one of the recipient’s of the Portal Documentation Award. View the project documentation video here.

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Jacintha Mullins, Teacher

The initial aim of the project was simple: increase the access that deaf children have to the music and find new ways of delivering and differentiating the music curriculum for this cohort of pupils.  I enrolled on the Teacher-Artist Partnership (TAP) CPD summer course at Limerick Education Centre with the specific purpose of gaining a residency with a musician in order to achieve what I set out to do.

After being paired with Limerick composer Fiona Linnane we got the opportunity to get to know one another and discuss our project ideas at length during the TAP lead facilitator training which we were both chosen to attend. With an initial very loose plan/structure in place we kicked off the school based part of our project with a trip to University Concert Hall, Limerick to attend a “Music in the classroom” performance with the pupils.

A lot of background work was undertaken in the classroom prior to our engagement with Fiona. As my pupils had differing levels of hearing loss from mild and moderate to severe and profound it was important to explore with them how sound travels and how we can all experience sound in different ways ie some with ears and hearing some with hands and touch. It was important also to make the children aware that being deaf was not a barrier to experiencing, enjoying and producing music. In our english lesson we wrote to Dame Evelyn Glennie, a world famous percussion artist from Scotland who herself is deaf. The children were thrilled when Evelyn wrote back to them offering words of encouragement and praise. Ms.Glennie proved to be a very positive role model for all the pupils throughout the course of this project and her composition “The Lonely Traveller” became the central point around which our project evolved.

Fiona Linnane, Composer

Much of my preparation for this project involved meeting the students and gaining perspective on their experience of sound and music; the mix of abilities within the group; and how I would need to refine my practice to maximise the impact of the workshops for the group. This ranged from managing my communication style to allow for the use of ISL within the classroom to leaving more space in each session for students to move at a pace that worked best for them. I joined the teachers and students as they attended a “Music in the Classroom” performance at the University Concert Hall, Limerick and this provided me with great insight into how these children would respond to musical ideas.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Jacintha Mullins, Teacher

Fiona took the lead by facilitating engaging and experimental weekly workshops which were loads of fun. Both myself and the class SNA’s were on hand to assist with ISL and the provision of additional support to any pupil that needed it. After the first couple of sessions the pupils became very familiar and at ease with Fiona and after this point we all very much worked as a unit and in partnership with one another developing ideas and expanding on themes. Much of my curriculum planning for other curricular areas was influenced by the enjoyment that the children were experiencing in Fiona’s workshops. We chatted at length about “The Lonely Traveller” who it might be and where they might be travelling to/from in our oral language sessions. In history we explored the voyages of St. Brendan and the Imram tradition and in SPHE we spoke lots about how being deaf is no barrier to achieving one’s dreams as Dame Evelyn Glennie had illustrated.  Our workshops with Fiona influenced our class work and equally our class work across other curricular areas influenced the direction of our workshops with Fiona.

Fiona Linnane, Composer

I first designed and facilitated a series of workshops on experimental composition starting with simple rhythm exercises and graphic notation. Once I had established where the students were in their musical development, we began to plan a theme for our project. By linking in with the student’s interest in the work of Evelyn Glennie I introduced a simple piece (by Glennie) which I felt we could work within the framework of the project. Using chime bars and the graphic notation learned in the first phase of the project, we began writing songs and improvisation using The Lonely Traveller as a starting point. The students immediately responded enthusiastically to songwriting and so I began to look at ways to expand on this.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

Jacintha Mullins, Teacher

This was an incredibly successful project on so many different levels. Fiona was a joy to work with. She was always so patient, kind and enthusiastic. She brought an open mind, in depth knowledge and a great sense of fun to the project. She engaged with learning ISL from the pupils and  always followed their lead no matter where it went. We very quickly established a three way partnership between pupils, artist and teacher which worked for everyone. This project started out as something quite simple and small but very quickly grew to become a fairly ambitious project. We had secured funding from Limerick Education Centre for a follow on workshop with local Puppeteer Emma Fisher to develop the visual aspect to our project. Unfortunately with the arrival of the covid 19 pandemic, extended school closures and no visitors policies we were unable to go ahead with this. However a promise is a promise and when schools reopened I took what little knowledge of shadow puppetry I had gained from my conversation with Emma and made this the focus of our art classes to complete the visual aspect of our project. The film was made with a mix of live acting and shadow puppetry. Working with deaf pupils in near darkness wearing visors and masks whilst maintaining social distance and pod groupings was challenging indeed but we got there in the end and we all agreed on seeing the final piece it was worth it.

Fiona Linnane, Composer

This project’s success was driven by the investment by the teacher, Jacintha Mullins.  It is difficult, as an artist to attempt to link in the topic your are covering with the subjects in the classroom as we are only physically in the classroom for the sessions.  Jacintha immersed the class in the project by linking it with other aspects of her teaching.

The usual challenge of engaging all students, even reluctant ones, was present but not to the same extent as other projects.  Again, I feel this was thanks to Jacintha’s leadership.

Obviously the big challenge arrived in the form of schools being closed in March.  We had just enough material already recorded to put the film together but plans to continue our work together had to be put on hold.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Jacintha Mullins, Teacher

The increased levels of self esteem and confidence that our pupils displayed both during and after this project were incredible. They were immensely proud of the work they had done and what they had achieved. Singing was something that these children had always done primarily with their hands through ISL. Hearing them spontaneously burst into song with their own compositions on a regular basis in our classroom and around our school is something really special indeed.

Fiona Linnane, Composer

I listened to the announcement of school closures in my car just before what would be our final session.  It was an especially poignant session – I remember feeling a sense of calm in the classroom, while chaos ensued in the world around us.  It would be my last engagement with a school for the rest of the year and, most likely, until September 2021.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Jacintha Mullins, Teacher

Working in partnership with a professional in the area of the curriculum that I found challenging was a very valuable experience. It showed me the value of arts in education and how bringing someone into the classroom can open up endless possibilities and new ways of teaching and learning for all involved. I will be seeking out opportunities to engage in further partnerships in the future.

Fiona Linnane, Composer

I recognise the importance of real engagement by the teacher.  Also not to feel like everything about the project is my responsibility, allow others to cover their areas of expertise.

On the flip side in future I will allow myself to be more involved in the artistic outcome.  Before this I had always allowed the students complete control over the final work, however, as I finished editing the sounds we had recorded it occurred to me that if I take on the more technical work myself it allows more time for the students to explore the more creative aspects of the projects.

 

!!!! Songs For Our Times – An Intergenerational Intercultural Music Project.

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

I had run similar intergenerational projects in Kerry in the past, using music, songwriting, singing, and visual art to express ideas and feelings about our own stories. These projects always received great support from local partners and the press, and culminated in a public exhibition and/or a performance. The interaction between the generations was a most important part of this project.

I moved from Kerry to Cork in 2016, and I was touring two one-woman shows. One of the characters in the shows is my Jewish grandma, and there was a lot of audience interest in this character. I started researching the Cork Jewish community as it was in the early 1900s, and writing a musical play on the subject. I’ve always played Jewish music, and I saw great interest in Cork in its Jewish historical past, which I wanted to know more about, and to share my knowledge of. This had not been evident in my 28 years in Kerry, as there was no Jewish community in Kerry previously.

I had built up a relationship with the Arts Officer in Cork County Council, Sinead Donnelly who suggested running the project in two areas, Youghal and Bandon.

We worked with Bandonbridge Primary School sixth class pupils and their teacher, Freda O’Neill and the Bandon Daycare Centre, with support from Bandon Library.

The project took place over four Tuesdays in September and October 2019. Two workshops would take place in each centre (the schoolchildren had their workshops in Bandon Library), one visit by the children to the Daycare Centre, and a visit by the daycare participants to the school for the concert day. In the end, I visited Bandon a total of 7 times – two introductions, the four planned dates, and one evaluation day.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

The children completed a number of workshops with Ruti, in the local library, in school and at the day-care centre. The goal was for both groups, the children and the day-care patients to compose and perform a song for each other and to enjoy a singsong and each other’s company at the final performance.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

I worked with the principal, the teacher, the daycare staff, and the 2 groups (older and younger).

In the first workshop,  I introduced each group to a little bit of Jewish Irish history and Jewish culture, I taught them a song in Yiddish, and we had a little jam with me on accordion and them playing percussion. I then asked them to think about how it might be to move to another country, and about any experiences they had themselves of living in other places, or moving from one place to another. I asked the groups to say out loud how they might feel if they moved to a different place. These words were written up on a flipchart. We used chime bars (each person gets a note to play, from a kind of xylophone) to work out a melody that might be nice for a song. Then we fitted some of the words that the group had come up with into the melody, and with a bit of adaptation from myself, we worked the words and melody into two songs. One verse only was developed that week. I also taught the children the song In My Town, a song I wrote and recorded on my CD for children, Stomping in the Woods.

The following week, the children came to the Daycare Centre to meet the older people. We had a singsong, which I facilitated as I had brought song lyrics, my accordion, and some percussion, and the children had prepared questions to ask the older group about where they went to school, did they ever travel, etc. One lady had brought some instruments that she had bought in Ghana years before, and she passed them round to everyone. I had brought apples and honey with me as it was Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and this is a traditional food for this festival, so everyone had a slice of apple with some honey.

It was a lovely intergenerational, intercultural sharing. Everyone really enjoyed it, and the older people commented on how polite the children were. The groups sang their song verse to each other, and they shook hands and looked forward to meeting again.

The next week was a workshop where each group completed the song, with my help, and we added instrumentation to it. The children brought in violin, tin whistle, keyboard, and guitar, and I brought percussion instruments and chime bars.

A lot of work at home followed, as I wrote out precise arrangements for the teacher to work with the children on, and recorded both songs, and sent them to the schools.

The final week, I arrived early at the school, with the film maker Dervla Baker, and ran through the original song, and the Yiddish song, with the children, while Dervla set up the video camera. The older group arrived, and about 20 of the children’s parents, and two other classes from the school, and their teachers, so the hall was packed. The new songs were sung, as was a Yiddish song that I had taught the children, and a song about Bandon Town that the older group sang. Then there was dancing to live klezmer (Jewish wedding music) as my band, Pop-Up Klezmer, came from Cork to take part in the concert. It was great to see the children and adults of all ages singing along and dancing and clapping to the music. And to give the older and younger groups a chance to perform original songs. All agreed it was a great experience. After the audience left, the children chatted with the older people and shook hands again before everyone left.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

The children chose to work on their lyrics first and then to add in the melody and instruments afterwards. They worked in small groups initially and then Ruti helped them to collaborate to create a whole class edition. We practised on a daily basis leading up to the final performance. Some of the children worked through a couple of lunchtimes to perfect their parts.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

The challenges were mostly weather, as the children had a long walk to the daycare centre and library, although they weren’t deterred. For me the biggest challenge was setting up the project, as it was a complicated project, and it was quite tricky communicating with the funders, as one of the arts officers was off sick. So the admin side took a lot of time and energy.

Although it was lovely working with both groups, there were challenges with the older group, as one or two of the participants were partially deaf, or just didn’t have the energy to participate very much. But most of them were delighted to take part.

The feedback from the Daycare Centre group was that they enjoyed the interactions with the children, but that they could have done with more workshops to prepare them for the concert, and that it took them a while to be clear what the project was about. They enjoyed playing different instruments, hearing great musicians, and the chats with myself and each other. The staff said it was challenging to get the participants confidence up for singing in public.

The feedback from the school children was that they enjoyed learning the dances, playing the instruments, meeting the daycare group, learning about Jewish culture and religion, hearing the klezmer band, learning new songs,  and the final performance. They would have liked longer with the older group, and more time to learn the song lyrics and instrumental parts.They would have liked more musical styles and more younger children attending the concert. The feedback from the teacher, Freda, was that the children loved it, the venues worked well, the final performance was fantastic, positive, and seeing the interactions between the groups was lovely.

