September means back to school. For the FAM Schools Outreach programme, it means that we're out and about, visiting schools and discussing music education with teachers and principals across Fingal.
After a pilot programme last autumn, Fingal Academy of Music has received renewed support from Fingal Arts office to deliver a mix of ukulele, guitar, violin and singing classes to various schools in north Dublin.
Fergus Cahillane is one of FAM's ukulele, guitar and singing tutors who is teaching the kids in Powerstown Educate Together National School and Holywell Educate Together National School. These classes bring ukulele and singing instruction to 2nd, 3rd and 4th class students. The older 5th and 6th class students learn guitar (Holywell) and ukulele (Powerstown).
It is wonderful for FAM to see the energy and enthusiasm for music in both schools.
FAM Schools Outreach Coordinator and co-Director Dónal Kearney has spent the last 3 years building relationships with local schools to help ensure that music education goals are being met across Fingal. Dónal said:
Classroom teachers are amazing people. My own mother and both her parents were school teachers, so I understand the demands and challenges of the work. I also know the creativity and leadership skills required to educate a group of children day in, day out. FAM is delighted to be working so closely in these schools to bring some new musical ideas into these classrooms. No doubt we will see the children blossom as they develop their musicianship and confidence with these instruments.
The FAM Schools Outreach programme ties in very closely with our one-to-one tuition, group classes and the Fingal Choral programme.
If FAM can offer a holistic community-based service, encompassing everything from beginners ukulele to adult choirs, all these students (young and old) will make the most of it, will learn from each other, and we will end up with a vibrant musical community.
There is also a big emphasis on Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for all teachers involved in the FAM Schools Outreach programme. This will hopefully guarantee a positive musical legacy for every single educator in the process.
The Schools Outreach programme is growing quickly, so watch this space for more developments.
If your school would like to benefit from a free Singing Workshop, or if you would like to establish an ongoing course (Transition Year or otherwise), please click here and get in touch.