!!!! Keystone by Art School; An Exhibition of Moving Image at The Courthouse Gallery
The Courthouse Gallery and Studios, Ennistymon
Date : 8th – 29th September
The Courthouse Gallery and Studios launched Keystone; new moving image work by Art School on 8th September. Commissioned by Clare Arts Office to celebrate twenty years of arts in education programming, Keystone was developed with selected artists Mitch Conlon and James Moran in collaboration with fifth year students from two schools in Co. Clare.
Taking the theme of the collective as its central point of departure, Keystone took shape as a series of workshops guided by artist Mitch Conlon and theatre maker and comedian James Moran working with the 5th year art students and teachers of Coláiste Muire, Ennis, and Scoil Mhuire, Ennistymon, during the school year 2022–23. The project was curated by Jennie Guy, founder and director of Art School, alongside invited co-curator Fiona Gannon, and investigated ideas around the collective by exploring the places where teenagers go to hang out.
Through presentations, games, recording sessions and collaborative decision-making, the production of Keystone explored the atmospheres of specific hang-out spots visited by the students from both schools. Drawing on additional support from filmmaker and artist Emily McFarland and electronic music composer Liam McCartan (Son Zept), the students worked with sound and video to communicate the dynamics of these often peripheral places.
There was a private screening for students and other project partners in the Courthouse Gallery on the 8th September 2023 at 6PM and the work will be subsequently exhibited in the gallery space upstairs from the 8th through the 29th of September. The gallery opening hours are 12pm through 5pm.
To celebrate the launch of the project, a limited edition poster is being produced with award-winning design studio Distinctive Repetition to mark this screening event and will be gifted to each student collaborator involved in the project.
Keystone is supported by Clare Arts Office and the Arts Council.
The project was a recipient of the 2023 Arts in Education Documentation Award
!!!! Blog 4 – Coláiste Muire (Ennis) and Scoil Mhuire (Ennistymon), Co. Clare
During 2023 I took part in the Keystone art project. Once a week, Mitch and James, two successful artists, came to our school for a discussion, which later became activities and progress on the actual project. For the first few weeks we all got to know each other by chatting and discussing our favourite art forms. Something that stood out for me during these chats was our discussion of collaboration and what it meant to us. We all got to say what we thought, making the classroom environment very collaborative. We discussed whether people should have different roles within the project. I loved having these discussions and getting to know the artists, as it made the project a lot easier to work on.
Our first task was to write about somewhere special to us. I chose Lahinch as it is where I’m from and where I have spent many happy memories with my friends. We all shared our work with the class which gave us insight into our favourite places around the local area. Our second task was to record audio from somewhere in our area or community. I recorded the sounds of waves crashing on the beach as it is a sound that relaxes me, and I associate it with fond memories. We shared our sound recordings in class. After more discussion, where we looked for common interests in our chosen locations and recordings, we decided on what other footage we might need for our film. We all went to Lahinch with a film crew and equipment to record. We took film footage of the rocks, sand etc. We all had a go at filming and holding the recording equipment. This was a really fun day as we finally got to see a vision for what the finished project would become.
The next week in the classroom we received our first draft for the audio of our short film. It included all the sounds that we hand recorded earlier in the year as well as nostalgic music. The artists explained that our footage would be laid down after the soundtrack.
A few weeks later, we finally got to see our first draft of the whole film. Each scene was numbered. We got to say what we liked and didn’t like, by taking notes on each scene. It was such a great feeling to finally see what we had been working on for so long. Our feedback was sent back to the artists and videographer, where they would edit and tweak the footage to align with what our class wanted.
Participating in this project was such a great experience. We got to be part of a huge collaboration where all student voices were heard. It felt great knowing that my own ideas would impact the project. I’m grateful for this opportunity, as I got to learn more about collaborative artwork which is something I would love to continue exploring. Thanks to Jennie, Mitch, James, Fiona and everyone involved for this fantastic opportunity.