My personal experience of the project was very positive. Everyone involved saw the benefits of so many aspects of the project – making music, creating new music, discussing ideas, and the interaction between the generations.

Both groups and all staff agreed that they would like to do a project like this again.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

The project was a great success. The children really enjoyed the music side of the project but mostly responded very positively to the intergenerational element. It was wonderful to see how both groups interacted so pleasantly with each other.

A challenge may have been the time allowed for this project. Another couple of meetings and practices with Ruti would have been worthwhile.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

Intergenerational interaction, composition in groups, arranging music, and performance  – these are all aspects of this project that I would like to highlight as significant. Composing in groups means working together to create something interesting, meaningful, and hopefully, beautiful. This is a good team-building exercise, and just a lot of fun. Also great for confidence and interaction. Performing one’s own composition in public, and getting recognition for its value, is one of the most uplifting things I enjoy as a performer, and I think that this was so for the participants also. The Jewish aspect was also meaningful to me – to teach children a song in Yiddish – a language they have never heard before – and to lead them in dancing to klezmer music, was a privilege.

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

Sixth class were enthusiastic and happy while participating in this project which made it quite easy to manage for me as their teacher. As mentioned above, the most significant part was how well both groups responded to one another.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Ruti Lachs, Artist

I have more confidence in bringing Jewish material to schools (although I have been doing this in different ways, eg candlemaking workshops at Chanuka, for many years anyway). I bring my interests into the classroom, and I do quite complex projects, even though it is a lot of work and tires me. I put a lot of energy in, and often don’t feel that I am earning enough to warrant the amount I put in. But that is my journey. I have been very lucky to be supported along the way by a lot of lovely people. It’s worth it!

Freda O’Neill, Teacher

I would definitely be open to taking part in a project like this again. Also, the inclusion of the older generation in some school activities would be something I would consider more now.

 

!!!! Job Opportunity: Music Generation Development Officer Leitrim

Music Generation Leitrim

Deadline: 12 noon, 8th December 2020

Mayo Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSL ETB) invites applications from suitably qualified persons for the following position:

Music Generation Development Officer (Leitrim)

This is a five-year fixed term contract.

Application form and further details are available at: msletb.ie

Closing Date: 12.00 noon, 8 December 2020

Late applications will not be accepted.

Please note that applications must be made through the MSL ETB website. Any queries should be directed to employment@msletb.ie.

Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board is an equal opportunities employer.  Canvassing will disqualify.  Shortlisting may apply.  Late applications will not be accepted.  Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board is registered as a Data Controller.

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/opportunity-music-generation-development-officer-leitrim 

!!!! Opportunity: Musician Educators with Music Generation Kildare

Music Generation Kildare

Deadline: 12 noon, 19th June 2020

Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB) are delighted to invite applications from suitably qualified persons for the following:

Musician Educators

Suitably qualified persons to be placed on a panel for part-time Musician Educators for the following Music Generation Kildare Programmes:

Post details and application are available on http://kildarewicklow.etb.ie/kwetb-vacancies/

Administrator

Applications for the position of Music Generation Kildare Administrator, Clerical Officer Grade III (3 year fixed term contract)

Musical experience is desirable, but not essential. No CV’s accepted. Applications will not be accepted after the closing.

Application form, job specification and person specification, are available on: http://kildarewicklow.etb.ie/kwetb-vacancies/

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms for both positions is: 12.00 noon, Friday 19th June 2020

Kildare has been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme- that transforms the lives of children and young people through access to high quality performance music education in their locality. Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Music Generation Kildare is locally funded by KWETB and Kildare County Council.

KWETB is an Equal Opportunities Employer

!!!! Opportunity for Artists: Branar Tiny Show/Seóanna Bídeachs Residency Open for Applications

Branar Téatar do Pháistí

Deadline: 5pm, 1 may 2020

Do you have an idea for a show for young audiences?
Would you like to explore that idea?
Do you want to work with new art forms?

Branar’s Tiny Shows/Seóanna Bídeach initiative offers artists & theatre makers time and space to explore & develop new skills, new roles and new work in a developmental context.

This weekend long residency will facilitate the early stage development of ideas for new shows for young audiences.

The residency provides artists with the opportunity to:

Expected outcomes of this initiative include:

Previous applicants are welcome to apply again, with the same or new idea.

For further information or questions about Tiny Shows, please contact Niamh on info@branar.ie or go to www.branar.ie/tiny-shows.

 

!!!! Have Your Say! A Survey on Music Education Opportunities in Fingal

Calling Young People, Musicians and Educators!

Have Your Say! A Survey on Music Education Opportunities for Children and Young People in Fingal.

Fingal County Council, in partnership with the Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board, invite you to complete a survey that will help us understand your views regarding access to performance music education for children and young people in the county.

This research will support a submission to Music Generation, the national performance music education programme, to extend and enrich the partners’ commitment to children & young people in Fingal.

This step taken by the partners emphasises the importance of retaining support for arts and education initiatives now and in the times ahead as we build connections with one another and ignite hope and inspiration.

Your views are important to this process and will enable the partners to develop and deliver music education programmes that suit the needs of those aged 0 – 18 years, now and into the future.

There are three surveys to choose from:

We invite Children & Young People to complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FingalMusicYoungPeople

We invite Schools, Music Education Providers & Musicians to complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FingalMusicProivders

We invite the General Public to complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FingalMusicGeneralPublic

Should you require assistance or alternative mechanisms to complete a survey please email Fingal County Council’s Youth & Education Officer julie.clarke@fingal.ie

Be in with a chance to win!

Children and Young People are invited to enter a draw to win a gift voucher for one of Fingal’s Arts Centres – Draíocht and the Séamus Ennis Arts Centre, upon survey completion. See information within Children &Young People survey link.

 

 

Deadline for survey submission: Thursday 30th of April 2020.

!!!! Opportunity: Music Generation Development Officer, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

Music Generation

Deadline: 4pm, Thursday 28 November 2019

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (dlr) County Council invite applications for the position of: Music Generation Development Officer

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by dlr County Council and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of dlr Local Music Education Partnership.

Music Generation dlr is part of Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Temporary five year fixed term contract (Salary range: €47,588 – €58,157 per annum)

Application forms and full particulars are available online at – www.dlrcoco.ie

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out.

dlr County Council is an equal opportunities employer.

Deadline: 4pm, Thursday 28 November 2019 (Late applications will not be accepted)

Job reference: 008488

!!!! Schools Opportunity: 2020 Music for Schools Competition!

Waltons Music for Schools Competition

Entry Deadline: 24 January 2020

Founded in 2012, the Waltons Music for Schools Competition is a non-profit national event celebrating and supporting music in Irish schools. The Music for Schools Competition is produced by Waltons New School of Music and generously supported by RTÉ lyric fm. All primary and post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland are eligible to enter the Competition, and schools from all 26 counties have participated.

Each year’s Competition culminates in a gala Finalists Concert, in which twelve Finalist school music groups (six primary and six post-primary) perform before their peers and two distinguished adjudicators. At the end of the Finalists Concert, the adjudicators announce six winning primary and post-primary schools, which receive awards totalling €7,000 worth of vouchers for musical instruments and equipment from Waltons Music Ireland, including two First Prizes of €2,000 vouchers.

The Process

2020 Calendar 

For more information and entry forms go to www.newschool.ie/musicforschools

 

 

 

!!!! Music Generation appoints Paula Phelan as Head of Quality, Support and Development

Music Generation 

Music Generation is delighted to announce that Paula Phelan has been appointed as Head of Quality, Support and Development within the National Development Office. In this new senior role, Paula will drive the implementation of a new national Music Generation Quality Framework,  support the planned growth of the national network of Local Music Education Partnerships (LMEPs), and lead on professional development and learning programmes and initiatives for Music Generation over the coming years.

Paula brings a breadth of experience to the role, spanning the worlds of arts and corporate management, music education leadership and practice. Most recently she held the position of LMEP Support Manager at the Music Generation National Development Office. From 2013-2018 she was Programme Director for Music Generation Carlow. In addition to her extensive work with Music Generation, she was previously General Manager of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, a Post-Primary Teacher, Freelance Musician Educator and General Manager of Belvedere Youth Service.

A native of Kildare, Paula completed her undergraduate BAmus degree in NUI Maynooth. She holds an MA Baroque Performance Practice from Queens University Belfast, an MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from University College Dublin, a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from NUI Maynooth and a Postgraduate Diploma in Early Childhood Music from Birmingham City University.

For further information about Music Generation go to www.musicgeneration.ie

!!!! Opportunity: Musicians / Music Tutors with Music Generation Kilkenny

Music Generation

Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board

Deadline: 12 noon, Friday 27 September 2019

Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board wishes to recruit and place on a panel suitably qualified and experienced part-time musicians/music tutors to deliver the following Music Generation Kilkenny programmes:

Musicians/music tutors will work with children and young people in group/classroom contexts and may work on one or more programmes at any given time. A willingness to deliver programmes in more than one location in County Kilkenny would be desirable.

The closing date for receipt of applications is: 12 noon, Friday 27th September 2019

Late applications will not be considered.

Provisional interview date: Week commencing 7th October 2019

For further information and application forms go to  www.kcetb.ie

!!!! Job Opportunity: Music Generation Development Officer, Meath (Re-advertisement)

Louth and Meath Education and Training Board

Deadline: 12 noon, Friday 13 September 2019

Louth and Meath ETB is now inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer, Meath.

Post Reference Number: C218

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by Louth and Meath ETB and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of the Meath Local Music Education Partnership.

Meath has recently been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Five year, fixed-term contract (€46,771 – €57,157)

Application form, job description and person specification and other details available from – www.etbjobs.ie

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms is: 12 noon, Friday 13th September 2019

Late and/or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out.

Louth and Meath ETB is an equal opportunities employer.

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/opportunity-music-generation-development-officer-meath-re-advertisement/

!!!! Creative Music & Drama in the Classroom at The Ark

The Ark 

Dates: 19 – 23 August 2019

Back for a fourth summer, The Ark are excited to present this really popular engaging arts summer course focusing on the two curriculum areas of Drama and Music.

This is a five day Department of Education and Skills and EPV-approved summer course for teachers.

Working with two outstanding creative practitioners, you will enjoy a week of experiential learning and development. Your confidence and skills in both music and drama will increase through highly participative and inspiring course content.

Using themes drawn from SPHE, English and other subjects, participants will explore a variety of imaginative approaches to integrated curriculum delivery. Teachers of all levels of experience will be able to fully engage in this rich week of professional development.

Course content and highlights will include:

 

Artists – Anita Mahon (music) & Joanna Parkes (theatre)

Dates & Times – Five Day Course
19-23 Aug 2019, 10am to 3pm each day

Presented by The Ark & Dublin West Education Centre

For further information and ticket booking go to https://ark.ie/events/view/teachers-5-day-course-creative-music-drama-1

 

 

!!!! Job Opportunity: Music Generation Development Officer, South Dublin (Maternity Cover)

Music Generation 

Deadline: Thursday, 20 June 2019

South Dublin County Council (SDCC) is now inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer.

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by SDCC and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of South Dublin Local Music Education Partnership. Music Generation South Dublin is part of Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Specific Purpose Contract (Maternity Cover) (Salary range: €46,771 – €57,157 per annum)

Application form, job description and person specification available online at – www.sdcc.ie

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: Thursday, 20 June 2019

Late applications will not be accepted.
Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out. SDCC is an equal opportunities employer.

!!!! Opportunity: Music Generation Development Officer(s) Kerry, Kildare, Longford, Meath and Tipperary

Music Generation

Deadline Date: 12 noon, Thursday 6 June 2019

Kerry ETB, Kildare and Wicklow ETB, Longford and Westmeath ETB, Louth and Meath ETB and Tipperary ETB are now each inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer.

Post Reference Numbers:

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by each education and training board and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of the Local Music Education Partnership in each county.

