Fingal Academy of Music delivers Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training for schools across Fingal and beyond.
The Musician-in-Residence programme through Fingal County Council Arts Office has been a wonderful opportunity for various schools to receive match funding for the provision of tailored music lessons in their schools.
On Tuesday 3 March, FAM co-founder Dónal Kearney visited Powerstown Educate Together National School (Blanchardstown) and on Friday 6 March, he visited Holywell Educate Together National School (Swords). Both schools are part of the Fingal Arts Musician-in-Residence programme.
In Powerstown, all 3rd and 4th classes benefit from a unique singing programme designed and delivered by the team at Fingal Academy of Music (FAM). All 5th and 6th class students in the school are learning ukulele with FAM. As well as instrumental technique, they are learning the foundations of music appreciation, music theory and building on their knowledge of the national music curriculum.
Dónal from Fingal Academy of Music visited the teachers at Powerstown Educate Together National school for teacher training in music. This is supported by Fingal County Council and it was highly beneficial for us.
In Holywell, all 3rd and 4th classes are studying ukulele as part of a year-long course while all 5th and 6th classes are receiving group guitar tuition.
The content was extremely useful and appropriate and we hope to have Dónal back again soon.
In both these schools, FAM is teaching over 600 students on a fortnightly basis. Dónal has been working very closely with the music coordinators in both schools; Shauna O'Brien at Powerstown ETNS and Paul Glennon at Holywell ETNS, to make sure each class is catered for at the appropriate level.
As part of the programme, FAM is offering CPD to all teachers in both schools. The feedback has been positive as the training sessions encourage classroom teachers to openly speak about the areas in which they feel comfortable and those where they might lack confidence. The CPD sessions are structured in an interactive and responsive way, so that each teacher walks away with something they can use in their class the very next day!
Dónal set up a friendly and encouraging environment where the teachers felt that they could express their strengths and weaknesses regarding the music curriculum. We were active in our learning and we had a lot of fun!