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Quality, Inclusion & Participation in Music Education




September 26th, 2012 TCD

Dublin, September 20th, 2012: A National Music Education Conference which will address issues influencing the inclusion and participation of Ireland’s children and young people in music takes place this Wednesday, September 26th, at Trinity College Dublin.

The aim of the conference is to understand how inclusion in music education can be increased so that all children and young benefit from this type of personal development, engagement with communities and participation in society. Organised by a coalition of partners - Music Generation, St Patrick’s College Drumcondra, Mary Immaculate College Limerick, Trinity College Dublin and Irish Music Education – the conference brings together a wide range of musicians, researchers and experts in the field of music education.

Many of Ireland’s top musicians share the common story of stumbling accidentally upon their own music education, not least U2, who together with The Ireland Funds have donated €7m to Music Generation to begin to change this inequality for children and young people.

Music education plays an important role in enhancing and promoting learning opportunities for young people- a fact reinforced in the recently published ESRI report Growing Up In Ireland. Co-author of this report Dr. Emer Smyth commented, “Research has shown that access to cultural activities, including music, within and outside of school enhances children’s development – participation in the cultural life of their community is every child’s right. However, children’s access to cultural activities often depends on their socio-economic background and on where they live. It is vital to enhance children’s access to these activities so that they have the opportunity to flourish.”

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn TD, said , “The Department of Education and Skills recognises the importance of music in the development of children and young people and we are committed to improving countrywide infrastructure for better access to vocal and instrumental tuition in partnership with Music Generation and the music education sector.”

The conference will bring a range of expertise from a variety of backgrounds together, including practitioners, researchers, performers, education managers and policy makers working across all types of music. Speakers include:Dr. Stephanie Pitts, University of Sheffield, Dr. Emer Smyth, ESRI, Brian Irvine, Composer, Ailbhe Kenny, Lecturer in Music Education, Mary Immaculate College Limerick, Shaun Purcell, CEO Sligo VEC and Tara O’Brien, DIT Music Student & former Ballymun Music Project student and Prof. Kathleen Lynch, UCD.

There will be live performances by former punk musician turned classical guitarist Redmond O’Toole and young pipers from Na Píobairí Uileann.

Bookings can be made through Artscope, 01 5059582 / For further information visit


For further information please contact:

Martin Mackin/ Síle Murphy

Q4 Public Relations

Tel: 00 353 1 475 1444

Mob: 00 353 86 851 2890

Notes to editors:

Conference Schedule

Voicing Conference 2012

Quality, Inclusion and Participation in Music Education

(In Partnership with: Music Generation, St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra, Mary Immaculate College

Limerick, Trinity College Dublin & Irish Music Education)


The Long Room Hub, TCD

Wednesday September 26th, 2012


9.00 Registration, The Examination Hall, tea/coffee in The Long Room Hub

9.30 Opening Address: Prof. Michael Grenfell, Chair of Education TCD

9.45 Key Note address: Dr. Stephanie Pitts, University of Sheffield

'Chances and Choices: laying foundations for lifelong musical engagement'

10.30 Coffee & Poster Display in The Long Room Hub

With address by Breda Naughton, Principal Officer, Qualifications, Curriculum & Assessment Policy Unit, Department of Education & Skills

Poster Display by 8 Music Education Partnerships (Cork City, Donegal, Kylemore College Dublin, Laois, Louth, Mayo, Sligo and Wicklow)

11.00 Panel Discussion chaired by Dr. Emer Smyth, ESRI

Panel: Ailbhe Kenny (Lecturer in Music Education, MIC), Brian Irvine (Composer), Shaun Purcell (CEO Sligo VEC), Tara O’Brien (DIT Music Student & former Ballymun Music Project student)

12.45 Lunch in The Dining Hall followed by performance in The Examination Hall

2.00 Music Education Practice – Workstations 10 minute sample in The Examination Hall

Featuring: Sing out with Strings, Dalcroze Society of Ireland, Kodaly Society of Ireland, SoundOUT, Aspiro, Newpark Music Centre, Musical Futures, Na Píobairí Uilleann

3.00 DIEAC Framework (Design, Implementation, Evaluation of Arts in Context) in The Long

Room Hub, Presentation by TCD on current research

3.30 Inclusion and Participation – the wider picture: a reflection on the day

Prof. Kathleen Lynch, UCD

4.00 Closing