Sligo Musicians Return to Classroom as New Teaching Diploma Launched

Thousands of children from Co Sligo are set to benefit from a new initiative which will see the cream of the county’s musicians return to the classroom to enhance their teaching skills.

Billed as master classes for the masters, the Music Generation Sligo (MGS) project will create 10 new jobs in the burgeoning creative and education sector, while tapping into the extraordinary musical tradition in Co Sligo.

A new Diploma in Community and Group Music Teaching has been announced for Co Sligo and the students include ]the co-founders of the Sligo School of Rock, All-Ireland champion bodhrán player, Junior Davey, and classically trained soprano Edel Shannon who studied under the late Dr Veronica Dunne.

The initiative is a joint project by MGS, the Sligo Academy of Music and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin who will award diplomas to successful graduates.
“We see this as MSG investing in jobs and growth in the creative and education sector,” said David McGuinness, acting CEO of Co Sligo VEC. “The timing is apt as MGS is set to launch instrumental tuition for 6 to 18 year olds throughout the county and graduates of this programme will be well placed to provide those classes”

MSG Co-ordinator Jessica Fuller said : “Sligo is unique in that it is possible to learn any instrument, except probably the French horn, in the county! But we have discovered that some of the best teachers and tutors in the county do not have the requisite accreditation which is recognised in key educational settings,” she explained.

Fuller said MSG had decided to invest in the course as “we did not want to see music education stymied because excellent teachers do not have all of the pedagogical training and accreditation required today”.

The curriculum includes multi-instrumental tuition, pre-instrumental teaching, conduction and improvisatory skills, music technology, and instrument maintenance. Participants include Eddie Lee and Ken McDonald, co-founders of Sligo School of Rock. Eddie, a regular performer with No Crows, is also director of the acclaimed Sligo Jazz Project.

Ken McDonald plays drums with Sligo-based piano trio The Odd Couple and Anything Goes and has performed with the likes of Louis Stewart, Michael Nielsen, Stockton’s Wing and Tommy Fleming.

Also returning to college is Dave Flynn another teacher in Sligo School of Rock, whose speciality is acoustic and electric guitar , and Andrew “Junior” Davey from the acclaimed south Sligo musical family. Andrew has won five All-Ireland championships in the bodhran. Sligo-born classically trained soprano Edel Shannon, who trained in the RIAM with Dr Veronica Dunne is also doing the Diploma, as is piano teacher and composer Carla-Maria Tighe, who has worked with Sligo Academy of Music and Sligo VEC.

Other participants include Stephanie Pawula and Peter Crann, co-founders of Itchy Feet, the Sligo-based education partnership, and Manchester-born Karl Burthom, a classical guitarist and MSG tutor who has been performing and teaching guitar in the Sligo area for the last ten years. Maria Ward, music therapist who has worked at Barretstown camp is also doing the diploma.
Sligo VEC through MGS is providing €10,000 or 75 per cent of the costs with each participant paying

€350 towards the course. The driving forces behind this initiative which will directly benefit thousands of children and teenagers right across the county over the next three years, were Shaun Purcell former CEO of Co Sligo VEC and Jack Lynch former Education Officer , now retired.

Posted on in Music Generation Sligo
Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.