Music Generation, Ireland’s national music education programme, has launched Ukes4youth, a project involving over 60 teenagers, in County Leitrim. The organisation’s regional branch, Music Generation Leitrim, has developed the programme with partners Enniskillen Royal Grammar School and Carrigallen Vocational School under Leitrim County Council’s Peace IV programme.
Throughout the project, young participants will have an opportunity to meet new friends and share in learning a new instrument and new songs and will be introduced to a wide range of bands and styles. The programme involves a number of workshops and performances as well as recording opportunities.
The Leitrim PEACE IV Partnership was established in 2016 with €1.8 million in funding confirmed for peace building programmes in Leitrim. The programme is funded through the European Union, the Northern Ireland Executive and the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, and is designed to promote peace and reconciliation across Northern Ireland and the border counties.
Leitrim was one of nine new Music Education Partnerships selected to participate in Music Generation in September 2017 and since then has successfully begun to develop new programmes for children and young people in the county.
Since its launch in September 2018, Music Generation Leitrim has rolled out the first of its Access Programmes, VocalWorks, to primary schools all across Leitrim, introducing children to music using the voice and a range of percussion instruments. Music Generation Leitrim Children’s Choir, based in Carrick on Shannon has also been launched in partnership with St Georges Heritage Centre and is open to children aged 7-12.
Leading on from Ukes4Youth, ukulele programmes will be rolled out in Leitrim primary schools. This will broaden the range of ages learning the instrument with the potential to develop a permanent Ukulele Orchestra in the future.
Speaking at the launch of Ukes4youth, Therese McCartin, Music Generation Leitrim Development Officer, said:
‘The children and young people of Leitrim are very lucky to have Music Generation in the county at last. It is already creating wonderful and exciting opportunities to learn an instrument and engage in ensemble work in the county.’
Header photo: Ukes4youth launch © Music Generation