Archive for the ‘grants’ Category

Back, again

Baby Maggie Mai has turned 1 and I took time off this summer to move house and get us all settled in. We have moved to Clare, things of dreams for me even though our hurlers were knocked out early this year it is more than good to be home.

Coming back to a community music scene that has been boosted by Music Generation funding is both wonderful and over whelming. For years I have battled for community groups to understand and appreciate what it is we as community musicians do, so to be faced with a multitude of projects run by new faces is, again, both wonderful and over whelming.


Maggie Mai and Tiernan, keeping this community musician busy!

In my experience of working in Limerick City over the years, at community and academic circles I feel the approach adopted by MGLC is interesting, and one that is needed. Groups are being encouraged to play and perform, just do it! And they are! Now, there are certainly levels of community engagement that consider socio conditions and relationships, for example the early year’s pilot project I had a hand in rolling out. Relationships with adults, carers, schools, pre-schools, music, one another and a local educational charity are all considered and this is well placed, in the earliest point of their ‘formal’ learning. I have seen this confidence last because the tone is set early. I am very excited about this perhaps, inadvertent, but fresh no nonsense approach. That said, I have to re-imagine how I go about my business in these areas, consider the appropriate intent when working with the new music education diaspora. Looking forward to the year ahead, and attempting to get the early year’s label that has been placed on my head, shifted, to make room for my other areas of expertise! Watch this space, before I go back and do something silly like a HDip or a B.Ed! Heaven forbid…..

Please sir, can I have some more?

The Easter break means grant application season the world of community education, how could I have forgotten. Lost in a world of monthly academic pay-cheques of late somehow left me disconnected from the community music landscape that I was once drowning in and once more find myself at the mercy of the arts council. Selling our souls and in the process; the sweet sounds of children’s voices and opinions too, but it is all justified if the money comes through. It also makes us feel good about ourselves to hear how much they say they are enjoying the sessions! Students involved are told that we need their feedback to keep the programme going, which is somewhat true but this sits sideways with me. It does look good though and hopefully the youngsters do not feel used, rather part of the team, helpful and vital members of the team and indeed they are!

The interactions between the programme coordinator, manager and I were very positive during the application. Each of us naturally taking ownership of areas that we feel most at ease with. I put on my producer’s hat, getting technical and drawing materials together to create a short testimonial. The coordinator gathering the smaller details, which catch you in the end, the director doing the painstaking budget all the while encouraging us to keep going in the most genuinely positive manner that I cannot say no to. Although this is might seem like ‘work’, from my memory of being an individual community musician not attached to or affiliated with any ongoing project this process was a lot less stressful then usual. A privileged grant application process, if you will. I simply would not have met the deadline on my own this week, something would have been forgotten about.

Although these opportunities are few in Ireland today they do, for the moment, exist. To have two other people who are as passionate and as driven as myself to get through the application with was a pleasure, a thought provoking  workout. Hopefully the government will continue to allocate money to the Arts Council, the last crew tried to close it down! Imagine..