For 'Making Music in the Midlands', Music Network and Age Friendly Ireland invited residents of counties Laois, Longford, Offaly, Roscommon and Westmeath, aged 55 and over, to join an exciting music project.
The project is led by renowned musicians Alec O’Leary, Angelina Carberry, Dan Brouder, Adele O'Dwyer, Phil Robson, Ciaran Wilde, Catherine McEvoy, and Jacinta McEvoy.
The focus of this project is on returning to playing an instrument and sharing the joy of group music-making over eight weeks between August and September 2022.
Let's hear from the participants on how they are getting on so far:
"After a very nervous start to re-learning the violin, I'm slowly relaxing into the process and even beginning to enjoy it! All credit to wonderful, patient and kind Adele O'Dwyer who has been so enthusiastic and understanding. So far I'm very glad that I've challenged myself and hopefully it's the beginning of a beautiful relationship with my violin! Thank you Music Network Ireland for this opportunity - you're never too old to rekindle former hobbies." Bernadette, Offaly Participant
"Not knowing what to expect when I started this journey, I can only say that the experience so far has been wonderful. It has opened a new door in my life." Offaly Participant
"First meeting went well, made a few friends. People are at different levels of music capabilities, so we can learn from each other too. Tutors are very relaxed and engaging. What I intend to achieve from this Music Network initiative would be to improve my capabilities, challenge myself to learn a few tunes and motivate myself to get back playing music again. It is also great to make a few friends along the way too." Gerard, Longford Participant
"I was delighted to see so many people attend the first session however by the end of session I felt that I'll never master this tin whistle. After hearing the music played by other attendees it gave me 'hope' and in another way sheer 'despair'. I have been practicing and bit by bit I'm determined to play this tin whistle ...be it 'Mary Had a little Lamb' or 'Three Blind Mice'." Kitty, Longford Participant
"Back from my second lesson with Phil and I’m really enjoying learning a whole new world of jazz and blues guitar. Feel so lucky to have this wonderful opportunity of having one to one lessons from a world class musician." Mary, Roscommon Participant
"I’m really enjoying giving the classes and meeting all the people who have joined the ‘Making Music in the Midlands’ program, with their rich life experiences and varied musical backgrounds. I think this is a fabulous opportunity for people to reunite with their love of music and to expand their musical skills and horizons." Phil Robson, Roscommon Tutor
The Midlands Teaching Residencies are presented by Music Network and Age Friendly Ireland. Music Network is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. This initiative is supported by Creative Ireland.