!!!! Blog 3 – Coláiste Muire (Ennis) and Scoil Mhuire (Ennistymon), Co. Clare
Teacher as Observer
Our artists, Mitch Conlon and James Moran, lead with a loose, conversational archiving style, asking students to explore their local hang-out spots, local stories or folklore. They listened for nuggets of information as students described where young people hang out locally: the Cliffs in Lahinch… the Sulphur baths in Lisdoonvarna, the Lake in Inagh, or some more virtual meeting spaces. The artists focused on places where students could hang out and be alone with their friends, to just be.
My favourite quote in the early weeks of the project was when I asked students for real feedback on the process so far: they answered with a slightly bewildered ‘I don’t think they even know what the project is about!’ It summed it up. The gap between the prescriptive, fact-based academic tradition, the ‘just tell me what to learn’, ‘answer-in-the-back-of-the-book’ learning model that is the points based Leaving Cert, and what Keystone proposed: a nebulous, prompting, listening, chatting, exchanging of stories, a watching for crossovers, for sparks of connection to form. A waiting with slight discomfort and frustration for the ideas to take shape. The creative process in action. This collaborative, democratic outcome is not a mode of working that sits easily within the exam system. Discomfort. Impatience. Underwhelm? It took a while… A low-level dread of maybe being made to ‘do drama and be on film’ pervaded until students realised that they needn’t be in front of the camera at all. That there were roles they could elect to play in the process. A gently guided ‘it’s ok to feel slight discomfort’ approach!
The artists showed footage of the 1980’s underground punk scene in Belfast. An anarchic idea for these digital natives: a place where you could go and be anonymous and express yourself with abandon.
It saddened me that the students haven’t known a world before the omnipresent smart phone, listening, snapping, recording their every move. Before Google Maps, eircodes, data analytical tracking, the rise of AI and Chat GPT. (I thank God regularly for the 90’s!!)
How do you hang out, away from surveillance. How do you disconnect and connect to each other, or to nature? The irony of making a documentary art piece about this was not lost on us.
For me, one student’s phone footage of their pristine white runners carefully negotiating a puddle summed up the duality poignantly.
Our art class has a wonderful diversity of cultures with Irish, Spanish, Italian, Polish and Ukrainian students. Google Translate was a welcome support for the visiting artists! When students began sharing and comparing their respective Christmas and New Year’s traditions and customs it sparked a particularly joyous exchange. Similarities were noted. Things began to click.
Momentum gathered via shared words, snippets of sound recordings, video, photos of clifftop sunsets, waves, the roar of a match crowd, the crunch of pebbles. Abandoned spaces..
Students had a blast with Mitch and James playing sound wars!
The next task: how to communicate isolation, togetherness, a mood, a feeling, an idea? ‘Film studies’ became real. Figuring out their individual role in all this. Listening. Making decisions. Voicing their opinions. Respectful communication. Shared outcomes. Compromise.
Life lessons. Soft skills. Play. Discomfort. Purpose. Trusting the process, and surprise at and -hopefully- pride in their finished product.
!!!! Blog 2 – Coláiste Muire (Ennis) and Scoil Mhuire (Ennistymon), Co. Clare
Collaborating in Sound Design
For my blog I have decided to discuss in detail one of my favourite days during the Keystone project. This was the sound designing session with Liam McCartan.
This was the explore and experiment stage of the project. Earlier in the week we were asked to record short clips of sounds that remind us of our themes of isolation, identity, privacy etc. These recordings were then sent to Liam, a sound producer. He arranged the audio clips in a wonderful piece of audio art.
We met with Liam digitally, through a zoom call. He introduced himself and let us listen to some of his previous pieces such as “Blue Morning”, and “Hold your Breath”. This gave us an insight into what the final piece could be like. We then listened to our piece, and Liam began combining it with other musical elements. He played around with different audio files, interchanging them, and adding audio effects. He also added different instruments such as guitar or keyboard to create harmonies out of the recorded clips. By doing all this he managed to enhance our recordings, making them sound more interesting. It brought out more emotion and so the themes became more obvious.
