Fifty children sign up for instrumental tuition as Music Generation Sligo ends year on High Note

Sligo’s music tradition seems set to thrive in the next generation as 50 children from one school sign up for instrumental tuition in the space of one week – while thousands more benefited from a range of Music Generation Sligo (MGS) programmes over 2012.

An MGS end of year review shows that almost 4,000 children from toddlers to teens, have now completed its Discovering Music Programme which introduces participants to the rudiments of music, while 13 part-time jobs were created in a range of MGS initiatives during 2012 .

Five young composers from the county aged 12 and over, are now working with Music Generation Sligo’s composer in residence Brian Irvine. Belfast-born Irvine, who has collaborated with everyone from Seamus Heaney to Snow Patrol former is himself working on a piece of music to be performed next year by dozens of children participating in MSG’s Performance Programme . The young composers will also see their work performed in public early in 2013.

With MGS now half way through its three year schedule, one of the positive aspects has been its impact on employment in the creativity sector. Thirteen part-time jobs were created in 2012 including posts for six tutors on the Discovering Music Programme who as a direct result are now much sought after for private class all over the county.

Ten prominent Sligo musicians are doing a music teaching diploma under the auspices of MGS, the Sligo Academy of Music and the Royal Irish Academy of Music and will qualify next year. Among those likely to avail of their services are the hundreds of children expected to sign up for tuition in a choice of 11 instruments in the coming months.

The first children to benefit for this programme are students at Scoil Iascaigh , the post primary VEC school in Easkey where Sligo School of Rock in partnership with MGS, are providing the tuition and have already been overwhelmed by the interest from aspiring musicians.

School principal Maeve Kelly explained that in just one week 50 students had put their names down for the classes and she said that Colaiste Iascaigh was delighted to partner with MGS and Sligo School of Rock on the project.

“With one of the largest youth populations in the county, we need to ensure that a range of good quality music activity and services are available within the West Sligo community, “ said the principal.

Ken McDonald, co-founder of the Sligo School of Rock is thrilled with the enthusiasm at Colaiste Iascaigh. “We are really pleased with the response which we think is indicative of the interest in music among all young people and reflects their joy at learning and performing music together. We look forward to seeing the same enthusiasm in schools throughout the county in 2013”.

MGS subsidises 30 per cent of the cost of the instrumental tuition which will be available through partnerships with other Sligo music education service providers, in a range of locations throughout the county in 2013, on an individual or group basis.

“As 2012 draws to a close, we are happy with how MSG has built on existing services to support the music education community in a county synonymous with music,” said MGS’s outgoing coordinator Jessica Fuller.

“As the programmes continue and more young people become involved, as performers, composers, and indeed as appreciative audiences for their peers, we believe the impact on music, youth activity and on improving the cultural and economic fabric of the county will be significant”.


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