PUPILS at Galvone National School received a boost when the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, visited the Irish Chamber Orchestra’s Sing Out With Strings project.
The school hopes to integrate the Sing Out With Strings project into the plans for the new building it has been promised and to that end Ted O’Mahony, school principal, thought it would be a good idea to ask the minister along to see the project.
“When we asked the minister if he knew of the Sing Out With Strings project he said he had and would like to see it first hand and he would like to come to the school and we are delighted to have him,” said Mr O’Mahony.
Lisa Grossman, ICO, teaches the children violin: “I teach them music composition and song writing to get them in touch with their identity and their musical voices through violin. They start off with 20 lessons in 10 days, that is from third class upwards. For the junior classes we teach them coordination, balance, concentration and discipline. It is great to teach a child violin but you need a child that can concentrate, listen and is interested in learning.”
She added: “There are two children out of 300 that have shown any kind of resistance; they all absolutely love it. We want to get the parents on board in the same way even if they say ‘Play that again for me’, just to encourage them to practice more.
She concluded: “We are always battling to get enough hours. To teach the children in USA and UK where they do these programmes they are run after school so they have eight to ten hours a week of after school activities whereas we are during school with one class after school so we just don’t have the hours for what we need to get done.
“What we are trying to do here is create an immersion culture where they learn English, Irish, Maths and Music. If you give up on them too early they won’t do it. Here we are making them do it, they enjoy it and maturity kicks in or the concentration kicks in and because we haven’t given up on them they are able to continue.”