He explained the process very clearly. What I also really liked was at each stage he created a few options and allowed us to make decisions and vote on what we felt worked best. One of these decisions was to slow down a particular part. We felt this created a bigger and more dramatic atmosphere, or to layer a number of selected sounds to increase the intensity.
The piece was taking on a narrative. I could really hear the isolation feeling in some parts such as when the loud building of bird songs, the keyboard and other clips came to a climax, then everything stops and all we hear is the single beeping of the coffee machine. In other areas we agreed that the addition of the musical cords tied the sounds together, and gave it a familiar cinematic quality. A warm, joyful atmosphere was created which also reminded the group of times in our place – in our spot.
Overall the Keystone project was something I really enjoyed as I gained experiences in areas of art that I have never been involved in before. I gained a much broader insight into contemporary art and the different media that can be used. It took us away from the traditional idea of what art is and made us think a lot more about how to develop ideas.
!!!! Blog 1 – Coláiste Muire (Ennis) and Scoil Mhuire (Ennistymon), Co. Clare
A Coláiste Muire Collective
I was instantly intrigued by the idea and inspiration behind the Keystone project. At its essence art should challenge our perceptions and viewpoints, provoke thought and discussion. By getting the students to focus on the local, and the everyday, they were challenged to reconsider their traditional concepts of what is worthy to be art. Moments in their own lives were investigated especially those centred around places they frequented around the town; their hang out spots.
These “spots”, these centres of interactions and events, often located in places unintended for that purpose; private places within shared spaces, offer teenagers a third space away from the restrictions and rules of home and school. A separate social dynamic for freedoms of expression and connectivity. Nevertheless, these places are normally frowned upon, considered loitering spots, adults tell youths to move on, to stop wasting time. The very idea that the artists wanted students to celebrate these places challenged their preconceptions of the value of these spots and in turn inspired further exploration.
The explorations brought us down a rabbit hole of new experiences where Mitch and James introduced the group to artistic influences such as the sound art of Mary Anne Amacher, and a documentary about protestors in Curraghinalt made by Emily MacFarland. Each piece inspired very much by the space they were captured in; the physical place and landscape told the story or was the story. This encouraged the students to go out and collect and gather content to tell theirs. They used sound recording, photography, written word and film. A multi-sensual catalogue of data was being built that would act as the primary source of a final realisation.
Our collective expanded further when the expertise of sound producer Liam McCartan and filmmaker Emily MacFarland were brought in to help build our content. Their choices, influenced by written reflections made by students, an interactive zoom call and on-site video shoot where students made creative inputs into all decision making. The experience of observing the layering and manipulation of individual sounds to produce a whole composition, along with the opportunity to use professional video production equipment was something I feel the students really enjoyed.
Seeing how, as the project developed, the students’ immersion within the project increased was something that was very enjoyable for me. Evident in their reflections their initial writings were basic literal descriptions of the sessions, but as the project developed and the students allowed themselves to become more absorbed, their writings became more conceptual considerations. They contemplated how themes could be communicated within the content; a swinging zipline rope from the playground could suggest isolation, a grove of trees in the fair green symbolised privacy in a public space. Their thoughts were now of symbolism and metaphor, associations were being sought outside of their literal meaning. This I believe was one of the greatest successes of the project; the opening of the student’s minds and realisation that all the resources they need to create and solve are often right there in front of them, they just need to give themselves time to look and observe.
!!!! Portal Spring Regional Day 2023 – Roundup
Earlier this month, teachers, artists and arts in education professionals gathered together in the beautiful surrounds of the MTU Crawford College of Art and Design across two of their city-centre sites – Sharman Crawford Street and No. 46 Grand Parade. For delegates this was an opportunity to share experience, gather new ideas and network with colleagues. This event, the seventh of our annual Portal Regional Days, showcased arts in education and creative practice in the South-West. Delegates travelled from Counties Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Waterford and even Dublin to hear presentations from Jane Hayes and Fiona Linnane, participate in a workshop led by Julie O’Hea and visit the partnership Arts in Education exhibition at Sample Studios.
