MGC – Strategy Plan 2017-2021

Music Gen – A5 – Strategy 2017-2021

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 


Our new Mouthbox Vocal group has been drawn from students around Co Carlow in 5th + 6th  class.

These students attend Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál every Wednesday and are working closely with Alison Behan, Paula Phelan, Marian Gaynor and Anita Mahon our Music Generation vocal team.

They will learn how to use their voices and body through popular music repertoire to perform a wide range of music.

The 35 young people were nominated into the group towards the ends of the academic year.

Adam Watchorn – St Mary’s National School, Bagenalstown

Agnieszka Kramarczyk – Askea Girls National School

Aisling Byrne – Kildavin National School

Allanah Murphy – Askea Girls National School

Antonia McCabe – Scoil Mhuire Lourdes

Brianna Donnelly – Askea Girls National School

Catriona Kinsella - St Fiaccs National School

Chloe Duffy Boland – Scoil Mhuire Lourdes

Danielle O’Driscoll - St Fiaccs National School

Daniel Picovici – Ballinabranna National School

Eimer Cowman – Kildavin National School

Emily Jeffares – Nurney National School

Hannah Coakley – Askea Girls National School

Holly Tucker – Queen of the Universe

Jake Foran – Ballon National School

James Hayden – St Bridgets National School  Bagenalstown

Jessica Mahar – St Fiaccs National School

Katelyn Tomkins – St Columbas National School  Tullow

Lisa Byrne – Clonegal National School

Mairead Murphy – Ballon National School

Marco Emad – St Columbas Tullow

Miriam Oglesby – Carlow National School

Molly Carroll – Ardattin National School

Nadine Coogan – Queen of the Universe

Nancy Lin – Scoil Mhuire Lourdes

Nicole O’Riordan – Queen of the Universe

Nicole Salmon – Nurney National School

Noah Haughney – St Fiaccs National School

Rachel Bello – St Fiaccs National School

Robert Butnaru – Askea Boys National School

Shannen Dermody – Queen of the Universe

Sophie Mahon – St Fiaccs National School  Graigcullen

Toby Garland – St Columbas National School

Tom Byrne – Clonegal National School

Bradley Doyle – St Bridgets National School  Bagenalstown

Yemi Olleede - St Leo’s Carlow








Reelig perform at Áras an Úachtaráin

Music Generation Carlow‘s Reelig were invited on 08/07/2017 by the President of Ireland / Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D. Higgins and Sabina Higgins to the final Garden Party of the year No.8/8 . 

Reelig were also trilled to have meet President Michael D Higgins, wife Sabina Higgins, Paddy Casey, Vinci and Fionnula Flanagan. Directed by their tutors, musicians Áine Donohue and Ciarán Somers, ‘Reelig’ performed an electric set for the President, Sabina Higgins and more. 

The young musicians performing on the day were Thomas O’Donoghue (Button Accordion); Colm Broderick (Uileann Pipes, Flute, Whistle); Meadhbh Broderick (Flute, Whistle); Niamh Nolan (Flute, Whistle); Shane Nolan (Fiddle); Conor McDermott (Banjo); Jack Gladney (Guitar); Oisín Byrne (Bodhrán); and Katie Brennan (Concertina).

It was a wonderful afternoon of entertainment and congratulations to the young musicians, for there fantastic performance on the day. 

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Suzuki Violin Programme – Starting in September 2017

Music Generation Carlow are delighted to introduce a very exciting Suzuki Violin programme to their September calendar.

This programme is suited to children who will be entering Junior Infants and Senior infants class in September. The key aspects of the Suzuki method is the committing of a common repertoire to memory, which enables the students to perform their pieces together as a group, with emphasis on developing social skills, cognition, physical co-ordination and FUN!

The weekly group classes will take place in Carlow town and PARENT PARTICIPATION is very much encouraged.Numbers are very limited so if you feel this programme is for your child, please contact the below with your interest.

Niamh Mooney – 059-9138538 or

Gala Concert 2017

It has been a very busy and exciting year for all the participants of MG Carlow. The Gala Concert  included a selection of students in the area from primary school programmes to after school Hubs, C.R.Y.S, Junior Rock School, Reelíg and Reelog. Together they performed a series of vibrant sets and tunes.

The event took place on Wednesday & Thursday, May 24 & 25 2017 at the George Bernard Theater Shaw, Carlow.

Students from the Music Generation Carlow programme experience the vital opportunity to collaborate on stage in front of a large audience on both nights. The stage was filled with the sound of young Irish musicians playing and singing.

Well done to all who participated and we would like to thank everyone who helped make both nights a Huge success.

Music Generation Carlow is part of Music Generation, Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network.


Please click on the link below to view the videos:

Video credits to Greg – Hedgehog productions

Photo credits to Michael O’Rourke photography

Sound and Lighting credits to Steven Corry – Premier Sound

Reelig perform at Dublin Castle for Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Reelig were invited to represent Music Generation Carlow at Dublin Castle to perform a set of tunes on Thursday 25th May 2017.

Reelig performed in front of a large audience including Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and  the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD.An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD announced,31 Local Authority Culture & Creativity Plans as part of the Creative Ireland Programme. This is a five-year initiative, starting from 2017-2022.

For more information regarding the 31 Local Authority Culture & Creativity Plans, please visit

Click on the link below to view the performance by Reelig:

Music Generation Carlow Young Ambassadors, Reelig

Vocal Week

The Vocal Week took part on Monday 15th-Monday 22nd May 2017. Local students from National Schools all over Carlow took part in the vocal week. These students learned exciting, fun and energetic vocal material exploring popular music, world music and the art of vocal percussion during the year. The Students learned to develop their confidence to perform in front of a large audience, as well as to exposure to a wide range of different musical genres.

The focus of every class was remarkable, they learned how to develop vocal skills in a fun but developmental way!

The concerts took part in Church Sacred Heart, Borris, St. Andrew’s Church, Bagenalstown, Murphy Memorial Hall, Tullow and  St. Mary’s Church, Carlow.

A special thanks to our Music Generation Carlow Vocal team: Marian Gaynor, Trish Clarke, Anita Mahon, Elspeth Hayes and Ali Behan.Piano Accompaniment Aoife Kavanagh and Stephen Corry for Sound.

Ceol Connected presents The Far Field

 Ceol Connected embarked on a nationwide tour in May with The Far Field, and Music Generation Carlow were invited. 

Many participants from our Early Childhood sector aged from 3-7, enjoyed an irresistibly joyful and spellbinding musical tale, infused with traditional music, puppetry, and folklore.

The Far Field told the story of a farmer who, on one Summer’s day, discovers a magical whistle hidden in a hare’s nest!  Suspecting it belongs to the fairy folk who live at the edge of the farm, the farmer believes that the whistle should be returned to its’ rightful owners and so begins the journey of discovery into the magical world of fairies.

“The otherworldly realm of fairies is brought to life in this musical performance through traditional music for young children, developed and performed by Dr. Thomas Johnston (whistles and song) with Sean McElwain (whistles, guitar and fiddle), and Emma Fisher (puppeteer)

The Far Field, written by Dr. Thomas Johnston, in the George Bernard Shaw Theatre was held on Thursday 11th May 2017


Music Generation Carlow were very excited to be part of this years “BRASS OFF”  hosted by Music Generation Cork City. 19 young musicians from Carlow’s Music Generation traveled to Cork City to take part in “Brass-Off” .

The three day musical jamboree ran from Monday 10th – Wednesday 12 April  at Cork Institute of Technology’s ‘School of Music’.

The players performed a full brass and reed band, coming together to rehearse and perform the work as a cross-county ensemble. Over the three days there were also opportunities for the young musicians to explore their technique and develop their skills in smaller groups and sectionals.

We were lucky to have worked with the incredible Barrack Street Band, Foxford Brass and Reed Band representing Music Generation Cork City and Music Generation Mayo.

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