All five counties have recently been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Five year, fixed-term contract (€46,771 – €57,157)

Application form, job description and person specification and other details available from –

Kerry: www.kerryetb.ie
Kildare: www.kildarewicklow.etb.ie
Longford: www.lwetb.ie
Meath: www.etbjobs.ie
Tipperary: www.tipperary.etb.ie

Closing date: 12 noon, Thursday 6 June 2019

Late and/or incomplete applications will not be accepted. For more information go to https://www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/new-opportunities-in-kerry-kildare-longford-meath-and-tipperary/

!!!! Opportunity: Music Generation Development Officer Sligo (re-advertisement)

Music Generation

Deadline: 7th June 2019

Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSL ETB) is now inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer, Sligo.

Post Reference Number:MGSO19

The Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by MSL ETB and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of Sligo Local Music Education Partnership.

Five year, fixed-term contract (€46,771 – €57,157)

Application forms, job descriptions and person specifications available online at – www.msletb.ie

Applications on the official MSL ETB Application Form are only accepted by email to: employment@msletb.ie

It is vital to insert the Reference Number of the Post in the subject line of your email.

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: Friday 7th June

Late applications will not be accepted.

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out. MSL ETB is an equal opportunities employer.

!!!! Music Generation announces expansion into five new areas of Ireland

Music Generation

Kerry, Kildare, Longford, Meath and Tipperary have been announced as the next five counties to join the Music Generation programme.

As part of Music Generation, each of the five new areas will receive funding to create access to affordable performance music education for children and young people in their communities. Minister for Education and Skills Joe Mc Hugh T.D. welcomed this next big step on Music Generation’s road to nationwide expansion by 2022:

‘Giving our young people access to high quality musical education is a key element of Creative Youth, part of the Government’s Creative Ireland plan.

‘Music and the arts inspire us all and Music Generation is having enormous impacts in communities, with young people having instrument, ensemble, voice and choral experiences that simply wouldn’t be possible without this programme…’

Music Generation projects are benefitting from €3.485 million funding from the Department of Education and Skills in 2019.

Responding to the news, U2’s The Edge said: ‘Every milestone reached on this journey is a source of great pride for the band as well as everyone who has worked so hard to make it happen. With this latest announcement, the finish line is firmly in sight and our dream of an accessible music education for every young person in Ireland is getting ever closer. We are beyond excited.’

Music Generation was originally co-funded with philanthropic donations from U2 and The Ireland Funds, supported by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, along with funding from local partners.

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/music-generation-announces-expansion-into-five-new-areas-of-ireland/

!!!! Opportunity: Call for Musicians / Music Tutors for Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan & Kilkenny

Music Generation

Deadlines: 8th & 10th May 2019

Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan:
CMETB invites applications from suitably qualified and experienced persons to be placed on a panel for part-time musicians/music tutors for the following Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan programmes –

Further post details and applicant information are available to download from: http://www.vecjobs.ie/index.cfm/section/job_one/vacancy_key/5062

Closing date for receipt of applications: 12 noon, Wednesday 8 May 2019.

Music Generation Kilkenny:
KCETB on behalf of Music Generation Kilkenny wishes to recruit suitably qualified and experienced part-time musicians/music tutors to deliver the following programmes –

Further post details and applicant information are available to download from: kilkennycarlow.etb.ie/vacancies-2/musicians-tutors-music-generation-kilkenny/

Closing date for receipt of postal applications: 12 noon, Friday 10 May 2019.

!!!! Opportunity: Head of Quality, Support and Development with Music Generation

Music Generation

Deadline: 5pm, Thursday 9th May 2019

Established in 2010, Music Generation’s ambition is to transform the lives of children and young people through local access to high-quality, subsidised performance music education.

To enable Music Generation to reach its next stage of development, the National Development Office is now seeking to appoint a Head of Quality, Support and Development. This new senior role within the organisation will be key in the implementation of Music Generation’s Strategic Plan during a significant period of growth, planned from 2019 to 2022.

The successful candidate will be a skilled professional with a demonstrable track record of delivering results, high standards and achievement in music education development. The position requires someone with leadership and senior management experience that can support the planned growth of the national network of Local Music Education Partnerships, and enable the stated priorities for Quality in line with the organisation’s Strategic Plan.

The current strategy maps out an exciting period of growth and change for Music Generation and this role provides a rare opportunity for an experienced and dynamic music education development professional to contribute to and shape those ambitions.

For a job description and details of the application process, please contact John Deely at Pinpoint:
Email: Recruit@pinpoint.ie
Phone: +353 1 642 5721

Closing date for applications: 5pm Thursday May 9, 2019

Music Generation is a Music Network initiative, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

!!!! Opportunity: Call for Musicians / Music Tutors for Music Generation Clare

Music Generation

Deadline for Clare: 26th April 2019

Applications are currently being sought for the roles of musician/music tutor in Clare.

Music Generation Clare:
Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board is now inviting applications from suitably qualified persons to be placed on a panel for part-time tutors in the following areas of practice within Music Generation Clare

 

Further post details and applicant information are available to download from: https://lcetb.ie/recruitment/

!!!! New Music Generation Development Officers appointed in Cavan/Monaghan, Galway City and Mayo

Music Generation

Music Generation is delighted to share news of the appointment of three new Music Development Officers in Cavan/Monaghan, Galway City and Mayo.

Mairéad Duffy has taken up the position at Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan, one of the most recent Local Music Education Partnerships (LMEPs) to commence participation in Ireland’s national music education programme, led by Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board with support from Cavan and Monaghan County Councils.

Karen Dervan has commenced the role at Music Generation Galway City, another new LMEP under the leadership of Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board together with Galway City Council.

One of the first LMEPs established as part of Music Generation, Mayo now welcomes Laurie Barrett as new Music Development Officer. Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board is the lead partner on this programme.

In their new posts, Mairéad, Karen and Laurie will have responsibility for developing and managing affordable and accessible local performance music education programmes for children and young people ages 0 to 18.

This will include the coordination of music tuition services within the counties, working in partnership with schools, community music groups and centres in the formation of choirs, ensembles, multi-genre performance initiatives, and more.

Initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

For further information go to https://www.musicgeneration.ie

 

 

 

!!!! Opportunity: Call for Musicians from Fingal County Council

Fingal County Council

Deadline: 8th March 2019

Fingal County Council is announcing a new opportunity titled Musician-in-Residence Programme 2019 ~ and is inviting expressions of interest from Musicians who wish to be included on a Musicians’ Panel, with a view to delivering high quality music lessons to children in primary schools during the academic year 2019 – 2020. The application deadline is March 8th 2019.

For further information go to www.fingalarts.ie/education to download the Application Guidelines & Criteria and Application Form.

 

!!!! Schools Opportunity: 2019 Music for Schools Competition

Waltons Music for Schools Competition

Entry Deadline: 22nd March 2019

Running since 2011, the Waltons Music for Schools Competition is a non-profit national event celebrating music in Irish schools run by Waltons New School of Music and generously supported by RTÉ lyric fm. All primary and post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland are eligible to enter the Competition, and schools from all 26 counties have participated.

Each year’s Competition culminates in a gala Finalists Concert, in which twelve Finalist school groups (six primary and six post-primary) perform before their peers and two distinguished adjudicators. At the end of the Finalists Concert, the adjudicators announce six winning primary and post-primary schools, which receive awards totalling €7,000 worth of vouchers for musical instruments, accessories, books, music technology or PA equipment from Waltons Music, including two First Prizes of €2,000 vouchers.

The Process

 

Friday, 22 March 2019, 5 pm • Entry Deadline 
Friday, 29 March • Announcement of Finalists
Tuesday, 7 May • Finalists Concert, National Concert Hall

For more information and entry forms go to www.newschool.ie/musicforschools

!!!! Opportunity: Music Generation Development Officer, Roscommon (re-advertisement)

Music Generation & GRETB

Deadline: 12 noon, Monday 17 December, 2018

Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB) is now inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer, Roscommon. (Reference number: R18-02)

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by GRETB and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of the Roscommon Music Education Partnership. County Roscommon has been selected for participation in Music Generation– Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Three-year, fixed-term contract.

Application form, job description and person specification available online: galwayroscommon.etb.ie

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: 12 noon, Monday 17 December, 2018

Late applications will not be accepted.

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out.

GRETB is an equal opportunities employer.

For more information go to galwayroscommon.etb.ie/job/oifigeach-forbartha-athfhogairt-music-generation-re-advertisement/?vacancy=

!!!! Job Opportunity: Music Generation Development Officer (Clare)

Music Generation

Deadline: 12 noon 15th October 2018

Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) is now inviting applications from suitably qualified persons for the post of Music Generation Development Officer, for Music Generation Clare.

The post is being offered on the basis of a fixed-term contract for a period of three years. The closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon, Monday, 15 October 2018.

Application form, post details and applicant requirements are available online from the LCETB website at limerickclare.etb.ie or by email from recruitment@lcetb.ie.

It is proposed to conduct interviews at the earliest opportunity following the closing date.

Please note that shortlisting may apply. Canvassing will disqualify. LCETB is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

About Music Generation Clare
Music Generation Clare is a performance music education service for children and young people in County Clare that provides opportunities for children and young people to access a range of vocal and instrumental tuition in their local area.

Established in 2014, it is among the 11 MEP Areas that were selected for participation in Phase 1 of Music Generation. Locally, Music Generation Clare is supported and funded by Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, and Clare County Council. Visit www.musicgenerationclare.ie

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/job-opportunity-music-generation-development-officer-clare/

 

 

!!!! Opportunity: Music Generation Development Officers (6 Posts)

Music Generation 

Deadline: 12 noon, Friday 28 September, 2018

Cavan & Monaghan ETB; Galway & Roscommon ETB; Kilkenny & Carlow ETB; and Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim ETB each invite applications for the position(s) of Music Generation Development Officer.

A Music Generation Development Officer(s) will be appointed by each Statutory Agency and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of the Music Education Partnership in each area.

All areas have been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Three-year, fixed-term contract.

Application forms, job descriptions and person specifications available online at the links below –

Please note that each post requires a separate application.

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: 12 noon, Friday 28 September, 2018

Cavan & Monaghan ETB; Galway & Roscommon ETB; Kilkenny & Carlow ETB; and Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim ETB are equal opportunities employers.

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/opportunities-music-generation-development-officer-6-posts/

!!!! Opportunities for musicians at Music Generation Clare

Music Generation Clare

Closing Date: 12 noon, Wednesday 29th August, 2018

Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board invites applications from suitably qualified persons to be placed on a panel for part-time tutors in the following areas:

Post details and applicant requirements are available to download from www.lcetb.ie. The closing date for receipt of online applications is 12 noon, Wednesday 29 August 2018.

LCETB is an Equal Opportunities Employer

Music Generation Clare is part of Music Generation, Ireland’s national music education programme initiated by Music Network, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. Locally, Music Generation Clare is managed by Clare Music Education Partnership, led by Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board in partnership with Clare County Council, University of Limerick and Clare Education Centre.

!!!! Opportunity: Music Generation Laois & Laois School of Music seeking a Violin Tutor

Music Generation Laois

Closing Date: 12 noon, Wednesday 29th August, 2018

Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music are now seeking submissions from an experienced Violin Tutor to deliver their programmes. Training in whole-class string tuition will be provided to the successful candidate. Music Generation Laois works in partnership with Laois School of Music to deliver whole-class, group and one-to-one violin lessons in Co Laois.

Closing date for completed submissions: 12 noon, Wednesday 29 August, 2018

Interviews are scheduled to take place on: Wednesday 5 September, 2018

Full details and application information are available online at: www.musicgenerationlaois.ie

Submission forms can be submitted electronically by email to rflannery@laoiscoco.ie

Music Generation Laois is a performance music education service for children and young people in Co Laois, part of Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds together with, The Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. Locally, Music Generation Laois is funded by Laois County Council, Laois-Offaly Education and Training Board and Laois Partnership Company.