The morning of sharing practice began with socially-engaged visual artist Jane Hayes delving into key moments from her artistic practice which focuses on work for and with Early Years. In her presentation, ‘The Voice of the Child in Creative Decision Making – the Early Years Context’ Jane spoke of career shaping experiences including residencies with Baboro International Arts Festival for Children in Galway, a project with Scoil Chroí Íosa and becoming a Creative Associate which opened up opportunities for conversation and formalised the voice of the child into her practice. Jane elaborated that her projects evolve as choices and connections are made by the children, encouraging them to think and explore materials independently from carefully considered provocations introduced influenced by Jane in the Reggio Emilio style.
The key thing is … to give adequate time and space for those ideas to evolve to allow the project to evolve … to allow the child to become the chief investigator in everything and the classroom almost becomes an artist’s studio for them.” – Jane Hayes
The morning continued with an interactive session from composer Fiona Linnane. Her presentation, ‘Tutti – Exploring pathways to inclusivity for music composition in the classroom’ focused on her experiences in classrooms delivering projects through initiatives such as TAP, Creative Schools and Artist in Schools residencies. She spoke of the challenge and importance of engaging all children regardless of their musical ability through an approach of “experimentation not expectation”. Calling on audience participation, Fiona demonstrated a number of practical exercises and shared her approaches in how to equip children with the skills to experiment.
“For me, it’s about empowering the children just to have that avenue of self-expression in music where even if they’re not the piano prodigy, that they can still express themselves through music and through sound.” – Fiona Linnane
In the afternoon, attendees moved to Number 45 Grand Parade to take part in a practical creative workshop with visual artist Julie O’Hea. In a fun and messy workshop, Julie along with assistant Amaia Ibarbia led a very hands-on creative session on the processes behind ink-making from natural ingredients and hapazome printing, providing participants with many creative ideas to bring back to the classroom.
Thank you to everyone who joined us on the day. For those who missed the mornings discussions, video recordings will be available to watch back online. Registration for viewing is available through the link here.
!!!! The Inside Stories
Tell us the story of your project – What was the impetus? What was it about? Who was involved? How did you begin?
This project was a visual arts residency with artist Shona McGillivray, teacher Michelle O’Halloran and the young people from the Sycamore, Poppy, and Buttercup classes, their class teachers, and support staff. The classes involved in this project are part of the specific ASD classes of the school and often the main challenge with children with ASD can be communication and expression of self. This project was an opportunity for the children to express their interests and individuality through art. Shona has built up a good relationship with the school’s community and has worked with Michelle and some of the children before thanks to the awards and support given for residencies by Clare Arts Office’s Embrace Programme and Artist in School.
We were all delighted to be able to have visitors again to the classrooms after the long restrictions and Shona started sessions in early January. The activities we were hoping to engage the young people with were open ended explorations of paint, print and collage. The resulting expressive pieces would then become the content of individual artist’s books. Participants were encouraged to express their own thematic interests, and we then provided them with relevant resources, ideas and material choices. Tunnel books are inspired by theatrical stage sets and Shona identified this format as a suitable backdrop to their creative stories. An end product that could also be handled, played with, and a visual prompt for further storytelling or written work within the classroom. Shona has been considering ways to engage audiences of visual art in a more tactile and meaningful way through the direct handling of the art. These physical books are designed to get close to, to peer into, just as you might gaze into the miniature staged life within a doll’s house, with curiosity and imagination. They create a 3-dimensional scene that tells a story.
How were the ideas developed and how did the young people, artist and teacher work together?
We began with a choice of different tactile tools, found objects, papers, paint and a heavy board surface to work on. This starting point became the back page of many of the books as well as acting as the getting to know each other stage. Shona could inquire about participants’ interests and this sparked some individual divergences of theme and approach for the following sessions. Those with verbal skills could communicate their own interests, and for some it was prompted by the teacher’s close knowledge of the young person. Honing into specific individual interests, sensory needs and creative strengths appealed to the participants emotions and led to a deeper engagement of the task in hand.
