TIMAHOE NS celebrated Love Live Music Day with aplomb on Thursday last, as proud parents came to the school to hear and to see first-hand the incredible progress their children have made with violin tutor John Davidson, since the innovative “Give Strings A Go” programme which commenced in the school last January.
The school community was delighted to play host to some very special guests on the day - Nuala Kelly, Laois School of Music, and Rosa Flannery, Music Generation, both of whom expressed delight at the obvious success of the programme. The programme was initiated when School Principal Ann Bergin, who is well known and highly regarded in music circles, sought funding from the school’s Parents Council and corporate sponsors. “Our dream here was to embark on a music journey that would establish string instrument playing as part of everyday life at Timahoe NS”
In January, twenty violins were purchased, and a ten week “Taster Programme” was piloted in Senior Infants and Second class, where the only cost to the child was for tuition. Meanwhile a new group of twenty “tasters” got the opportunity to try out the violin over the subsequent ten week period, with the result that 38 children are now playing violin at Timahoe NS.
As part of the end-of-year workshops on Love Live Music Day, the participants’ parents got a chance to try out the violin themselves. “We took the opportunitiy to give the parents a few tips on how to help the kids get the most out of a practice session,” said John Davidson. He complimented the school for the positive way in which music is promoted. “It’s treated as a subject here in Timahoe NS,” he said, “and not just as a little add-on.”
Parents were also highly complimentary about the “Give strings a go” programme. “It’s hard to believe that up until four months ago not one of these children had ever held a violin in his or her hand,’ commented Parents Council member Sinead Bennett. “It’s such a wonderful opportunity for the children. An added bonus is not having to drive into town for a lesson and not having to hang around during the lesson.” School Principal Ann Bergin concluded “I am proud that even at this stage our fledgling violinists have the skill and confidence to share their music with the entire community - family, school and village.”