Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Monday, September 27, 2010

Founders' Day at Colaiste Muire Ennis

24th September is Catherine MaCauley Day in honour of the founder of the Mercy teaching order. As the music department were missing some personnel on the day I went along to assist director Michael Hennessy at the liturgical service to mark the day and the start of the academic year.

Swinging Strings at Ennis NS

Ennis National School
'Swinging Strings' begins!
The "Swinging Strings" music programme got off to a great start with all three 4th classes taking part in their first lesson. Mr. Blake's classroom was transformed into a music studio for the morning and each class in turn came in for their session. To begin, thirty mats were placed on the floor with a violin on each.

Pupils stood beside a mat each, and were taught how to hold the instrument in 'rest' and in 'play' positions. They learned the names of the strings and how to play 'pizzicato' (plucking the strings). They listened to music on CD and played along with some Vivaldi.

Smiles all round!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

String Project launched at Scoil Chriost Ri

Crisost Ri Strings

Class Blog 14th September. Lesson 1

I received a warm welcome when I called to see Mr McMahon’s class on Monday to introduce myself and the violin . I was delighted to that many of them can play the tin whistle and I look forward to hearing them play some of their tunes .

The first violin class took place after break on Tuesday 14th .

We learned how to hold our violins comfortably in playing and rest position, how to stand while playing and very important how to bow to our audience.

We warmed up with some finger exercises . Next we learned the names of the strings and how to play pizzicato to a steady beat .

Finally we were introduced to all the other members of the bowed string family Viola, Cello and Double Bass .

Composer corner today featured Italian composer Vivaldi and featured piece was ist movement of Winter , Violin Concerto .

The students paid excellent attention throughout and I can’t wait to see them for lesson 2 .
Bravo ! tutti

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Silver Tassie at glor

The incorporation of musical instruments added an interesting dimension to the staging of Druid's production of the Silver Tassie at Glor. Flute, Melodeon, Cello made an appearance. Also the humble Ukelele made a significant contribution. A very underated instrument. I am putting one on my Santa Claus list

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Trad Night at Corn Barn, Bunratty

It was a full house at the Corn Barn last night for the Traditional Irish Night run by Shannon Heritage at Bunratty Folk Park. My table were a group of very affable Norwegians and also in the house were a party from Anna McGoldrick tours.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Clare Champion Piece - String Madness at Ennis NS

String madness at Ennis National School
Written by Dearbhla Acheson
Thursday, 09 September 2010 11:33

FOURTH-class pupils at Ennis National School are getting the opportunity to learn the violin during their school day, through a pilot music project starting in the school later this month.
Well-known music teacher, Cathy Desmond, a former member of the Irish Youth Orchestra, will be teaching up to 90 students from the three fourth classes in Ennis National School in the programme, which the school has aptly named Swinging Strings.

Swinging Strings Launch at Ennis NS

Very busy week. My presence was requested at photocall on Wednesday for launch of string project. No posed shots here for award winning photographer and the session became in fact the first introductory lesson of string programme rather than merely a photo session. The kids were wonderful . Their level of concentration was excellent, really focussed on the class . I was delighted with them. Tom Glynn, Vice Principal was a natural on the double bass and I can't wait to begin the programme on 22nd.
It seems almost by magic the images of the previous day appear on the cover of today's Clare Champion and I am excited to see 'My Smiling face on the cover of ....' well not the Rollin Stone but even better than that 'The Clare Champion' and yes I will buy '5 copies for my mother' Wonderful PR work by musician and teacher ,Fiona de Butleir. John Kelly had some very interesting insights on photographing musicians, in particular Martin Hayes . John made the observation that the very best make their instruments seem like extensions of themselves . I couldn't agree more . The packing and unpacking of the bank went somewhat smoother than I wxpected but I had excellent help from my new students . Roll on the 22nd september . Briefing for teachers next week.