To assist with visualizing the end product a tunnel book template was made, and also the book’s blank pages or panels for each participant to work directly on to. Shona constantly responded to the children and their sensory seeking needs, often anticipating. One child became excited by the paint brushes alone and Shona responded by incorporating the tangibility of the fibers of the paint brush into the process. It was this meeting of their sensory needs in such a structured and meaningful way that made this experience so learner friendly and enjoyable. It was early in the school year and teaching and support staff were still getting to know the children so it was an insightful learning opportunity for those who were focusing on the children’s individualised learning targets. Each child has Individualised Educational Targets that are specific to their learning and overall progression. This creative process fulfilled many of the targets. One child who uses a communication device being motivated to choose colour, fabric, theme etc. meant that he had meaningful opportunities to communicate. For another child the targets are specific to him engaging in a meaningful way at a table top activity, our target was 3 minutes he often engaged for 15 minutes or more with Shona. Not only did the project incorporate oral language opportunities but it really incorporated very focused and targeted learning opportunities for the children.
It was important to the success of this project that everyone involved had an idea of the various stages of the project, so we could all work together in supporting the young people to be as actively engaged as they wished to be. The teachers gauge the young people’s moods, attention limits, when a break was needed, and used communication methods individuals would respond to. For Shona the teacher is the guide as to whether the creative road we are about to go down is positive or appropriate for that particular individual to take. We made suitably chaotic mess alongside the artwork and support staff were very efficient at restoring the environment back to its comfortable atmosphere for everyone in the class.
The finished art books were all different from one another, a few had front closing pages, some moving (hiding) parts, some have accompanying written stories and poems. They are all mini stages for tiny stick puppets, photographs of the participants that interacted and acted out their own stories within the different scenes. In each book you can take yourself down to eye level, peer in and enter its miniature layers, illusion of depth and story.
What was your personal experience of the project in terms of successes and challenges?
Shona MacGillivray, Artist
I know never to walk into an art space with too many preconceived ideas, but with a bag full of prompts and an open mind, however I still I get amazed at the creative crossroads that present themselves and the new processes I find myself gleefully jumping into! The Buttercup class was brilliant at this. One lad, who thinks so wonderfully outside of the box, took off on a very unexpected direction and I just had to, quickly, find a way to capture and share his ephemeral and spontaneous art. He took a literal interpretation of what was being asked, and was thoroughly enjoying the process in a way we hadn’t yet seen. I found myself responding creatively to his actions, and collaborating with him on what eventually became a series of 5 professionally printed images, mounted under Perspex with hand painted frames. This series for me represents enquiries into verbal and non- verbal communication and the pure enjoyment of painting.
Michelle O’Halloran, Teacher
Having worked in SEN for many years this was the first time I have worked specifically in an ASD setting with some older children. The age range in the class is 7 – 14 so catering for different levels of ability and making activities motivational and age appropriate can often be a challenge. Working with children who are challenged to express themselves in the “conventional sense” presents its own challenges, we are always seeking ways to engage with learners and share in their experience. The boys in Class Buttercup were so motivated and inspired by their project. The telling being the length of time spent engaged in the process itself. There are days when our class table top activities can present as a challenge but not when Shona arrived – the boys engaged in the sessions for the full length of time and not only were they engaged but extremely relaxed. Seeing the students initiate the lesson by getting what they needed for the project, for example baskets of animals when they saw Shona was really positive. It spoke volumes. It was amazing to see the associations and recognition of the project made as soon as Shona arrived. That was a success in itself.
To see the finished projects was so insightful too, each project was so individual and personal to each student and such a reflection of who they are. One of the greatest challenges of working with children who are deficient in the area of conventional communication is to enter their world, share their experience, understand their ways of thinking, the Inside Stories for me as a teacher became such an insight into each child it was amazing to get such a peek into each individual personality.
This project was so enjoyable from start to finish. Working with Shona is always really inspirational and she always informs my practice as a teacher. I just wish we had more opportunities to work together.
What was significant for you about the project that is worth sharing?
