Over 55s Invited To Take Part In Kerry-Based Music Project

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Laoise O’Brien (recorders), Maria Ryan (violin) and Michael O’Toole (guitar) of The Marble Collective.

MUSIC Network and St. John’s Theatre & Arts Centre, Listowel are inviting Kerry residents aged 55 and over to join an exciting music project with The Marble Collective, featuring renowned musicians Laoise O’Brien (recorders), Michael O’Toole (guitar) and Maria Ryan (violin).

The focus of this project is on returning to playing an instrument and sharing the joy of group music-making.

Participants can apply to receive tuition from the trio on recorder, violin or guitar between March and May 2022. Tuition is free of charge and instruments can be provided if necessary for the duration of the project.

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Applicants must be aged 55 or over, resident in County Kerry, and have some previous experience of playing music. Some experience in reading music is an advantage.

The project will be based primarily at St John’s Theatre & Arts Centre, Listowel, but additional local venues may also be used.

To apply, visit www.musicnetwork.ie or phone Music Network’s Programmes Administrator Sarah Ledwidge on 083 0162718. Closing date for applications: 26th January 2022, at 2pm.

Commenting on the announcement, Artistic Director at St. John’s Theatre & Arts Centre, Máire Logue said: “We are really thrilled to be partnering with Music Network on this new and exciting project for Kerry and us here in St. John’s Theatre in 2022. Over the past twelve months we have been working alongside our Active Over 55s developing dance and theatre projects, which have been hugely successful and beneficial to this group of wonderful people within our community and therefore adding this music project will enhance this relationship.”

Benefitting from the combined musical backgrounds of The Marble Collective members Laoise O’Brien (recorders), Michael O’Toole (guitar) and Maria Ryan (violin), the tuition programme will offer participants the opportunity to explore music that spans several centuries, from the renaissance and classical eras to popular folk tunes.

On Saturdays and Sundays during March and April 2022, participants will receive eight one-to-one instrumental lessons with the relevant musician, in addition to three group lessons with others playing the same instrument.

The project will conclude with three large ensemble sessions on 30th April, 1st May and 7th May, where all participants will join together with the professional musicians to play the music learned during the project.

As well as playing together, the participants will gather for three informal coffee sessions which will include chats on wide-ranging musical topics.

Participants must be available on all of the dates listed. While the preference is for in-person events wherever possible, lessons may take place via video call if necessary, in line with public health directives. Technical support to facilitate online learning will be provided to participants if necessary.

Places are limited to 15. Priority will be given on a first come first served basis, however additional criteria that will be taken into account for selection include availability of teaching slots, availability of instruments and ability to partake in the full programme. Closing date for applications: 26th January 2022, 2pm.

Proposed Schedule, 2022*

*For lessons 1- 8, participants will each be allocated a 40 minute slot within the time frames set out below. Group lessons, coffee sessions and ensemble sessions involve all participants for the full duration.

Mar 5th – Introductory session (3.30pm – 5pm)
Mar 6th – Lesson 1 (10am – 2pm)
Mar 12th – Lesson 2 (12pm – 4pm)
Mar 13th – Lesson 3 (10am – 2pm)
Mar 19th – Lesson 4 (12pm – 4pm)
Mar 20th – Lesson 5 (10am – 2pm)
Mar 26th – Group lesson 1 & Coffee Session 1 (12pm – 4pm)
Mar 27th – Lesson 6 (10am – 2pm)
Apr 2nd – Lesson 7 (12pm – 4pm)
Apr 3rd – Group lesson 2 & Coffee Session 2 (10am – 2pm)
Apr 9th – Lesson 8 (12pm – 4pm)
Apr 10th – Group lesson 3 & Coffee Session 3 (10am – 2pm)
Apr 30th – Ensemble Session 1 (12pm – 3pm)
May 1st – Ensemble session 2 (10am – 1pm)
May 7th – Ensemble session 3 (12pm -3pm)

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