Participants will receive individual and group tuition on piano, guitar, cello or whistle from members of Sonamus between January and June 2021. Tuition is entirely free of charge and instruments will be provided as needed for the duration of the project.
Applicants must be aged 55 or over, resident in County Wicklow, and have some previous experience on one of the four instruments mentioned above. Experience on a similar instrument may also be accepted. Reading music is not essential for participation in this project, and players of all levels are encouraged to apply, even if quite rusty!
Presented by Music Network and Wicklow County Council Arts Office. Music Network is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. This initiative is also funded by Creative Ireland and the Government's Resilience and Recovery Plan 2020–2021, and supported by Mermaid Arts Centre.
Sonamus combines the talents of four highly-respected Irish musicians from various musical backgrounds.
Eamon Sweeney (guitar)
Rachel Factor (harpsichord)
Annette Cleary (cello)
Tim Doyle (whistles)
The unique combination of instruments enables Sonamus to create a beautiful and varied sound which ensures their performances of Irish music spanning the last seven hundred years never fail to capture the heart of the listener. Project participants will have the opportunity to learn from and play together with the musicians of Sonamus, experiencing their unique style of music making across a range of genres.
Between January and March 2021, participants will receive up to 10 one-to-one weekly instrumental lessons with the relevant member of Sonamus at mutually agreeable times and locations.*
During this period, participants will benefit from access to recorded material from Sonamus demonstrating and sharing details about the programme and the music. There will also be two whole group ‘coffee and recap’ sessions where Sonamus will reflect with all participants on the experience to date and their musical achievements.
On weekday mornings during April, group instrumental lessons will be held at Mermaid Arts Centre*, Bray, where participants playing the same instrument will learn together.
The project will conclude with three large ensemble sessions, conducted at Mermaid Arts Centre* on weekday mornings during May and June, where all participants will join together with Sonamus to play the music learned during the project (exact dates and times of group lessons and ensemble sessions to be announced).
*Please note, lessons will take place either via video call or in person, as public health guidelines dictate. Technical support to enable online learning will be provided to participants if necessary.
Places are limited to fifteen and, although priority will be given on a first come first served basis, additional criteria that will be taken into account for selection include availability of teaching slots, availability of instruments, and geographical spread throughout the county.