!!!! Job Opportunity Music Generation: Music Education Partnership Support Manager

Music Generation

Deadline: 12 noon, Friday 4 May, 2018

To support the current and future development of both new and existing Music Education Partnerships, Music Generation is now inviting applications for the role of Music Education Partnership Support Manager.

Established in 2010, Music Generation’s ambition is to transform the lives of children and young people through local access to high-quality, subsidised performance music education.  Music Generation has recently embarked on a new phase of expansion into 9 new areas of the country, building towards nationwide rollout by 2022.

This new role at the Music Generation National Development Office presents an exciting opportunity for an experienced professional who combines strong expertise in music development and management with excellent interpersonal and leadership skills, initiative, and determination for results.

 

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/job-opportunity-music-education-partnership-support-manager/

Closing Date: 12 noon Friday May 4, 2018

Music Generation is a Music Network initiative, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

!!!! Music Generation Job Opportunity: Administrator, Waterford & Wexford

Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board

Deadline: 5.00pm, Tuesday 1 May 2018

Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB) invites applications from suitably qualified persons for the positions of Administrator, Music Generation Waterford (1 post) and Administrator, Music Generation Wexford (1 post).

Both posts are full-time, 37 hours per week, and the successful candidates will be employed on fixed-term contracts for a period of three years.

Post details and applicant requirements are available to download from www.wwetb.ie/vacancies

The closing date for receipt of applications: 5.00pm, Tuesday 1 May 2018

WWETB is an Equal Opportunities Employer

Music Generation Waterford is part of Music Generation, Ireland’s national music education programme initiated by Music Network, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills, and managed locally by Waterford Music Education Partnership, led by WWETB in partnership with Waterford City and County Council.

!!!! Artist Opportunity with the Improvised Music Company in partnership with The Ark

Improvised Music Company & The Ark

Deadline: Thursday 29th March

Fun Size Jazz – Performance and development opportunity for jazz and improvising musicians and ensembles from IMC in partnership with The Ark

Improvised Music Company in partnership with The Ark are looking for applications from professional artists and ensembles in jazz and improvised music for short ‘scratch’ performances aimed at young audiences. The chosen artists will have an opportunity to devise, create and deliver their short live performances for audiences of children at The Ark this summer 2018.

This new initiative, jointly presented by Improvised Music Company and The Ark, stems from an original production developed between 2014 & 2016, called Monster Music Improv, which toured across Ireland and the UK in 2016.

Applications should present considered, innovative and engaging approaches to creating memorable and enjoyable performances of between 15-20 minutes duration designed to specifically appeal to young audiences aged between 4 and 12 years.

Fun Size Jazz will result in 2 performances taking place on the May and August Bank Holiday Mondays respectively (7th May & 6th August 2018).

Further Information go to www.improvisedmusic.ie/news/fun-size-jazz-performance-and-development-opportunity-for-jazz-and-improvis

!!!! The Civic Theatre – Tenderfoot performances for schools

The Civic Theatre, Tallaght

Schools Performances – Thursday 25th at 12 pm & Friday 26th January at 10am and 2pm

Original plays, written by 15/16 year old playwrights, provide a unique glimpse into the world of our young people; articulating their experience and their reality.

TENDERFOOT, meaning neophyte, newbie, greenhorn, is The Civic Theatre’s apprentice theatre programme for transition year students.  Now in its eleventh year the programme provides students from eight different schools in the South County Dublin region the opportunity to create and perform original work for the stage. From January 25th to 27th this work can be seen in The Civic Theatre.  Plays written by young people, telling their stories, presenting the world as they see it.  These diverse and exciting plays, the work of young theatre makers, include –

The End of the Beginning by Tadhg Slye, an exploration of male friendship in a world of exams and first girlfriends and exploding toasters.

Plastic by Jordan Lee, a supernatural chiller guaranteed to make you jump out of your seat.

Seaside Story by Aidan Kelly, a comedy about families, holidays and global warming.

And Just for the Cracked by Chloe O’Flaherty which takes a fly on the wall look at a group of young people who find their friend unconscious and unresponsive at a party.

Tenderfoot Performances 2018

Schools Performances Thursday 25th at 12 pm & Friday 26th January at 10am and 2pm

Admission €10 / €5 concession

Booking 01 4627477  www.civictheatre.ie/ whats-on/tenderfoot-new- writing-showcase-2018/

!!!! Paddy Red Downey and the Voice in the Dream

Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Sleeper Creeper was a collaborative creation between Robbie Perry (musician), Annie Callaghan (artist) and Philip Doherty (playwright) and was performed in Townhall Cavan at the end of 2016 as part of their seasonal programming for children. The success of the show duly inspired Joanne Brennan (Arts in Education CMETB) to approach Robbie and Annie and adapt Sleeper Creeper for a pilot project to run in two selected primary schools, one in Cavan and one in Monaghan. The original show was quite complex in its clever use of artistic disciplines. From live and improvised music being layered throughout, the use of loop machines to projected shadow puppetry involving unique, as well as, everyday objects. All of this was performed with no dialogue and told the story of an old and lonely inventor who miraculously creates a living being from parts that he finds amongst junk. Their friendship grows from their collaborative performances and zany situations they find themselves in.

Rather than try to create the same performance for young students, Robbie and Annie chose an entirely new story titled, Paddy Red Downey and the Voice in the Dream in which Paddy Red Downey fishes for junk and finds himself transported to a world beyond his wildest dreams eventually hearing an old women’s voice calling him to return home and share his new found wonders with everyone.

Andrea Malone, Teacher

The Paddy Red Downey and the Voice in the Dream project was easily one of the most effective projects I have been involved in. Initial conversations with Joanne Brennan (Arts in Education CMETB) and meetings with Robbie and Annie entailed planning, organising and ensuring all requirements were met e.g. garda vetting, school space, curriculum linkage etc. Robbie and Annie also met with the children to introduce themselves and explain the project.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Annie Callaghan & Robbie Perry, Artists

The ideas were developed as a direct result of the principles of Sleeper Creeper. A multidisciplinary approach to art form and the themes based around recycling and repurposing of everyday materials and junk. The story itself was created as a catalyst for inspiring young minds. Using the story as an opening for the project workshops, we were able to demonstrate to the young audience aspects of theatre, drama, storytelling, music and shadow puppetry that they would in turn learn to use over a two day period for their own collective performance.

The teacher allowed Robbie and Annie to bring the children around the school grounds to examine and collect, in pairs, any objects they found of interest. These objects were then projected through the use of an analog overhead projector and discussed openly and collectively on how their appearances changed with our changing perceptions. This example facilitates a validation process for the individual in what they later view as art and how it can then be manipulated and viewed to help create a story.

Then began a separation of the group into two halves. One half facilitated by Annie and the shadow puppetry and the other half by Robbie and music creation as a means to underscore the students very own production.

The teacher’s role within this workshop was almost only to observe and maintain any control if needed. It cannot be overstated how important this approach was to the project overall. Conversations and shared opinions with the teacher, revealed aspects and qualities of each student’s character as they worked closely and intensely with the artists that were keenly observed and somewhat enlightening to the teacher.

What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?

Annie Callaghan & Robbie Perry, Artists

The project itself was quite experimental. We hadn’t taken something as complex as our performance, and adapted it with a workshop in mind ever before. Also, there were many challenges such as time needed for the students to learn multiple skills with a final performance, questions regarding the suitability of their classrooms, rather than a hall for the workshops etc. We were very pleased to find that we coped quite favorably with all these challenges which were also challenges for the schools. The fact that we could work within the classroom meant no upset to the rest of the school in organizing or rearranging scheduled use of alternative rooms. Also, the fact that the hours we put in were arranged for an intense two days consecutively meant a greater opportunity for all involved to focus and achieve a fully immersive creative experience.

Catherine Mc Guirk, Teacher

One of the activities that I felt really supported the children’s confidence with regards to the music aspect was the time in which they were allowed to explore the different instruments. I found that at the age the children were at doing the projects, they were conscious of whether or not they were “good at” something. It can often be hard to try and get them to engage fully in something if they feel it is on an area that they aren’t talented in. However, the vast arrange of musical instruments that were available to them allowed them to try out their musical abilities on them. I found that my class would often associate musical talent as to whether or not you could play the piano etc. However, with the way in which they were able to explore the vast array of instruments and create backing music for a story, it was a whole new side to music for them. It was also something that after we had engaged with in the workshop, they wanted to do it more in class. The more exposure they get to experience this, the more confident they will grow in it.

What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?

Annie Callaghan & Robbie Perry, Artists

Probably the most significant thing for us was the true potential of each and every student to achieve in an extremely short but significant amount of time, an entire production. From inception until final performance in front of an audience, the entire class worked as a team with individuals quickly finding their strengths and how best they could contribute to the group as a whole. It was wonderful to observe, for example, two students that were much happier to be a part of the technical projection work rather than perform music or drama. This revealed for us the complex range of interests within any given group and reinforces the idea that we need projects that provide more opportunities which exercise the potential for total inclusivity.

Catherine Mc Guirk, Teacher

Telling of a story is something most children love to do. Some I have found can find it difficult telling a story when they have to write it- for many different reasons. E.g. some might find spelling difficult and get so caught up on whether a word is spelt correctly or not hinders their story telling ability as they don’t get their story finished. The way in which the children were allowed to tell a story through art and music really developed confidence in not only the children who love writing stories but also in the children who find that hard. While doing this they were also developing their Drama skills- even though they may not have realised that. They were able to use their imagination and tell a story not only with their drawings but just by using environmental objects- again, allowing those who didn’t feel confident in their artistic abilities to still their artistic confidence by using environmental objects in an artistic way. It was something that they really enjoyed. They developed so many different skills by doing the project, learnt lots of new things without realising it.

Andrea Malone, Teacher

This process of choice supported confidence in its own right. The children learned through many different methodologies that suited all learners. Robbie and Annie facilitated so appropriately but still allowed the children to have responsibility for their own learning.

Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?

Annie Callaghan & Robbie Perry, Artists

It has only further increased my belief in the creative potential of children and the potential of group orientated creative projects

Catherine Mc Guirk, Teacher

It has changed the way in which I teach arts education as it reminded me how important it is to not only teach the subjects but to allow them to co-exist with each other, to use them together as a way to allow for further exploration as to what they can achieve when combined.

It has given me more confidence in doing projects like this, integrating the Arts subjects- along with others, in the classroom

Andrea Malone, Teacher

This project has given me the confidence as an educator to give the children much more responsibility for their learning. My Arts lessons are less structured which has resulted in a smoother flow to lessons. The power of integration throughout the Arts subjects was evident throughout the ‘Paddy Red Downey and the Voice in the Dream’   project hence I have increased integration throughout Drama, Art, Music and Physical Education.

‘Paddy Red Downey and the Voice in the Dream’ was a wonderful project where I witnessed children growing in self-confidence, learning and having so much fun!

!!!! Job Opportunity: Music Generation Development Officer, Wexford (re-advertisement)

Music Generation

Closing date: Monday 15 January, 2018

Waterford & Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB) is now inviting applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer (Wexford).

Appointed by WWETB, the Music Generation Development Officer will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of Wexford Music Education Partnership.

County Wexford has recently been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Three-year fixed-term contract.

Application form, job description and person specification available online at: waterfordwexford.etb.ie/vacancies/

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: Mondy, 15 January 2018

Late applications will not be accepted.

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out.

Waterford & Wexford ETB is an equal opportunities employer.

!!!! Music Generation Job Opportunity: Communications & Administration Officer

Music Generation

Closing date: 5pm, Friday 24 November, 2017

Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme which helps children and young people access high quality music tuition in their local area. To support both its ongoing work and an ambitious new phase of expansion, applications are now being invited for the new role of Communications & Administration Officer.

This is an exciting opportunity for a team player who combines rigour, energy and ideas with a qualification in marketing/communications and/or arts/arts administration, and a minimum of one year’s professional experience.