Shona MacGillivray, Artist
Coming into one of the classrooms on the fourth visit I saw one of the boys go into the side room and carry out the basket of toy farm animals, placing it on the table we were to work from. No one had asked him to do this, and his gesture was an unexpected acknowledgment of his understanding, his personal interest, excitement and his expectations for the activity to come. He was showing ownership of his project. I was delighted!
Each completed art book became more of a communication of a personal story than I had anticipated. In each book we get to see a little inside view of the young person’s passions, thoughts and humour. A view that can often go unseen.
Michelle O’Halloran, Teacher
For me it became about actually realizing the artist potential of one of my children, he never expressed interest in art up until this but I think that was because Shona recognized his creativity and that there was a process in what he was doing and she responded to this. I found that really inspirational so much so I challenged him in curricular learning and found he had more ability in other areas than I had first realized. He is now typing rather than writing and using ICT far more than I initially thought he could and this was down to seeing him engage in this project. He had only joined the class having been transferred from another and I didn’t really know him so to get to know him through this project was so insightful and such a positive experience for all of us. It also inspired my teaching and it was a different perspective as well so this for me was a massive learning experience.
Has anything changed in your work as a result of the project?
Shona MacGillivray, Artist
I am looking to develop directions of my own studio work into artist books. To create content that is more tangible and impactful through the format of a book and the handling and the “ reading “of it.
I would like there to be more physical connection to art through sensory and kinetic play. To look for book forms that will be opened by others led by their sense of curiosity, that they will puzzle over them, and find joy in discovering its hidden contents.
Michelle O’Halloran, Teacher
I am now more about the process than the product – as teachers we can often become focused on the outcome and having a uniformity when it comes to art. But this project presented the doing as being such a sensory and enjoyable experience for the children that I really saw the stripped back benefits of the process.
Also seeing Shona allowing the child to lead and going with them rather than directing them that has inspired my own teaching this year, it’s her artistic response. As I mentioned working with children that are challenged in a communicative sense we are trying to share their experience but following the child’s lead is an invitation to enter their world.
“It was really awesome… I got to use my favourite book Diary of a Wimpy kid.”
“It was so cool… Olaf is my favourite… It was amazing, so fun.”
“I love cooking… I loved the tunnel book.”
!!!! Opportunity for primary schools: My Bloomsday
Branar and the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI)
Date: Bloomsday Thursday, 16 June 2022
MoLI is asking young people from 2nd to 6th class to tell us all about a day in their life, this Bloomsday, on Thursday, 16 June. And teachers, it’s a schoolday – so they need your help!
As a follow-on activity from watching Branar’s wonderful You’ll See… film, we want to capture the diversity of lived experiences of young people from around the island of Ireland and put their voice and perspective at the heart of this day.
This is a simple and fun exercise that links imagination and biography, giving us a sense of what their days are like. Schools from across the country are taking part, and the submissions will be presented as an online archive later this year.
The closing date for submissions is Friday, 8 July 2022.
Date: Bloomsday Thursday, 16 June 2022
For more information on how to take part, see ulysses22.ie/mybloomsday
!!!! Workshop: Having Fun in the Outdoor Landscape
Date: 19 March, 2022
Burrenbeo Trust invites you to Having Fun in the Outdoor Landscape with Kate Lavender and Karen Van Drop, a workshop for anyone with an interest in place-based learning and/or learning more in the Burren. This workshop forms part of their 11th annual Learning Landscape Symposium that brings together leading change-makers and educators from 18 – 20 March 2022. The symposium takes place at the community centre in Kinvara, Co.Galway and outdoors in the Burren.
The symposium will comprise of a mixture of indoor workshops, outdoor fieldtrips, discussions, and networking events, and is open to anyone with an interest in communicating natural, built, or cultural heritage and sustainability to their audiences and inspiring action.
Date: 19 March, 2022
Learning Landscape Symposium runs from 18 – 20 March 2022 on the theme of From Learning to Action. For more information and to book tickets, see https://burrenbeo.com/lls/
!!!! Job Opportunity: Music Generation Development Officer Co. Clare
Music Generation Clare
Deadline: 12noon, 9 July 2021
Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board invites applications for the five year, fixed-term position of Music Generation Development Officer in Co Clare. The Music Generation Development Officer will be responsible for managing a programme of performance music education on behalf of County Clare Local Music Education Partnership.
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 children and young people.
Music Generation Clare 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 Local Music Education Partnerships.
Deadline: 12noon, 9th July 2021
Application form and full job description are available at www.lcetb.ie/mgce/ Completed application forms should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate in the subject line of your e-mail “Ref Number 21/12″.
!!!! Opportunity for Schools: Ennis Book Club Festival Workshops for Schools
Ennis Book Club Festival
Dates: 2 – 5 March
Ennis Book Club Festival invites post-primary school students and teachers in County Clare to a series of online workshops scheduled as part of their wider book club festival taking place from 2 – 7 March.
The workshops include:
- Fighting Words Creative Writing Workshop, Tues 2 March, 10am-12 noon or 1.45pm-3.45pm
- Songwriting and Music Production Workshop with Music Generation Clare, Wed 3 March, 9.30am-12pm or 1.30pm-4pm
- Secondary School Audience with author Louise O’Neill, Thurs 4 March, 10am-11am or 2.10pm-3.10pm
- Louise O’Neill in conversation with Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, 5 March, 11.30am
For more information on how to book, see https://www.ennisbookclubfestival.com/ebcf-2021-events
!!!! Opportunity: Call for Musicians / Music Tutors for Music Generation Clare
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 –
- Guitar and Ukulele
- Music Technology
- Early Years Music Programme
- Music Therapy Programmes
- Leading Creativity and Composition in Primary and Post Primary Schools
Further post details and applicant information are available to download from: https://lcetb.ie/recruitment/
!!!! Job Opportunity: Music Generation Development Officer (Clare)
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.
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/
!!!! 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:
- Uilleann Pipes
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.
!!!! Úlla Beag: Print media project
The story of our project from the teacher – Denise:
I approached Lynn in Nov 2014 to collaborate on developing an art class for ECCE in Ulla beag which would cover many art disciplines; painting, printing, working with 3 dimensional form and various craft skills to provide a more holistic teaching approach to pre-reading; pre-writing and pre-maths skills.
Collaborating with Lynn has been a great experience as we both started out with the same beliefs and ethos – We need to recycle more and look at using old materials. It is amazing how you can transform a raisin box into a robot, providing hours of fun and play for children. Through this process, children can create their own toys and the empowerment and confidence they get through using old materials is amazing.
The use of visual media as a teaching method to develop pre-reading; writing and maths skills has moved learning to a higher quality, more holistic approach at Úlla Beag.
The story of our project from the artist – Lynn:
As a group, the children worked on large pieces – printing, painting and collaging, and physically manoeuvred themselves around the piece, rather than just using their upper body, when painting. All activities gave them opportunities to strengthen their fine motor skills. They learned to work together as a group, which built up peer relationships and a joint ownership of the work they produced.
Other projects included clay modelling; and making pinch pots and papier mâché bowls, which focused on form-making, using their hands in a different way. We mono printed onto old baby wipes which was very effective and quick and explorative: some worked well, some didn’t.
We talked about the failed attempts and why this happened – too much paint, too little paint – and we tried again. Some were very keen to try stitching so we did simple long stitches through print and baby wipe. I was pleasantly surprised by how effective baby wipe material was and how easily it took the paint. It worked well with this age group as a surface to print on.
The story of our project from the children:
Through this project we experienced so many examples of children’s feedback:
“I like this way of making letters.” (Mike) This was Mike’s feedback on creating Cars from Cs; Trees from Ts and Houses from Hs. Mike found learning and retaining letters difficult until we started creating associations with every day items in picture format. As an educator you know children learn in different ways and while mainstream teaching of phonics through song & rhyme may work for most children, it does not work for all. One of the critical areas as an educator is to acknowledge this and find a new method of teaching to enable the child.
