Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Lifestyle

Music initiative has kids tuned into the delights of melody

Published

on

A pilot scheme likely to be a first in the country where every pupil gets music tuition in small groups once a week during school hours at a subsidised rate has begun in one city national school.

The scheme introduced last month in Scoil Bhríde Menlo aims to bring cutting-edge music teaching methods to the primary school classroom.

It has received funding from the Galway City Council Arts Office, matching fees which the parents have been asked to pay. But at €35 per child for a 17-week term – €50 for two kids and capped at €65 per family – they could well be the best value music classes in the city.

All students in the schools will receive 40 minutes’ instruction per week from Matthew Berrill and Peter Tobin, two experienced musicians and teachers, who will work in tandem with the classroom teachers. The pupil teacher ratio for the class is set at 15:1.

Children learning instruments outside of school are encouraged to bring them in while those who do not can use a bank of pool instruments currently being built up by the local community. Instead of focusing on learning one or two instruments, the classes instead delve into all aspects of music, from melody and rhythm to composing, exploring a range of different musical styles, from Irish traditional to jazz.

The scheme’s progress will be overseen and directed by Mairéad Berrill, who has been involved with music education for over 20 years. She worked with students at the Presentation College Headford and is co-founder and administrator of The Corrib Music Scheme, an after-school instrumental tuition programme which saw participation rates of young people in music soar in the Headford area.

For the younger pupils, the focus is on enjoyment and pre-coordination, teaching them new skills before they even get their hands on a whistle or fiddle, explains Mairéad who also teaches some of the Menlo classes in between studying for her PhD on group music-making in secondary schools.

“We will teach a little tune and they have to wait and then contribute later so they’re learning social skills. There’s a call and response, so they learn about volume, about performance, coordination, pitch so when they come to apply those to an instrument they already have the basics,” she said.

“For second class they drew dragons, so we then composed a piece to go with the pictures. In another class we brought in conga drums so we imagined we were in Africa and did a piece around goat skins.”

The project has been spearheaded by local resident Willie Campbell, owner of Campbell’s Tavern in Cloughanover, who has seen at first hand the positive influence that her music teaching has had over a generation of youths in the North Galway town.

“The Department of Education are completely fascinated by her [Mairéad’s] methods. It’s very much about inclusivity. Her thing is very much about the group,” he enthused.

“The traditional way in music teaching is to bring the best few pupils to represent the school, her way is to bring everybody along the musical journey in some role.

“If 100 kids are learning an instrument, 5% are going to achieve excellence, that’s just human nature, the key is to bring that 95% along on the journey so they could go through the whole process and never pick up an instrument – although that’s highly unlikely – and still develop a real understanding of music.”

Willie insists that the scheme does not replace music classes outside of school, rather it enhances them. Given that the only requirement on the school curriculum is for an hour per week for music, art or crafts, it can be hit or miss if teachers decide to teach any music.

The school has sent out a plea to the local community to donate any unwanted instruments for the programme. There are plans to stage a concert using the newly polished music skills as early as Easter.

City arts officer James Harrold said the project could well be replicated across other schools.

“This is a wonderful initiative offering Menlo children the opportunity to work with some of the best music educators in Ireland. This sophisticated pilot project should lead to similar work in other schools, and it will be a really enjoyable experience for the young participants too.”

School principal Máire De Brún said so far the project has been warmly received.

“The response from parents has been very enthusiastic and we feel this pilot will go on to become part of the fabric of Scoil Bhríde as its wider benefits to the children become apparent.”

Willie is hoping the programme will have a long-term spin-off.

“Maybe we could prove the benefits of this so in the future when the Department is putting the curriculum together they will make music an integral part,” remarks Willie.

“It’s so much more than being good at playing – the level of happiness, contentment it creates, they learn to work together, use their imagination and creativity.”

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Published

on

Mayor of Galway, Cllr Michael Smyth, turning the first sod of the new £86,000 community centre at Shantalla on August 6, 1971

1921

Treatment of women

At the meeting of the Galway Board of Guardians on Wednesday, Mr. Pk. Thornton in the chair, a discussion took place regarding the admission of women with illegitimate children.

Mr. Cooke said that it was one of those questions which the Dáil Éireann was trying to solve. The assistant clerk said that Galway was only a small place in comparison to other places.