For a job description and details of the application process, please contact:

John Deely, Pinpoint

Email: Recruit@pinpoint.ie

Phone: +353 1 642 5721)

Closing Date:  5pm, Friday 24 November, 2017.

A Music Network initiative, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

For more information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/blog/article/job-opportunity-communications-and-administration-officer/

!!!! Tracks in the Snow – The Henry Girls

The Ark

Date: School Day performances: Fri 1-Thu 21 Dec

Back by popular demand this Christmas, follow The Henry Girls into an enchanting world of winter!

From sparkling icicles to wolves in the forest, the joy of sledding at high speed or the wonder of the Aurora Borealis on a frosty night, discover the magic and mysteries of the festive season.

Perfect for all primary school classes, this show is an ideal opportunity to explore the Listening & Responding, Composing and Performing strand units of the Music curriculum. Attending this live music performance means children will see and hear outstanding Irish musicians performing brand new music on a range of instruments including piano, harp, voice, accordion, fiddle and double bass as well as percussion.

A free downloadable classroom pack is available to teachers which will provide a range of accessible music activities and creative approaches connected to the theme of the show. The activities will encourage music making projects in the classroom and support imaginative music responses to the performance which are relevant to the composing and performing music curriculum strands.

For more information go to ark.ie/events/view/cpd-for-teachers-exploring-winter-through-music

!!!! Exploring Winter Through Music – CPD for Teachers at The Ark

The Ark

Date: Saturday 11th November, 10:30 am to 1.30pm

Refresh your music repertoire for this wintry time of year as you discover a number of great new seasonal songs that children will love as well as a range of creative ideas for using them in the classroom to deliver both the Performance and Composing strands of the music curriculum. Along the way you’ll be encouraged to throw out any preconceptions you may have about having a good or bad voice and nurture your love and passion for singing. With Lorna’s guidance you will explore how to work creatively with music in the classroom within a winter theme alongside exploring a number of ideas presented in our free teachers’ resource pack that accompanies the show.

Lorna McLaughlin, who is a member of the band The Henry Girls, will lead teachers in a hands-on music workshop working with songs and music material from our winter music show Tracks in the Snow which was commissioned by The Ark and written by The Henry Girls especially for young audiences.

For more information go to ark.ie/events/view/cpd-for-teachers-exploring-winter-through-music

 

!!!!  ‘It’s the Taking Part That Counts’  – Celebrating Ireland’s School Choirs & the Feis Ceoil

13th December 2017

On December 13th The Mansion House will play host to celebrate 120 years of school choirs in a special event ‘It’s the Taking Part that Counts’. 

The event will celebrate and highlight the positive impact of school-based choral participation on both choir members and the wider school community and will feature prize-winning Irish school choirs alongside a community outreach school choir formed ‘from scratch’ specially for the celebration. This ‘scratch choir’ involves one of Ireland’s DEIS schools – St. Vincent’s GNS, Dublin who is being trained by Wesley College choral conductor Helen Doyle for this their debut concert, and beyond.  Joining them will be the Feis Ceoil prize-winning school choirs, along with members of two of Ireland’s leading professional choirs.

Additional choirs ‘from scratch’ will attend the event as they begin their year-long journey, culminating in the celebration of Christmas in their own schools in 2018.  With a keynote address from Assistant Professor in Education Marita Kerin, Trinity College, the event will celebrate school-based choral activity while demonstrating its powerfully transformative effects on school communities, thus encouraging every school in Ireland to get involved in choral singing.

The Mansion House event, ‘It’s the Taking Part that Counts’, takes place on Wednesday, 13th December at 2.30pm.  Please lend your support to this project and attend this choral celebration of our school choirs.

For more information find go to @schoolchoirs120 on Facebook or email schoolchoirs120@gmail.com

To book tickets go to www.eventbrite.ie/e/its-the-taking-part-that-counts-tickets

FeisCeoil-120

!!!! Job Opportunities: Music Generation Development Officers

Music Generation

Closing Date: Closing date: 12 noon, Friday 3 November, 2017

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council; Galway & Roscommon ETB; Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim ETB; and Waterford & Wexford ETB each invite applications for the position of Music Generation Development Officer:

Reference numbers –

 

A Music Generation Development Officer will be appointed by each Statutory Agency and will be responsible for managing an extensive performance music education programme on behalf of the Music Education Partnership in each county.

 

All five counties have recently been selected for participation in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

 

Three-year fixed-term contract.

Application form, job description and person specification available online –

 

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms: 12 noon, Friday 3 November 2017

Late applications will not be accepted. Short-listing may apply.

For further information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/blog/article/job-opportunities-music-generation-development-officer-5-posts/

!!!! Opportunity: Music Generation Louth Tutors

Music Generation

Closing Date: 4pm, Friday 13 October 2017

Louth and Meath Education and Training Board on behalf of the Music Generation Louth are inviting applications the following positions that may become available in the next academic year 2017/18:

 

Music Generation Louth Tutors

with specialism in the following areas:

 

Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will receive further contact.

Please note that no CVs – only official application forms – will be accepted. Application forms and further information can be found online at: http://bit.ly/2g4vBCY

LMETB is an equal opportunities employer.

 

Essential requirements:

Candidates must demonstrate a strong passion for teaching and learning, and for nurturing the musical development of children and young people of all ages and abilities. Qualification in Music is essential.

 

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms:

4pm, Friday 13 October 2017

For more information go to www.musicgenerationlouth.ie or www.vecjobs.ie/index.cfm/section/job_one/vacancy_key/4106

!!!! Music Generation announces 9 new areas to receive funding

Music Generation

Music Generation has announced the 9 new areas of Ireland that will receive philanthropic funding from U2 and The Ireland Funds to create increased access to non-mainstream music tuition for children and young people in their local area.

Following an open national call for applications earlier this year, the 9 new areas selected for participation are: Cavan/Monaghan; Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown; Galway City; Galway County; Kilkenny; Leitrim; Roscommon; Waterford and Wexford. The programmes will be managed and delivered by local Music Education Partnerships in each area. Operating on a 50/50 matched funding basis, these new Music Education Partnerships will receive an investment of €5m raised by U2 and The Ireland Funds, and will also generate a further combined €5m in local investment over the next five years.

Ireland’s national music education programme, Music Generation was initiated by Music Network in 2010, and is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

For more information go to www.musicgeneration.ie/news/article/music-generation-announces-9-new-areas-of-ireland-selected-for-partici/

!!!! A Sensory Experience of Place

Tell us the story of your project – What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?

Leanne Kyle, Teacher

We were working with Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership on a project called Virtually There. In this project the artist doesn’t actually come into the classroom. We correspond mostly via the interactive whiteboard. I was ICT coordinator and this project really appealed to me. It was different and offered  a new experience for me and the children.

Initially the artist (Lisa) came to meet us at the school. It was great day because we were able to chat and have a planning session. We went on a walk around the school. We decided to use nature and the actual school environment as a beginning point. I wanted to use the school garden and create links to the eco-school ethos. We tied this all together into a project which focused on the topic of ‘senses’. This topic is very popular and suitable for P2 and 3. Later we narrowed this down further to the sense of touch with many trips outside working with the trees. It was Autumn time so we began to focus on the leaves. Lisa taught a ‘leaf dance’. From here, it just took off with a focus on nature and touch.

Lisa Cahill, Artist

My ‘Virtually There’ journey with Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership, Leanne Kyle and the P2 & 3 Class of Aughnacloy began in September 2016. At this time I was also Dance Artist in Residence at the Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education at Maynooth University. The Autumn of 2016 marked the final phase of the three year residency. I had received an Arts Council, Young People Children and Education (YPCE) Bursary Award. The focus of my investigations included the development of frames and activities that engaged the sensory body in the outdoor environment of a school site. Over those Autumnal and Winter months the creative journey with many partners unfolded.

Developing the body’s sensory attunement through engagement with the site is an important element of my practice. I was spending a lot of time outside. I was out in the garden , fields, orchards, forested areas of the University campus. My explorations involved movement, writing, art making, gathering sounds and natural materials, reading and learning more and more about the natural environment that I was in.

I wanted to bring these explorations into the Virtually There project. I really looked forward to sharing these with Leanne and the children. I wanted to notice and hear their responses through multiple and different forms of documentation. I wanted to see what emerged through our collective journey.

Leanne shared my curiousity in this discovery process as we set about investigating:

 

We committed to holding an intention of listening to the needs and responses of each partner. We committed to capturing each of our responses to the tasks and activities. These responses might emerge in different forms, such as verbal, written, a gesture or movement, a photograph, a word, a drawing.

I felt my role was to invite and remind us to return to our body and the sensations and feelings we were experiencing right now in each moment.

And so our journey unfolded.

How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?

Leanne

At the first online session, the children introduced themselves to Lisa. They wrote a little about themselves and they read this to Lisa through the interactive whiteboard. We began to work on the leaf dance and talked about the different seasons. We were in the season of Autumn. We went outside and discussed how the leaves were falling and blowing in the trees. Lisa shown us her leaf dance. That really got the children thinking about what they would like to do. They had a lot of input. We created some sensory warm up audio clips with Lisa.

https://soundcloud.com/lisadance/virtually-there-warm-up

She was great to ask the children for their ideas. The children decided that they would like to bring things in from the outside. We played with different ways of using these materials in our warm up clips. This resulted in the children bringing in leaves and things like that. This then resulted in their favourite activity; leaf tattoos. The children loved this. It was so simple, yet so effective. This all tied in well with our topics in school because we look at the different seasons. It tied in with our literacy, particularly poetry. When we arrived at the season of Spring, we wrote poems. We’d explored so much by this stage. We looked at our hands, created drawings of our hands, gone outside to find natural objects to mark make on paper. Actually, this mark making was something they really loved.

The children, in small groups, began to form their own dances. They led the learning at this point. Some of them started to think and dance about trees being chopped down. This led us to a new topic, which I had never done before in school; the topic of deforestation, looking at the Amazon rainforest and the effect of deforestation. The children really led this bit. There were lots of woodcutters chopping down trees. But also planting new trees. This was really the chidren’s own ideas, which came from Lisa’s input. At a later stage in the project, the children made campaign posters to send to the Prince’s Rainforest Trust. We are a UNICEF school and it all tied into the modules of Your Rights and You Have a Right to Have an Opinion. The children had a right to voice their opinion that deforestation is wrong.  They led the learning completely.

I would say it was very collaborative project, a journey in working together.

Lisa

The intention Leanne and I brought to the development of our work together was to listen to each other and the children. In listening, we focused on attuning to the energy and responses of the children. How were they responding? At what moments did energy heighten and flow?

Indeed it was often a great challenge for me to notice and ‘feel into’ the energy of the children, the temperature of the room in response to an activity. My own sensory experience of been in the class room through the interactive whiteboard at times felt frustrating and even at times lonely. Looking at the classroom through the narrow screen of my laptop made me consider other ways of discovering and identifying the information I needed to ‘feel into’ and sense in order to learn about this room full of people. I had to ask specific questions to the children and Leanne to receive their feedback.

I will always remember Leanne’s description of the children’s response to the task of creating leaf tattoos. She described the children’s joy and laughter coupled with their attention in colouring and pressing leaves on their bodies.

Throughout the duration of the project, I continued to share elements and small samples of work from my own practice. From these sharings, Leanne and the children began to develop their own questions, tasks and creative forms of response and reflection.

I found it so exciting to see, hear and feel individual’s process, their ideas, questions and responses.

What aspects of the project made you smile? What aspects of the project made you feel challenged?

Leanne

I’ll start with a challenge. It was session 9. Everything had been going so well on our computer programme, Blackboard Collaborate. But on lesson 9, the technology would not work for us. Lisa couldn’t connect with us. I felt lost. The C2K school network in Northern Ireland is very strict. I couldn’t use facetime or skype to connect with Lisa. So we ended up communiciating via whatsapp. It was a whole new way of connecting with Lisa. We were able to communicate with Lisa using whats app voice messages. We sent photographs of what we did that day (which was a continuation of what we were doing). So when technology fails – that is a challenge.

