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Keep the music playing: Music Generation responds to COVID-19

Keep the music playing: Music Generation responds to COVID-19

We're updating this article on an ongoing basis with news and resources to support children, young people and musicians to #KeepMakingMusic. 


Like so many organisations in Ireland and globally, Music Generation has heard and heeded the advice from Government and the HSE to try to slow the spread and curtail the potential impact of Covid-19. A large number of the tuition programmes and initiatives operating nationally have been impacted through the closure of schools and youth settings and the introduction of social distancing measures. But at this time of uncertainty we believe the need for music in children and young people’s lives is greater than ever.

Together we are working hard to find ways to keep music alive for our participants and partners in spite of our social distance. Many of our local partners have been working directly with their young musicians to make online tutorials or digital lessons available where possible. Contact your local Music Generation area for further information.

At the same time members of musician and management teams have taken to the digital airwaves to share their own music and ideas about how young musicians can get creative remotely: 

Singer and musician with Music Generation in Waterford and Wexford, Rút Ní Ghallchóir, recorded a creative and very fun version of Bobby McFerrin's 'Don't Worry, Be Happy', encouraging young musicians to grab their shakers and join in: 

Music Generation Laois musician and percussionist Dale McKay partnered up with RTÉ's Home School Hub to offer viewers a masterclass in beatboxing. His broadcast aired on Tuesday 26, Thursday 28 May and Tuesday 2 June, and you can find all past episodes on RTÉ Player

In Limerick City,  Music Generation is makings its Creative Centre accessible online to young musicians, singers, producers and songwriters living locally. For more information visit the Music Generation Limerick City website. 

Music Generation Laois invited young musicians from the county, members of its musician team and friends from Ireland and overseas to join them in a tune, celebrating the success of their transition to online tution and the beginning of the easing of restrictions. Players from as far away as Japan, Venezuela , Mexico and New York collaborate on this rendition of The White Fairy Reel, composed by Laois tutor Tommy Fitzharris, with mixing and video production by Siobhán Buckley: 

Donegal Music Education Partnership's Donegal Youth Choir was featured on RTÉ News, marking the release of a recording of 'Fix You' in four-part harmony, recorded by the singers at home and edited together by their conductor, Sara Ní Lochlainn. Congratulations all: 

This year, International Jazz Day was celebrated online and on the airwaves, with performance streamed and broadcast across the globe. At home, Music Generation Waterford musician educator Danny Pullman shared one of his jazz favourites, a solo transcription of Johnny Hodges' 'All of Me', below, while young Music Generation jazzers recorded snippets of themselves and were featured on RTÉ Home School Extra

Nós Nua - Louth Youth Folk Orchestra is a collaboration between Music Generation Louth and The Oriel Centre, Dundalk Gaol. With funding from the Arts Council's Young Ensembles Scheme the Orchestra has been working on a new commission with multi award-winning musician Mohsen Amini. While unable to meet for workshops and rehearsals, the group decided to have a go at a virtual performance instead: 

We were blown away to see and hear the music of the SubSounds Music Collective 2020 broadcast at a virtual album launch on Friday evening, 24 April. The launch was MC'd by Elton Mullally, who also tutors on the programme and streamed live by The Civic Theatre Tallaght. Congratulations to all of the young musicians and mentors for their work on the release, which can now be downloaded from Bandcamp. SubSounds is a partner project of Music Generation South Dublin

In partnership with Music Generation Mayo, The Core Mayo has invited its members to share their music as part of #TheCoreLockdownSessions and the response has already been phenomenal. You can watch more videos of these skilled and committed young musicians on The Core's Facebook page

In Cork City, several Music Generation partners including GMC Beats, Music in Communuity and Music Mash Up have collaborated on a new initiative that invites young musicians to create and share their 'Lockdown Soundz'. Children and young people across all Cork City programmes are welcome to make a sound submission before the closing date, Wednesday 22 April: 

Between 24 and 29 March 2020, 11 musician educators from the Music Generation Galway City team recorded their performance of this classic R.E.M. song as a message of consolidation, solidarity and hope in the midst of the pandemic. All audio and video contributions were made in isolation, mixed by David McGloughlin and Ewan Cowley and edited by Karen Dervan.

From Cork City, musician Karl Nesbitt recorded a clip from Downey's Polka using the Acapella app, demonstrating the possibilities of playing and performing music for an audience online. Karl is an accomplished trad musician, and is part of the Music Generation Cork City musician educator team in partnership with Creative Tradition.

From Music Generation Tipperary, Aidan O'Donnell also used Acapella to create this tune, demonstrating how young musicians could collaborate using the app: 

From Sligo, musician educator Dave shared his love of music and flair for stringed instruments - right through from ukulele to guitar - in this video, created using GarageBand (audio), phone (video) and DaVinci Resolve to sync everything togethe. 

We’ve also seen wonderful examples of young people continuing to practice their instrument at home, including in Wexford where the music received a great reception!

When the Coronavirus put a stop to a scheduled tour to Japan for Music Generation Laois Harpers and Pipers, they continued their practice for (eagerly anticipated) rescheduled dates. Here, they shared a short clip of a tune composed by Liz Carroll called ‘Rose and Kathleen’s Jig’, arranged by Catriona McKay. 

For young ukulele players, Music Generation dlr in partnership with Rockjam officially launched the Ukulele Licence - an entirely digital resource with 40 online video tutorials available free of charge on the Ukulele Licence Facebook page and YouTube channel.