“I don’t like the way the glue makes my fingers sticky but I want to make my bowl so I will get sticky fingers and then I will have a bowl.” Mary’s feedback on papier mâché technique.
“I don’t mind if I stick the needle on my finger I want to sew a cross and I am getting better at seeing where the needle comes out so I don’t catch my finger!” (Imogen)
“I like using this as sometimes I drop my paintbrush” Oscar (aged 2 1/2) discussing his preference for using cotton buds when painting a picture.
“I am really good at making robots.” (Charlie)
“I made a hole in my picture and had to start again I put too much water on.” (Amelia)
“I feel calm when I paint.” (Thaidhg)
“I mix red and blue for purple. Sometimes I remember how to make orange too, that’s yellow and red, but sometimes I forget so I have to mix different colours together.” (Eibhe)
“I like printing with toothbrushes its cool. They are old toothbrushes though, not new ones.” (Saoirse)
The flow of our art days included: Preparation of room and materials (Lynn); Group discussion with the children -remembering the last class; reviewing the work completed. (This is important for continuity and information processing for children at this age.) Getting ready – Aprons on and discussion with the children of what art lesson is taking place.
After learning techniques from Lynn, the children start to experiment and create, with assistance from Lynn and Denise where needed. Some children finish earlier so they then get to create their next adventure while the other children are given time or guidance to finish their work.
Closing discussions with the children reinforced lessons learned – what the children liked or would change for the next time. Again this is very important in supporting communication skills and information processing with children at a preschool level. This was followed by forward planning – including the children in a discussion of what will take place the following week. At the end, everyone tidies up together.
The biggest smile for both of us was the significant level of pride the children had in their group and individual work. It was amazing seeing the children develop into a strong unit that were as happy with their group projects as they were with their individual works – which really allowed them to feel a sense of identity and belonging within the group. The children are more inquisitive about everything around them – both in and out of school they are talking about their colours and making new things from old things.
The main challenge was keeping the projects age appropriate so the children were not over-dependent on us to intervene and help and really only needed to call on us in real emergencies – such as the glue sticking their fingers together!
•Group Art projects even at an early years level promoted leadership within the group and fostered team work and empathy amongst the children.
•Art as a teaching process facilitates a safe environment to allow children to fail and start again – a valuable life lesson the children had to figure out with us why things did not always work out. (e.g. Not enough paint applied, Not leaning hard enough to print, yellow will not print out on the recycled wipes etc.)
•Learning to fail and recover / find new solutions is very important to instilling creativity and resilience in children. With print media the children very quickly saw what worked and did not work and the results were immediate.
•Art is a fantastic medium to foster child-led learning and child-led planning as it is such a creative process the children were completely open and could be masters of their own destiny!
•As a result of this collaboration through art with the children we display, discuss and review each others’ work together as part of the art classes. This allows the children to learn more from each other, praise each other, get praise from each other, empathise with each other when something does not work, help each other out more. This is very important in relation to wellbeing, identity and belonging and developing empathy and communication skills with peers, teachers and parents.
Changes and new developments from the project:
The project has resulted in the expansion of the group to include pre-ECCCE children. Art practice has been integrated within daily lessons at Úlla Beag.
There is now stronger and higher quality integration of art-based work into our An Taisce Green Flag Awards process. We are currently on our Water flag and have started gathering recycled materials to create a water lifecycle group exhibition in January, which will be published as part of our Green Flag presentation in March.
More time is allowed for creativity – previously we would have integrated a lot of art work with our children but now we have introduced an element of child-led choice.
We have moved from a reactive solution to a proactive learning environment. That is to say in Year 1 combining phonics and visual art printing allowed us to react to a situation where some children were really struggling to grasp phonetical learning – so we worked together to create a more visual understanding of C. This brought 3 of the more visual learners on a par with their peers and their love of phonics quickly developed. In Year 2 we are seeing very little disparity amongst the children as it is a more holistic and inclusive approach, so we are combining visual printing and other art techniques with phonetical learning.
We have collaborated on Easter and Summer camp art days and these are a great hit with the afterschool groups who come to Ulla Beag.