The highlight was when Lisa came up to the school for two days in April. I will never forget that the time that she spent with them before we went out filming their dances. I will never forget that. The children will never forget that. It was amazing. We spent all this time working collaboratively online.  Then she was there in person. That was a highlight for me and the kids.

Lisa

Indeed, like Leanne, memories of session 9 haven’t softened for me. Our means of communiciation didn’t work. I lost a little confidence with the technology after this point. I felt anxious in the lead up to the next sessions. When technology fails, it definitely poses a big challenge.

But, because of the realisation that we could not rely on our online connection, we began to develop less focus on me as the leader of sessions. I look back now and realise that this was a really important moment of our journey together. After session 9, I think Leanne and the children really took off and entered their full flow. Up to session 9, we spent much time getting to know each other, exploring ideas, trying things out, engaging with our senses indoors and outdoors, experiencing each others small creative forms and experiments. I know that the children had developed skills and knowledge and were full of passion for creative movement and the natural environment around them. In stepping back a little, I created more space for this dynamic partnership (teacher and children) and individuals to embrace their own creativity. When I reflect on this, I smile.

What insights from the project are worth sharing? (These may seem small, but are significant to you)

Leanne

At the start I wasn’t really sure where it was going to go. I needed to take a step back and breath. Lisa encouraged us all to concentrate on the simple things. But the simple things turned out to be very effective.

In main stream schools at the minute, it’s all about getting children in touch with their senses again. There are so many children coming into school at the moment with sensory issues. With the warm ups, we focused on the sense of touch. Before each lesson the children were so excited about working with Lisa. The warm ups helped calm the children.

The sensory issue is a big thing at the minute in main stream schools. We recognise the need to support children to return to the basics, being calm in themselves and able to regulate themselves. The warm ups for me were great. They focused on touch and feeling, touching your arm, leg and head. From a sensory perspective, this was significant for me and I thought it prepared them well for their dances.

Lisa

Something I would like to share is how we endeavoured to document the process through gathering multiple means of documentation. Leanne is an avid photographer. She created, gathered and drew our focus to this form of visual documentation.

It feels now, following completion of the project that the engagement with multiple forms of documentation was a really important layer and container for the processes and choices that emerged throughout the project. Methods included: photography, film, writing, art, movement and the gathering of materials. These forms illustrated and offered many entry points for others into the work and processes of the project.

Has anything changed as a result of the project?

Leanne

Yes. The impact of the audio warm ups and our attention to the senses made me take a step back and realise everything in mainstream teaching is done at a pace. You are going at a rate of knots to try and get everything covered because there is so much curriculum to cover. At the end  of the day as society goes on, moves more into technology (and yes our project was based around technology), this project brought out the importance of just been still. Breathing and regulating yourself, mindfulness. Being aware of your space, being aware of your own body and senses, which alot of children at this age are missing. I’d say that has really made me think as a teacher.

Dance does not have to be very structured. It can made so creative and the children proved that. I was thinking where is this going to go with the boys? How are the boys going to get into this? And I not being a dancer, I was thinking, ‘gosh, where is this going to go? I think at times I worried about the end product. But I realise now it’s really about the process. The amount of work the children put into the process of it all was unbelievable. Those dances didn’t happen overnight. The children took ownership of their own process. I loved the days when Lisa worked with small groups, chatting to them about their dances, giving them feedback, hints and tips. The children loved this. It was really about the process but it’s also nice to have an amazing end product. But it really is about the process.

For me the parents really getting on board was important. It was a risk you take. Our sessions took a whole day. It was a whole day out of the normal curriculum; numeracy and literacy. For this day, you are dancing!

It was really important that the parents were on board with this. And they were. They kept involved all the time. Right from the class assembly, when we shared an interview between the children, teacher and artist. They absolutely loved it. They got to see Lisa. They had heard so much about Lisa from the chidlren. But they got to see Lisa and they were so keen to learn more about her. I think that was important, getting the parents on board and getting them involved. We created a DVD as part of our project. The DVD idea wasn’t my suggestion. It wasn’t the childrens or Lisas. It was the parents’ suggestion. Parents came to me after the class assembly and asked me for the footage. We had shown a film of an interview between Lisa and the children. We had two interviewers who asked Lisa questions. They did a super job and their parents were so proud watching the footage of  them confidenctly posing questinos. This project was inclusive of all chidlren in the class and particulary appealed to those chidlren who learn best through kinaesthetic learning.

Our final DVD came from the parents request to see footage of this interview. The parents wanted to see the children’s dances and share it with others. I think this is important. It is not just a partnership between the teacher, children and the artist. It is also a partnership with the parents.

When Lisa came to the school in April, it was amazing to see the parent’s excitement. She got out of her car and they were all saying hello. She had never met them before. But they all felt that they knew her. It’s amazing how you can work with someone all year and ye’re at opposite ends of the country. When something like this comes together, it’s pretty special.

Lisa

I think what I am left with at this stage and what I would like to remember as I go forward with Leanne, the children, families and community of Aughnacloy PS, is my curiousity around makings connections and asking questions.

I have neither an answer or a method as to how to achieve these successfully. But I think we can rely on our intention to listen, trust and be curious.

Here is a note from my journal (which was written throughout the project).

What question(s) can be shared to offer permission for an experience to ‘unfold’.

I think there are different ways of thinking about this.

The possibility of making connections – learning about something and learning about myself simultaneously.

Again, what question(s) encourage openness and curiosity – giving ownership back to the individuals.

Recognise

Acknowledge

Acceptance – acceptance of where someone is right now.

A non-linear approach to learning and achievement.

What is between the teacher and the artist?

The known and the unknown. Staying at this edge. It might feel like a void or a delayed in-between stage.

Developing structures together which are composed from all the sensations of the work and materials.

A sense of intimacy and dialogue with the work – listening to it.

There is a need to explore and create frames and structures, which are away from the demands of an end product or production.

A project where we can all ask questions of each other.

“What do you know now?”

“How are you now?”

!!!! Music Generation to complete its 2nd phase of expansion thanks to investment by U2 & The Ireland Funds

Music Generation has announced that it will expand into nine new areas of Ireland within five years, thanks to the ongoing support of U2 and The Ireland Funds who together will have raised a total of €6.3m for the programme’s second phase. This combined investment in ‘Phase 2’ of Music Generation will include donations from the proceeds of U2’s The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, as well as donations previously raised for Music Generation through the band’s iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour in 2015, alongside further philanthropic investment by The Ireland Funds. A grant from Bank of America, through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, forms part of The Ireland Funds’ investment in this second phase of Music Generation.

Phase 2 of Music Generation has been assured of long-term sustainability through a commitment by the Department of Education and Skills to co-fund the new areas into the future, together with Local Music Education Partnerships.

Read the full story here

!!!! AOIC International Choral Conducting Summer School

The Association of Irish Choirs presents its 38th International Choral Conducting Summer School from 6th-12th August 2017, for conductors, teachers, music students, choral singers and musicians. The only one of its kind in Ireland, this seven-day intensive course offers a wealth of expertise from international tutors, all of whom are active conductors and experienced teachers of conducting. With courses designed to meet the needs and abilities of every student — from beginners to experienced and established conductors — participants at all levels will develop and refine their core conducting skills, with more advanced classes focusing on areas such as rehearsal technique, interpretation, vocal technique, style, and pronunciation of languages. EPV accredited.

For more info:

www.aoic.ie/education_training/education_programmes/full_article/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=779&cHash=e47fd129fc39265abf306c9a5ae3d3d8

 

!!!! Landmark research document reveals a pioneering new model for performance music education

Music Generation

A ground-breaking research document, which was launched on Friday 4 November at the 6th Annual Conference of the Society for Music Education in Ireland, has revealed a new model for the provision of music education that can achieve powerful and positive outcomes for children and young people. ‘Possible Selves in Music’ challenges traditional thinking about music education, uncovers an entirely new approach and opens up a wealth of knowledge to all who are interested in bringing music into children’s and young people’s lives.

As Ireland’s national music education programme, Music Generation seeks to transform the lives of children and young people through access to high-quality vocal and instrumental tuition (also known as performance music education). Working through local Music Education Partnerships, the programme provides children and young people with a multitude of different ways to engage with music.

National Director of Music Generation, Rosaleen Molloy said that: “‘Possible Selves in Music’ reveals rich and valuable information about how children and young people flourish when they connect with music. We now know that children and young people engage with music learning to enrich their lives in a range of different ways. ‘Possible Selves’ is a useful concept to capture the various ways that they imagine music will be part of their lives in the future.”

‘Possible Selves in Music’ is the outcome of a two-year research partnership between Music Generation and St Patrick’s College Drumcondra (now DCU). The research, which will be of significant interest to musicians, educators, policy-makers, youth workers, and national and local government agencies at home and overseas, was commissioned by the Board of Music Generation in 2013 and carried out by Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Thomas Johnston, who worked with Principal Investigator to the project Dr Patricia Flynn (DCU/St Patrick’s College).

The Research Board comprised Dr Patricia Flynn (DCU/St Patrick’s College); Rosaleen Molloy (National Director, Music Generation); Prof Stephanie Pitts (University of Sheffield); and Prof Emer Smyth (ESRI).

For further information about the research and to download the document visit www.musicgeneration.ie.

 

 

!!!! The Big Bang

The Big Bang: Young Composer Mentoring Programme

Belfast-born Brian Irvine was appointed Music Generation Sligo Composer-in-Residence in September 2012. Brian’s work has been commissioned and performed widely by the National Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Players, the Roald Dahl Foundation, Sesame Street, Channel 4, RTE & BBC TV, the Welsh National Opera, Opera Theatre Company and Carlow County Council to name but a few. He has collaborated with a variety of artists from the late great Seamus Heaney to Snow Patrol. The Composer-in-Residence Programme was funded by the Per Cent for Art Scheme as a Public Art Commission.

Brian’s brief was to create a new work to be performed by young people in Sligo and, significantly, to work with a number of young people from Sligo in a Young Composer Mentoring Programme. This aspect of the programme was requested by the commissioners, the Public Art Steering Committee of Sligo County Council Arts Service. Six young composers worked with Brian from their base at the Foroige Youth Café in Sligo town ‘The Crib’ from October 2012, with five bringing their work to completion to be performed by their peers on stage alongside Brian’s own compositions, giving us The Big Bang.

The project was a significant & magnificent undertaking for all concerned. Music Generation Sligo is lucky to have the talent, commitment, energy and enthusiasm of our young composers, orchestra and choir and of course their leaders & teachers. Sligo has a wealth of musicians and volunteers who, together with Music Generation, are making music education happen for the young people of Sligo, the next generation of musicians, teachers and audiences.

Introducing Music Generation Sligo Young Composers:

Alice Purcell

“My piece explores the trust in the space between people and how you should leave your mind wide open because YOU can achieve anything! This last year has been a magic carpet ride for me and I’d like to thank everyone who made the carpet ride happen.”

Matthew Rooney

“Music is a big part of my life. I love to play the guitar and sing. Music Generation has really opened my mind to new music. Brian Irvine has really helped me progress in my composition skills and I am very grateful to have had this experience. Who knows, maybe I will compose more music in the future, whether it be songs on the guitar or classical music.”

Ferdia Durkin

“Music has always been part of my life. It has shaped me into the person I am today. After years of studying and performing music, this piece, entitled SPACE, is my personal contribution to music. I have tried to express my idea of space through the notes and rhythm: an infinite void of peace, mystery, danger and wonder.” Now a fifth year student at Coola Post Primary School, Ferdia’s ambition is to study history and music at University.

Niamh Feeney

“I love music, and I spend most of my time either listening to it or playing it, but the Music Generation programme has opened up a whole new dimension for me. It has given me the opportunity and the confidence to create my own music – a fantastic life skill. I’m very grateful to have had the chance to work with and learn from Brian Irvine. It has been a wonderful experience that I will never forget.”

Ciara Murphy

“Music gives us an identity and my composition has allowed me to explore sounds, arrangements and lyrics to communicate my ideas. Working with Brian was an opportunity to develop my knowledge of music and explore its limitless potential.” Ciara is 13 years old. She attends The Royal Irish Academy Of Music for cello classes and studies singing and piano in Sligo. She is a member of Sligo Baroque Orchestra. Her love of music began very early and she may one day choose a musical career.

A composition in seven movements:

  1. 1. Overture ‘Where never lark nor even eagle flew’: Brian Irvine
  2. 2. Realtin: Alice Purcell
  3. 3. Infinity & Further: Matthew Rooney
  4. 4. Space: Ferdia Durkin
  5. 5. You could be an astronaut: Niamh Feeney
  6. 6. Dreaming: Ciara Murphy
  7. 7. Big Bang: Brian Irvine

“Each of the five young composers have produced extraordinary pieces. It’s been a delight working with them.”

Brian Irvine composer

The Big Bang: The show

This was a performance of the new music created by Composer Brian Irvine & the five young Sligo composers… Ferdia Durkin, Niamh Feeney, Ciara Murphy, Alice Purcell & Matthew Rooney. 120 children & young people in the Music Generation Sligo Youth Choir performed together with 80 young musicians from Sligo Academy of Music Sinfonietta Orchestra, under the musical co-ordination of Niamh Crowley. The piece was inspired by the mystery and wonder of space and our place within it.

The performance took place at the Hawk’s Well Theatre Sligo on 10th November 2013 as part of Sligo International Choral Festival and was re-staged in the Hawk’s Well Theatre on 3rd October 2014 and in the National Concert Hall on 13th October 2014 as part of the Music Generation National Gala Concert.

Performers included members of the Sligo Academy of Music Sinfonietta and Music Generation Sligo Choir, comprising: Grange Post Primary School Choir Choir director, Emma Purcell); Sligo Community Youth Choir (Choir directors, Emma Purcell & Eileen Curley); Ursuline College Choir (Choir Director, Edel Murray)

!!!! Thinking Visual

Briefly tell us the story of your project – What was it about? Who was involved? How did it get started?

Jennie:

In early 2014 I received the Thinking Visual Residency Award, run by Wicklow County Council & Mermaid Arts Centre. I proposed a new type of residency within Blessington Community College, where artists John Beattie, Sven Anderson and myself as project curator would work with transition year students to explore activities that lay between producing new artwork and developing a conceptual framework within which to present it. This residency provided a unique experience for both the students and the school to focus on this process-driven phase of contemporary art production, and highlight vital links between the artist as researcher and students as inventive learners. John Beattie gave a focus to moving image work and Sven Anderson evolved sonic frames of reference with the students.

Sven:

The curator Jennie Guy invited me to take part in a six-week residency programme working with transition year students in Blessington Community College in County Wicklow, in late 2014. Between October – December, I met with the students, Jennie Guy, and the art teacher Turlough Odonnell once a week.

Much of my practice is focused on contemporary sound art practices, so I initiated the project with an energetic workshop based on physically manipulating vinyl LPs. Using blades, electrical tape, and sandpaper, the students made physical marks on the surfaces of records that I sourced in a bargain bin in a charity shop in Dublin. Most of the students had never been near a record before .. and immediately we found ourselves having conversations about media manipulation, the sense of hearing, noise and silence, and what distinguishes noise from music from art.

I spent the next sessions presenting a variety of material to the students – some of it interactive, some of it more based on creating the time and space to listen to and comment on significant artworks in this field. These conversations crossed many boundaries by addressing subjects and techniques that were outside of what many of the students would consider as art. Each week provided the chance for another listening session – and we listened to works by Max Neuhaus, Bill Fontana, John Cage, Alvin Lucier, Christina Kubisch, Sam Auinger, and Luc Ferrari (amongst others).

After one particular conversation about sound installations in public places, the students began to express a strong interest in making a sound installation for their school. We quickly focused on conducting site surveys of the schools grounds (looking for the right site to work into), developing a concept for the work’s structure and content, and going over all of the practical aspects of making such an installation. We invited the school’s principal to the next workshop and the students themselves made a presentation proposing the installation, and asking for permission to construct it.
On the final day of the residency, I spent the entire day at the school working on the installation.

The final sound installation (installed by the students with help from their teachers from art, woodworking, metalworking, and the school’s maintenance staff) is formed by four boards spanning over 40 ft, mounted overhead in the outdoor passageway. The boards are fitted with sound transducers, transforming the boards into resonating speakers. The students choose combinations of sounds from an online database of field recordings uploaded by various sound artists that drift between boards throughout the day (played back from a computer / hardware setup installed in one of the classrooms), providing a backdrop to the everyday sounds taking place outside their school. This piece is still installed outside of the school in early 2015.

Turlough:

Between September and December 2014 Jennie Guy (Art School / Mobile Art School) curated an artist residency in Blessington Community College. The residency consisted of six workshops for the Transition Year students. There are two classes in Transition Year in Blessington, one class worked with artist Sven Anderson and the other class worked with artist John Beattie. Over the six weeks students were introduced to the work of their resident artist, experimental workshops were carried out where students explored the processes involved in Sven and John’s work. From these explorations proposals for works in video and sound were developed. These proposals were then presented to the School Management and ultimately art works were produced with the artists working closely with the students at all times.

What aspects of the project made you smile? What aspects of the project made you feel challenged?

Jennie:

As each subsequent week of the residency went by I looked forward to each residency session as I knew that there would a lot of unexpected laughs generated by each artist’s session. John Beattie really pushed the boundaries of the students perceptions of experimental moving image works. He gave the groups he worked with such freedom that they were able to devise and follow through with their ideas from session to session. Seeing the students achieve such experimental works was really exhilarating for me as an observer and really fun for the students. At times I felt quite challenged at the end of each session in trying to describe what had happened from the artists and students perspective. I knew the ideas and research that the artist was trying to evolve but somehow trying to make it relevant to this student audience I would begin to stutter in my round-up. Turlough O’Donnell the art teacher has a really unique talent of being able to process the ideas the artist was bringing to his classroom and school but somehow contextualise it as a teacher and then re-present each session with great articulation to his students that I felt that I was learning a lot from him.

John:

During my third session with the students, I set a self motivated brief for the day, to give the students an opportunity to experiment with ideas independently using the camera & lens, throughout the grounds of the school. The students explored ideas and methods discussed and demonstrated from previous sessions. At the end of the task, students gathered in the art room, and I projected all images the students had shot large scale for all to view and critique. To my delight, a group of students had created a sequence of images, illustrating one of their peers “flying” steadily, in the air, through the school building. Using a Stop-Motion camera technique, the students discovered an imaginative approach, which later became the central focus of the projects final video. A fantastic moment.

Working with large groups of mixed teenagers can be very challenging to ensure that each individual feels apart of the process. Also, monitoring how engaged students are, and if students are engaging at all. It’s crucial for me that I create that space for students to feel comfortable and confident to come forward and be involved in the creative process. This was the most challenging yet rewarding aspect of the project.

Sven:

There were so many moments working on this project that made me smile. One of the funniest moments occurred when we were talking about the artist / composer John Cage, in particular his composition 4 minutes 33 seconds. This piece is a performance in which the audience (and performer) remains silent for this exact duration of time, highlighting the ambient sounds of the performance space and demonstrating that there really is no such thing as silence – and that many incidental sounds can become ‘material’ when given appropriate focus. We were in the middle of uploading our own version of this piece via a new 4’33” iPhone App – sitting in a circle, listening to the sound of nothing – of our breath, of the creak of chairs, the subtle passing of cars outside. This duration can feel like a long time for a group of teenagers – sitting still, trying not to laugh, trying to stay quiet. One of the students was holding a ‘virtual baby’ / ‘infant simulator’ – one of these fake baby dolls that the students have to take care of, tending to their needs. Suddenly – in the middle of our silence – the baby let out a computerized cry. The laughter that had been hiding behind the silence suddenly broke and we were all laughing, the sound being uploaded to the app to be stored with hundreds of other ‘silences’ recorded around the world.

There were many moments like this – in which our focus on listening, and on the medium of sound, forced us to negotiate with many aspects of space and experience that we would never have had to confront if we were working in a more visual medium. By the end of the residency, I felt that we had a strong group dynamic, and a good understanding of how we could work together as a group both to understand more difficult concepts, and to work towards producing a significant impact on our environment – as evidenced through the successful installation of the sound installation outside of the school.

Turlough:

Seeing the student’s reaction to appearing in the video work really made me smile, particularly because the young girl who became the focus for the main video piece is a very quite student, and she got a real kick out of making the piece. Also the first video piece involved another student being given the power to move chairs with his mind this also was very funny to see his performance in front of the students.

In the sound work shop seeing all the students engage with the artist made me smile. I and the students really enjoyed the field recording trip to Dublin also. On this trip we recorded the everyday sounds of the city; these sounds were later incorporated into a piece of sculpture the students had made in response to Sven’s sound workshop. The whole project / residency challenged the students notions of what is and what is not art and they now have a broader appreciation of what is involved in contemporary art practise.

What insights from the project are worth sharing?

Has anything changed as a result of the project?

Jennie:

I must acknowledge the strength and benefit of forming strong background relationships that substantiate residencies like this. For example, without the backing, support and most importantly the creative vision of Wicklow Country Arts Office and Mermaid Arts Centre this project would never happen. My approach to creating firm and supportive relationships has deepened even more, this does take more time but now that I can see how exciting ongoing connection with schools can emerge from this type of relationship gives everybody involved in this type of project a great sense of achievement. The same approach goes for really involving the artist as early as possible before a project, either in conversation and or doing site visits and being able to communicate as much as possible before a project starts. This project has given a lot of confidence to approach new contexts.
John: I heard from the schools art teacher that after one of our sessions, a usually quite student came up to him and said that the session and work done was; “poetry in motion”.

Another aspect worth sharing from the project, is the careful and considered level of detail carried out by curator Jennie Guy, with the school and art teacher Turlough, to co-ordinate and manage this process. The atmosphere and fundamental creative environment, had been set in place and in motion, making this an extremely smooth and successful project.

I think there is a large number of things that have changed as a result of the project, some measurable, many others not so easy to measure: For the school, Principal, art teachers, and most importantly the students, to experience a sense of what is possible, what can be done, of how to step outside of the school curriculum and produce innovative and challenging work. I feel people’s perspective and perceptions changed in relation to art within the secondary level education system. This also goes for myself as an artist and educator, that we can bring dynamic, relevant, and engaging art practices into the school education system, and produce work and working relationships, where the integrity of project is completed with the highest level of engagement.

Sven:

The project’s structure – established by the curator Jennie Guy – was quite a substantial framework to begin with. I have had experiences with workshops in which the artist is completely responsible for establishing frames of reference with the teaching staff, the school, and the students. In this case, the curatorial framework that Guy established with Turlough ODonnell (the art teacher) set the ground for more adventurous work within the residency – in which I was free to develop my own ideas in response to the students’ interests as they emerged / developed over the course of the residency. The resulting environment (within these sessions) allowed us to move very quickly and to cover quite a bit of ground in six weeks, and the support and exchange with the students, the art teacher, and the curator all felt substantial and easy to balance.

I sense that the impact of having the sound installation – quite a substantial experiential structure – built outside of the school in Blessington marked a significant change in all of our expectations concerning how far we might go with this kind of experimental learning framework. This was not an expected outcome of the project – and beyond the process of producing what I consider to be a considered artwork, our experience working together and learning to ask for a chance to shape or author our environment – in this case the environment of the school – was quite significant. I believe that enabling the students to make a legible mark on their surroundings is a valuable experience in breaking down the borders between self / space (environment) / and authority, resulting in a more active approach to establishing democratic spaces.

