An innovative musical programme across 3 schools in Dundalk finished on a high note this week as the students were presented with Certificates of Achievement.
Research has shown that music can play an important role in the overall development of young children. For this reason, Music Generation Louth has been working with the support of Louth Leader Partnership to roll out its early years programme Music Matters to a number of primary schools throughout this first term. Over eight hundred children and their teachers participated in the current series in Drogheda and Dundalk that has been designed to support the development of music in Junior and Senior Infant classes. The philosophy behind the programme is that all children are born musical and have a right to a high quality musical education that ideally starts in the early years when solid musical foundations are most effectively laid.
Schools participating in Dundalk were the Redeemer Boys and Girls Schools and St. Joseph’s NS. In preparation for musician in residency workshops at each school, teaching staff attended musical training workshops in September to gain practical ideas and tips for teaching music effectively to very young children.
Marcella Ó Conluain, Principal of St. Joseph’s NS in Muirhevnamor had this to say about the programme:
‘Sixty children completed the Music Matters programme in St Joseph’s NS under the guidance of Claire McKenna. The Junior Infant teachers found the programme to be of great benefit to the children. The structure, content and strategies used greatly compliment the work across the curriculum. The children experienced the use of a variety of instruments and enjoyed performing as part of a group. The programme is brilliantly organised, planned and delivered and we look forward to being involved in the future’.
Gemma Murray, Coordinator of Music Generation Louth explained:
‘We are delighted to have the support of Louth Leader Partnership to deliver the programme. Music Matters gives the children involved the chance to develop their musical skills. Also, and very importantly, the teaching staff involved will have the opportunity to develop their own skills to become confident and capable musical leaders for their classes’.
Hugh Doogan, Education Coordinator at Louth Leader Partnership said:
‘This is our second year funding the Music Matters programme in schools in Dundalk. The evidence clearly shows that music can have a very positive effect on a child’s learning especially in relation to numeracy and literacy. The programme was available to Junior Infant classes in the participating schools last year but the feedback we received was superb, so we decided to expand it to Senior Infants classes in the current academic year. It is a good fit with our overall early intervention strategy when working in our target areas’.
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Notes for Editors:
Music Generation Louth is a music service for the county that aims to help children and young people access vocal and instrumental tuition in their local area. It is led by the Louth Meath Education and Training Board (formerly Co Louth VEC) and is part of Music Generation, a national programme for music education initiated by Music Network with funding from U2 and the Ireland Funds. Create Louth and the Louth Meath Education and Training Board provide local partnership funding.