A member said that these people were coming in month after month, and it was perfectly scandalous.

Mrs. Young said that the practice should be stopped as in England. The assistant clerk said that they had laws of their own in England in regard to this matter. Mrs. Young said that it was a matter that the guardians should go into.

Clerk: So these women assist in washing and scrubbing, Mr. O’Toole?

Master: Yes, they do.

Mrs. Young: Until you tackle the thing, you can never make much headway. The nuns were terrified by some of them who absolutely refused to work.

Mr. Cooke: They should be cleared out.

Chairman: It is not fair for any able-bodied woman to be in the workhouse at the ratepayers’ expense.

The clerk said that this question was one of the most difficult which had confronted Dáil Éireann, and they were looking the matter up.

Profiteering black spot

Galway is the blackest spot in Ireland for profiteering. It is maintaining its inglorious record in extortion – a record that all but killed the race meeting some years ago and diverted the stream of visitors from the town for nearly a decade.

If this flagrant profiteering continues, it will have the result of reducing the city ultimately to poverty, whilst the few grow rich. The economic balance must be maintained. Elsewhere desperate efforts are being made to maintain it.

Prices must come back. Labour in Galway has done absolutely nothing to bring them back, because Labour in Galway appears to be less intelligently led than elsewhere. Yet unemployment is rife amongst us, poverty is already knocking consistently at the door of not a few, wages are falling and must fall.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Overcoming obstacles thrown up by pandemic

Published

on

Founder of Stepping Stones low-cost counselling clinic, Chelsie Daly. Her book is called Covid-19 and Ever Changing Life.

Fashion, beauty and lifestyle with Denise McNamara

Many workers have returned to the office this week for the first time since Covid-19 flattened our population.  Of course there will be those rejoicing at the prospect of getting out of the house, milling with other humans and being able to grab a coffee that’s not from your own kettle.

But no doubt it is a daunting prospect for a sizeable proportion of the workforce.

After so long isolated from friends, family and regular routine, returning to an enclosed space with others who are not obliged to be vaccinated can be frightening.

As psychotherapist Chelsie Daly explains, many of us who never struggled with our mental health continue to experience feelings that are difficult to process.

“I have found that Covid-19 has affected everyone of us. I have noticed an increase in anxiety among my clients due to the ever-changing reality of the past year and a half. It was difficult to adapt to lockdown and once we learned how to do that we are returning to life as it was before, which has also increased anxiety in many of us,” she reflects.

Chelsie, 26, set up a low-cost counselling service in Glenrock Business Park in Galway City called Stepping Stones in 2018. It started as an outlet to share information and meeting peers for coffee and walks. While completing her masters in 2019 it grew into a practice with five therapists, offering sessions costing €40.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Country Living

We should never have doubted Orwell in his ‘1984’ predictions

Published

on

Country Living with Francis Farragher

AS old fogeys go, I am, up to a certain point, reasonably comfortable with the basics (well the ‘very basics’) of technology. I work on a Dell computer, I have an iPhone, I like looking up weather charts on the different sites, but I’m still a little perplexed with the notion that almost every move I make can be watched by someone out there in the ether.

A friend of mine, who changed his phone relatively recently, could show me his movements on a particular day from a couple of years back, and I have always wondered why some advertisements which might be of special interest to me keep appearing on my screen when I’m looking up something.

I also remember being quite ashamed back the years to admitting that I was the owner of a mobile phone. Somehow, it seemed to indicate that I had risen above my station in life, so it was only used on very limited occasions, and hardly at all in public.

That old Fordson Major of a phone that I first owned did though, here and there, have its uses. There was a day down by the river when I needed someone to plug out the electric fence at the home base, and there was just unbounded joy at being able to ring from the waterside, get through, and be able to work away without having to walk back to complete that chore.

In fairness to the old Nokia (or was it a Motorola?), she was quite a trusted friend. On one occasion, it fell from the tractor, split into a number of different pieces, but still worked again when all the bits were put together. It didn’t really matter that in half the places I went to, there was either zero coverage or the feeling that the person at the other end of the line was millions of miles away, which I think has led to a habit that I’ve never quite kicked, namely that of shouting into the phone.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending