My Music Generation Work Experience

Ciara Long had completed her Work Experience with Music Generation Carlow from September-November 2017. She has kindly written a  brief description of her experience below.


My Musical Experience Beforehand

Since quite a young age i had always had an interest in music. I play guitar, bass guitar, piano and sing. I also did a band development programme with Music Generation Carlow and Wall2Wall Music one summer and it was after this that i really started to figure out that music was really what i wanted to do for the rest of my life. I really enjoyed working with the musicians in Music Generation Carlow and when the programme finished, i started Bass Guitar lessons in Music Generation’s Senior Rock School. I then signed up for the song writing programme that they were offering. In this we were put into bands that we would be writing songs and performing with, with the help of our mentors. We even performed in the Music Generation’s Gala Concert in May. I really enjoyed this experience and it helped me grow as a musician as well as teaching me that being a musician is hard work. There’s a lot more work in it than people think. 

Applying to Music Generation Carlow 

When the time came to start thinking about where i wanted to go on work experience the very first thing that came to my mind was Music Generation Carlow, as i wanted to do something with music and i knew Music Generation Carlow would give me a real look into what it’s like to be a professional musician and this would be a good place to get the real experience of the job i am interested in doing. I wrote a letter to Music Generation Carlow explaining why i wanted to come to work with them and sent in my CV straight away. I was delighted when they notified my that i was accepted for work  experience and they would do their best to give me both an enjoyable and education experience.

My day in the Office

The very first week that i came in, i was in the office as they had just came back after summer holidays and the office was manic. There were people calling in all day and the phones never stopped ringing. I was filing sheet music and doing the best i could to help them out. This experience definitely showed me that there’s a lot of work done behind the scenes to ensure that the kids who are involved with Music Generation Carlow get the experience that they do. It also showed me how difficult it is to be a musician and the work isn’t just playing instruments, singing or teaching kids. 

Helping to teach kids

For my second week, i went into Askea Girls National School with Music Generation Carlow musician Alison Behan to teach classes from Junior Infants to Third class. Firstly, Alison explained the approach she takes with the kids, making sure they are as involved as possible. For the first class she taught, i just watched and class by class i became a bit more involved in the class, and i really started enjoying myself. At the lunch break i had a long chat with Alison about where she studied music, different courses that are offered in Ireland, what instruments she did, musical theater and what its like to work as a musician in general. This conversation was really helpful and chatting to Alison every week like this is really helping me to think of how i will approach doing music as a career and what path i will take. 

I have been going to Askea Girls National School teaching the same classes every Thursday for the past  few weeks and i am now a lot more involved in the classes than i was the first week. I bring my guitar every week to play one of the songs the girls are learning and sometimes the other songs Alison sings in the Early Childhood Classes. The kids seem to really like music because of the positive experience they’re having  and even after only being here a couple of weeks i can really see them progressing. I had always thought i would never be able to teach music and wouldn’t like it but the experience that Music Generation Carlow has given me has completely changed my opinion and i think that i really would love to do what Alison does with Music Generation Carlow which has opened up a while new world of possibilities. 


My experience with Music Generation Carlow has not only really helped me to grow as both a musician and a person bit it had also given me an inside look into the behind the scenes of Music Generation Carlow and what its really like to be a working musician. It has taught me that, despite my original opinion i would actually like to teach kids music. It has definitely made my interest in doing music as a future career even more definite. I’m so glad i was given the opportunity with Music Generation Carlow to complete my work experience. I have not only learned a lot but i have also really enjoyed myself. It has also helped me to really start figuring out how to approach becoming a professional musician and what path to take which is exactly what i wanted to get out of my work experience. I would seriously recommend to anyone that’s thinking of doing something with music as a future career to go on work experience with Music Generation Carlow. 


Ciara Long