Monday, August 31, 2009

Simply Music/National Concert Hall/Dept. of Education & Science: Teacher Training Workshops 2009



This August 2009 Simply Music/The National Concert Hall ran another year of successful In-Service Teacher Training Courses, approved by The Dept. of Education & Science.

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Simply Music has just completed two very succesful weeks of Simply Music Interactive Technology Music Workshops in The National Concert Hall. These 5 Day “In Service Teacher Training Workshops” (in it’s third year) are approved by the Department of Education & Science and were attended by over 30 very enthusiastic teachers and musicians from Clare, Donegal and Dublin, to name but a few counties.

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What teachers have said about Simply Music In-Service courses:
(Dept. of Education & Science / National Concert Hall In-Service Teacher Training 2009):

“Blending the strands of the music curriculum and the use of I.C.T. is a wonderful educational tool. Thank you for all your hard work, your dedication and sense of fun.” Sr Anastatia Hennessy, Learning Support Junior Infants, St. Agnes’ Primary School, Crumlin, Dublin 12.


The Quality and Standard (of these workshops) are excellent.

…” Paul and Sile are both very friendly and welcome and open to answering concerns. They put people at ease and their level of competence, professionalism and passion is obvious.” Kathleen O'Meara, North Bay E.T.N.S. Greendale Avenue, Kilbarrick, Dublin 5, 2nd ClassTeacher

“It was without doubt the most useful & enjoyable teachers course I have done. I will be advising all and sundry to head over to the NCH next year.” Dermot Stanley, Adamstown Castle Educate Together, 4,5,6th Class


How wonderful it would be to get this out there to every school! And more courses for teachers available!” Mary Nohilly, S.E.K. School (Spanish), Belvedere Hall, Upper Windgates, Bray, Co. Dublin Music Class

“It increased my confidence in teaching music.

“The ICT integration was wonderful (recording, mixing,editing etc.)” Jemma McKevitt, Scoil Bhride, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare, Junior Infants

“ As a techno-phobe/cynic, I am astonished at how much you can get out of this interactive classroom support tool.” Bridget O'Connor, Private Teacher, All Ages

“I loved the demonstration of how to hold the percussion instruments on the computer. I have a percussion class after school and I can use this information in and out of class.”

“Superb. Both facilitators have one foot in the classical world - and one in the improvised/jamming world! An impressive combination!” Suzanne Marner, Louth Village Primary School, 2nd & 3rd


“Great knowledge & understanding of area of focus - great communication & interaction with the group. A lot of focus with performance & playing as a group - with excellent direction - great to see in practice, can take on board similar ways to approach these elements.”

“Huge range of instruments to becoming familiar with. Interesting to compare quality of course content to UK based courses, great content - enough to be able to remember & take on board.” Becki Gurney, Rushcombe First School, Corfee Mullen, Wimborne, Dorset, UK, Year 1 / 5-6 year olds

“This programme was of a consistently high standard, while never being beyond the participants. It did push me to step outside my comfort zone, which I now appreciate!!” Marianne Dunne, St. Laurence O'Toole N.S. Roundwood, Co. Wicklow, 1st class



(Dept. of Education & Science / National Concert Hall In-Service Teacher Training 2007/2008):

“The course had great content, both music and I.T. ……..
Excellent hands-on practice, all relevant to the music curriculum - excellently presented and delivered, accommodating the mix of ability/experience in the group - AND it was FUN!”

“ The expertise of Paul & Sile was shared in a pleasant, non-intimidating way & they always listened to your needs & adapted to our abilities/weaknesses.”

“ … The practical music making was fun & confidence building which will encourage & facilitate my teaching.”

“…Seeing the possibility & usefulness of the I.T. element - can see that it could be like a teaching assistant when teaching music AND integrates with I.T. policy.”

“Very accessible - a real feeling of "I can do it"! Hands on with instruments - BRILLIANT. Seeing how I.T. can integrate with music - excellent - (time-keeping, sequence, reminder).”

“Particularly good for non-musician teachers (and there are a lot of us) so if we become more confident & teach more music there will be more musically literate/appreciative children etc. Paul & Sile - thank you very much for this week - one of the best courses I've done in my (long!) teaching career.”


Mary Finnegan, (Teacher) St. Vincent de Paul Infant School, Griffith Ave, D.9
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“It is difficult to pick any one single element as all the elements worked so well together. Simple elements combined and layered can produce a complex sound.”

“This was by far the best summer course I have attended. I would do it even if the D.E.S. weren't allowing extra personal vacation days for attending!!!”


Michael Shanley, (Principal), St. Patrick's SNS Corduff, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
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“Excellent Programme - very useful for the classroom & good fun. We learned so much in such an enjoyable way.”

“The software is brilliant & gave great cohesion when playing together. Great to get a 'go' on so many instruments & loved the interactivity between voice & instruments & software.”

“A 'must' for every primary school teacher!”


Elizabeth O'Brien, (Deputy Principal), St. Brigid's N.S., The Coombe, Dublin 8

Friday, April 3, 2009

Simply Music/Arts Council: Primary School Workshops


The Arts Council have supported Simply Music again this year with 15 No. two day projects in primary schools as well as 5 No. two day Gaelscoileanna models for 2009.
Workshops are fully booked out until Dec 18th 2009 and we are now taking bookings for 2010.

Please contact Simply Music:

Phone: 01 2856162
Mobile: 087 2227718
E-mail: info@simplymusic.ie


Simply Music is a Percussion Performance Workshop, which incorporates Interactive Technology and Live Music Performance. It has been specifically designed to support the music curriculum for primary level for both students and teachers and is supported by The Arts Council of Ireland.

The Workshops:
Simply Music has designed a series of 15 x 2 day workshops within each school, which incorporates a professional musician working within the school context alongside the workshop groups.
Simply Music delivers 2 workshop sessions each day with two different class groups. Each of these workshops brings together elements of curriculum music alongside musical performance. Each group receives 3 workshop sessions and the entire initiative culminates in a live performance by the students and musicians.
The workshops are developed in line with the stages of cognitive development of children within the primary curriculum. They are broken into the learning stages outlined in the primary music curriculum. The cognitive content, both in terms of the performance aspects of the workshop and the level of interactivity is suited to the abilities of the relevant age group.
The workshops use a combination of technology and performance with a range of percussion instrumentation (including Boomwhackers, on and off screen) and also development of vocal and rhythmic development elements (action songs etc.)
Additionally within the sessions Simply Music introduces different forms of musical notation and rhythmic structures as per the music curriculum and which again are suited to the specific age range participating in the workshop.

The workshop uses technology to allow the students to gain confidence in their performance and to learn how to hold and play each instrument correctly. They learn to work independently with their instrument and are supported by the technology, which plays their melodic or rhythmic line in the background to support them and maintain continuity in the performance.
The musicians work with the students to develop their confidence and skills and each child retains through rote a series of rhythmic/melodic patterns which in turn develop into a musical piece which is performed live within the school on the final day of the workshop. The musicians continue to support and create innovative material as the workshop progresses and encourage musical innovation from the children to be incorporated into the final performance
The outcomes of the workshop provide the students with an increased knowledge of percussion instrumentation, rhythmic and vocal development and musical experience through participation in live performance with teachers and other class groups.