Looking Back: Take a Breath

Looking Back: Take a Breath
In May 2021, Music Network launched our most extensive learning and participation programme to date: ‘Take a Breath' with classical saxophonist Amy Dickson.

'Take a Breath', devised and facilitated by Amy, was rolled out across 13 primary schools nationwide over the course of 12 months. Participating schools were located in Dublin, Dún Laoghaire, Tralee, Sligo, Waterford and Clifden, and in total, 325 children took part.

The programme helped students from a variety of backgrounds to recognise and combat stress and anxiety, using a simple relaxed breathing technique called ‘The Elephant Breath'. Amy developed this technique over the course of her career as a professional saxophonist. In addition, Amy taught the children new ways to listen and relate to classical music.

"It is clear from speaking with the children that a lot of them will take the breathing techniques with them over the coming years." Teacher

A Blended Approach

Due to the ongoing disruption of the pandemic, the children initially received 6 interactive Zoom workshops and 5 bespoke video workshops from Amy Dickson between April 2021 and March 2022. During these online sessions, Amy was able to lay the foundation of the programme and begin teaching the Elephant Breath technique. The project culminated in an in-person workshop with Amy in March 2022 for each participating class, along with the opportunity for them to hear Amy and her trio perform live in concert at their local venue.

175

Workshops

325

Participants

66

New Concert Goers

"I definitely would recommend it because Amy is such a nice person and you will learn a new life skill! 5 Stars!" Participant
"It was a very enjoyable course. It gives you a tool to carry with you for life." Participant
"It has been an absolute joy to work on the Take a Breath programme with Music Network in Ireland. I have been enormously impressed with the attentiveness and responsiveness of all the children." Amy Dickson, facilitator

If you're interested in supporting our Learning and Participation programmes, please contact Catherine at development@musicnetwork.ie. If your school, club or organisation is interested in participating in upcoming programmes, please contact Sarah at programmesadmin@musicnetwork.ie