Turlough:

The approaches of both artists have given the students great insight into the working practices of contemporary artists. Sven’s work in the field of sound sculpture has the potential to create a greater awareness in students to their surrounding particularly to the sound environment of the school. As a teacher the engagement with both artists has had a very positive effect on my own approach to teaching. I believe that it is very important as a teacher to open the subject up and by getting professional artists into the art room with the students has an energising effect.

I think that students will be more open minded as a result of the project. Some students have even started to explore new media on their own. One group of students created their own video piece in and entered it in a competition called “Youth Connect”. Their work was short listed to 12 which were screened in the Savoy cinema last week. I have no doubt that the video residency with John would have influenced and informed their approach.

Students’ report

Our names are Shona O’Connor and Aoife Mescall, we were students involved in the residency who worked with Sven in the area of sound sculpture.
On the day we were introduced to Jennie and Sven, Sven told us about his area of work and told us what he wanted us, as a class, to learn from the residency. To introduce us to the basics of sound, he brought us in old records with very different genres and sounds and played them on his record player, which he also taught us how to use throughout the day. As an experimental activity, we each chose a record at random and used tape, sand paper and knives to mark and scratch the record to make different sounds and interruptions on the track when it played.

Following up on working with records, Sven gave us the task of making some sort of sculpture using the record covers. The class decided to build a ‘sound tower’ by taping the covers together in various different ways and installing small speakers to the sculpture.

After a couple of weeks, along with Sven, the class came up with the idea of making putting up a semi-permanent sound installation somewhere in the school to make others aware of the sounds around them. We came up with the concept of attaching four small speakers to four long planks of wood that would go up on the ceiling of the shelter outside the first year corridor.

In preparation for proposing our idea to Mr Burke, our principal, we had to plan to tell him what we wanted to do, how we were going to do it and what we wanted to get out of this project. We chose two pupils to help Sven to pitch the idea to Mr Burke and from the very start he was on board with helping us complete the task. Different people were given different jobs that they had to complete as their part-taking in the completion of the project. Some were in charge of preparing the wood for the speakers to be securely installed and others helped in choosing the sounds we were going to play.

At first no-one could really hear the sounds we were trying to make noticeable, so Sven and Mr O’Donnell worked on fixing it and making it louder.
On the last week in the residency, Sven came in and helped us put everything together. Outside Sven helped other pupils feed wires and cables through the wall to ensure we would be able to connect the speakers to electricity, while the rest of the students helped Donal, our care taker, secure the planks to the ceiling of the shelter to be ready to be connected. Other students stayed inside to make a final decision on the sound they were going to play and what went well together. Everything was just about finished when the final bell of the day rang. To thank Sven and Jennie for all their hard work and time they had spent with us, we presented them with a bottle of wine as a small token of our appreciation.

When people were beginning to become aware of the sounds being played, confusion was their initial reaction. They were curious as to where it was coming from, as they were not aware we had been working on this project. However when they got used to it, they listened closely and carefully to the sounds and tried to figure out the type of sound that was being played.

We feel our class really enjoyed the experience and learned a lot about how art is not just in pictures and paintings. We all got along really well with Sven and found it a very interesting and new experience. We were also thought about how interesting it is to stop and listen to how versatile the sounds in a particular environment can be.

Overall we think the project was a massive success and really enjoyed working in such a different area of art.

!!!! Artful Dodgers

Tell us the story of your project – What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin? How did it develop?

Artful Dodgers is a unique early years arts education programme that commenced in September 2013 and continues to evolve today in two community crèche services in Fingal, north county Dublin. The programme is pioneered by Artist Jackie Maguire and Naomi Draper with Julie Clarke of Fingal County Council Arts Office, Fingal County Childcare Committee, Ros Eo and Little Learners Community Crèche and Prof. Carmel O’Sullivan and Prof. Noirin Hayes of the Arts Education Research Group, Trinity College Dublin (AERG).

The programme aims to provide an exploratory, creative and playful artistic space for children to develop and grow. To investigate the impact of this engagement on the children’s early development with particular focus on literacy and numeracy skills; and to build the capacity of the early years educators to embed music and visual arts in their settings. The project team adopted an artist is residence model for Phase 1 where both artists were located in the services on a weekly basis over a twelve week period. Each week they delivered a music and visual arts workshop in partnership with the staff of both settings. The artist in residence model was significant in that the artists were embedded within the settings allowing the artists, early years teachers and children to build relationships and to get to know each other over time. Over the period of the residency the artists worked closely with the children and early years teachers in both settings, where they explored the world of music and visual arts together.

The evaluation of Phase 1 (2013) indicated changes in pedagogical planning and style in the early years teachers over the twelve weeks period. Their language became more reflective and their practice incorporated a wider and richer range of materials; there was greater evidence of more child-led activities and unstructured play opportunities over the duration of the study. The data suggests that children’s social, cooperative and communication skills were enhanced. There was evidence over time of improved self-regulation, recall and recollection, and attention to activities. In addition, children’s curiosity and exploration was encouraged leading to enhanced vocabulary and greater persistence at activities. To assist the sustainability of the learning and practices developed during phase one the partnership provided the required resources to establish second phase. During this phase the teachers were encouraged to continue with the arts in their practice and the artists came to work with staff in both settings once a month. This kept the momentum of the project going without interruption. The focus of Phase 2 (2014-2015) was to develop ‘creative exchange’ between both the artists and early years teachers through a co-mentoring process. It was designed to consolidate arts practice within the early years settings, build a creative environment and strengthen relationships between the participants (artists and early years teachers) through reflecting on practice and children’s engagement.

A key element of phase two was the introduction of the ORID framework by the artists with the early years teachers to evaluate and reflect on the process. This framework facilitates focused conversation between participants in order to reach some point of agreement or clarify differences. ORID is as an evaluation framework developed at the Canadian Institute of Cultural Affairs. The framework gave everyone a voice and provided sound evidence to direct and inform future delivery.

A preliminary evaluation of Phase 2 suggests that changes occurred in early years practice, in terms of curriculum planning, relationships with children, staff and parents. Co-mentoring across different disciplines is very powerful particularly when it is experiential and all parties, in this case artists and early years teachers, are actively involved. The artists highlighted the value of the co-mentoring approach, which informed their planning for each setting visits. The early years teachers reported better understandings of children’s learning and sensitivity to the uniqueness of every child. They also reported a deepening understanding of Aistear, the early childhood curriculum framework and a greater appreciation of the importance of ‘tuning in’ and responding to the children’s behaviour. As the project evolved the partnership grew stronger and a third phase, the ‘parental involvement programme’, was created. This work is ongoing.

Ash Ryan of Little Learners Community Crèche, Mulhuddart
What aspects of the project made you smile? What aspects of the project made you feel challenged?

The Children, staff and parents’ engagement made me smile. I would glance around the room, which looked chaotic – paint everywhere, children’s faces and hands a multitude of colours, parents on the floor weaving, staff laughing with the children – and smile! However there were plenty of challenges. I had to rethink my teaching practice, both in terms of how much I controlled the outcomes of art projects with the children and my own feelings on ‘messy play’.

What insights from the project are worth sharing? Has anything changed as a result of the project?

Both the parents and staff have a different view on how the children engage with art materials, originally dirty clothes were a problem, but now parents expect the children to leave looking like they’ve been involved in activities during the day, and they always oblige with a change of clothes when necessary. My whole practice has changed. I have a far better understanding of creative play and its links to Aistear. Children have more of a say in the activities we provide and they have the freedom to choose materials and ideas for their own artwork. Parents have become more involved in the service as a result of their direct involvement. Children are generally having great fun while learning. We have stopped group activities where twenty children are making the same thing from a template. Templates are no longer used in the service. Artful Dodgers has managed to put an ethos in place that no college course for early years teachers has been able to achieve to date. The artists’ hands on engagement showed how a different approach works in practice; the staff could see the methods and begin to use them easily in a supported way.

Debbie Donnelly & Mary Farrell of Ros Eo Community Crèche, Rush
What aspects of the project made you smile? What aspects of the project made you feel challenged?

Seeing the enjoyment shining through the children throughout their involvement in the project made us all smile a lot. Jackie would break into song unexpectedly and both Jackie and Naomi’s personalities brought warmth and positivity into the classroom, which was a huge factor in the enjoyment and success of the project.

As safety officer I worried about the safety of the children while working away from the desks, on the floor, using materials they hadn’t used before, especially when we had a large group of children together. At the beginning I felt a little out of my comfort zone, as I was familiar with working a particular way. I also worried about fitting all the new arts activities in with the already full curriculum. I doubted my own ability to be a worthy capable participant in the project as I am not an artist.

What insights from the project are worth sharing? Has anything changed as a result of the project?

A new lease of life was injected into staff as we learned new ways to teach. We now use props to enhance language skills and the children’s understanding of a particular story or activity. We learned to share the workload better among staff. We now make time to reflect on activities afterwards. We discuss the positives and negatives and question how to improve or deliver something that didn’t work so well differently the next time. The weekly reflection is a very informative experience and positive way to finish the week. As a staff team we are more open to trying new things with the children. We know that what we are doing compliments the curriculum so we are more confident about delivering the curriculum. I’m definitely not afraid to move out of my comfort zone now.

I realise that I don’t have to be ‘talented’ at art or music to use it in the classroom. I’m willing to try new things and learn alongside the children. We don’t dwell if something doesn’t go to plan, we move on and try it again another day with something different. My advice is to keep trying and be adventurous. You’re never too old to learn.

Artist Naomi Draper
What aspects of the project made you smile? What aspects of the project made you feel challenged?

The welcome we received on every visit made me smile. Every week we arrived to an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation from the children, their parents and the staff. They were always waiting for us to arrive, they knew we were coming. During this residency I really felt part of the setting, a part of their week, a part of the team! I do think that this came from the strength of the relationship we developed with the staff who made us feel welcome, valued and supported in our work there. We also had time to establish these connections, time for reflection together and when we could see that we had developed something worth holding on to, the arts office gave us more time to develop these partnerships, supporting one another through a shared learning exchange, and broadening our partnerships to engage parents in a parental involvement phase. Our approach was probably a challenge initially, as we completely took over every corner of the crèche. But you could see confidence growing with every visit and as new materials were presented or alternative spaces were used, no instruction was required, the children, staff and parents too were willing to play, experiment, and see where it would bring them. Watching everyone’s confidence grow and observing how our practices changed and developed was very exciting.

What insights from the project are worth sharing? Has anything changed as a result of the project?

Jackie introduced us to the ORID reflective tool, which became an important tool to critically reflect and change. ORID also played a huge part in the development of our relationships with one another. It enabled us to openly and honestly speak about what happened and what we observed. It provided a supportive environment for me to learn and develop a better understanding of working in this context. Another aspect of my work that I am interested in exploring is the physical spaces we are part of. The initial residency period of the AD programme allowed me to test and examine the potential of the spaces in terms of children’s learning and development. Together with the staff we realised new possibilities for spaces that were not used in the crèche and found ways to activate and utilise them further.

Professor Nóirín Hayes, on behalf of the research team:
“As an academic with a long history of research in early childhood the potential value of arts education in early education, for both children and staff, has always been an interest of mine – particularly the challenging link between arts education and the role of play and process in early learning.

A key attraction of working with Artful Dodgers has been the collaborative approach, the creation of a learning community comprising children, parents, educators, artists and academics. The project, throughout, endeavoured to create a context that encouraged careful attention to planning through a mutual respect for the expertise of both the artists and the early years educators. Reflection informing future actions was a central dimension of the project at all stages. The success of this approach was evident in the engagement of all participants and the outcomes for children. Throughout the project careful records were maintained and shared by the artists and the early years educators. This material, alongside observation records and documentation of practice in process, provide a rich source of data to inform practice, policy and further research. Over and above this the project has brought parents and early educators close together in the shared education of young children. It is a privilege to have become part of the team and I look forward to furthering the dissemination of this important action research arts education project.”