Music Generation Mayo

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The Erris Strings Programme is a new initiative to provide access to whole class violin tuition to young people in the Erris region. It is delivered in partnership with Arás Inis Gluaire and Music Generation Mayo and modelled on the Scoil Úna Naofa/St. Agnes’ School Violin Project which has successfully been providing whole class tuition to students in Crumlin, Dublin since 2006. For the 2018-19 academic year, the programme will operate in Belmullet Junior Primary School and Belmullet Senior Primary School, under a subsidised tuition model.


During the programme, in which every child participates, children develop skills that help not only with playing music, but also with self-confidence, concentration and focus. The role of the music tutor is to give the very best of instruction and help the children with music and coordination skills, which build the basis of playing the instrument very well. Above all else, children are enabled to enjoy their experience of the classes while growing personally, socially and musically.


If your school would like to express interest to participate in the programme for the 2019-20 academic year, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Please note: the expansion of the programme is dependent on available funding from year to year, and an expression of interest is not a guarantee of participation. 


MGM Ceili-Ukulele2

Céilí Ukulele provides whole class ukulele tuition for 4th – 6th classes at primary level, to allow students to experience the fun of learning and performing music together. The focus of this programme is to impart a knowledge of basic and more advanced musical principles while instilling a joy and passion for performing music individually and with your peers. It is designed to enhance and add value to the existing primary school music curriculum.


 It is designed as a 28-week programme over the academic year, with weekly lessons of approx. 60 mins’ duration per whole class. Over the course of a full academic year, students will aim to learn a variety of songs & melodies on the ukulele, as well as honing their performance skills through regular group practice and performance.


Each week, a specialist Music Generation Mayo tutor will visit each classroom, to provide whole-class tuition designed to engage and excite students towards playing the ukulele and singing accompanying songs.


Teachers and students will have access to video tutorials weekly via the Céilí Ukulele YouTube channel, which will re-enforce the principles outlined in their previous lessons and provide a great resource for practising content between lessons.


Whole class tuition provides a vital access point to many young people who would otherwise not engage in performance music education. With guidance and support, the peer learning that takes place results in musically confident and capable young people that are socially connected as part of their performing group.


Watch a video of our end of term performances filmed in May/June 2018 below:



Note: for the 2018/19 academic year, the programme will operate in primary schools within the Castlebar & Ballina urban areas, should you wish you express interest for your school to participate in the programme for the following academic year, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



In Spring 2018, Music Generation Mayo sought expressions of interest from young people who might wish to take part in a  new Uilleann Piping Tuition Programme. A free introductory taster event was held on Saturday 30th June 2018 in Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar.

Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the history of the uilleann pipes, experiment with playing them and meet fellow pipers, including Gay McKeon from Na Píobairí Uilleann, an organisation dedicated to the promotion of Uilleann Piping throughout Ireland.



A pilot tuition programme will commence in September 2018. Students should ideally be between 10-18 yrs., resident in Co. Mayo and have at least 2 years playing experience on their chosen instrument. You can be a complete beginner on uilleann pipes or already have some experience in playing the instrument. 

Tuition and mentorship will be provided by a selection of Mayo based tutors, including Emer Mayock, Diarmuid Moynihan with support from Music Generation Mayo and Uilleann Pipe musician and maker, John Butler. Students will have an opportunity to become part of a piping community with their peers and will be encouraged to bring their skills back to their local performing music groups and embed a new culture of Uilleann Piping throughout the county.


Participation in the pilot programme will require a commitment to attend a weekly group lesson from September 2018, with a maximum of 12-15 places available. 

If you are interested in registering for uilleann pipe tuition from September, please book online here

For further information please contact us on 09490 41013/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Harp Ensemble

The Music Generation Mayo Harp Ensemble, is for young harpists aged 10-18 yrs. in Co. Mayo. It operates under the musical direction of Gráinne Hambly and William Jackson, acclaimed musicians and composers with many years of experience performing worldwide. The ensemble provides an opportunity for harp students from throughout the county, to work together on collective pieces and partake in performance opportunities.


At fortnightly rehearsals, students enjoy non-competitive, social harp-playing and experience the beautiful sound of lots of harps playing together. Tunes from the Irish repertoire are taught in parts suitable for harpers of various playing abilities, with groups combining for collective performances. Young harpists experience ensemble playing as well as a social opportunity to meet fellow harpists from throughout the county. 


Criteria for joining the Harp Ensemble

·        Students must be aged 10-18 yrs, with a minimum of one year’s playing experience are invited to partake.

·        All participants must have their own harp to use, as everyone will play collectively at the same time

·        Repertoire will be taught by ear, and students are encouraged to bring a recording device. It is not necessary to be able to read sheet music.

For queries/further information or if you would like to join, please call 09490 41013 / email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">


Click on the image below to watch the ensemble perform with special guests at na Cruite - National Harp Day 2017 in Westport Town Hall Theatre



MGM Mayo Harp Ensemble Musical Directors



Gráinne Hambly from County Mayo is an internationally recognised exponent of the Irish harp, and is in great demand as a performer and teacher, both in Ireland and abroad. She has attracted glowing praise for her live performances and recorded material, which brilliantly showcase what has been described as her 'absolute mastery of the Irish harp'. Gráinne is a music graduate of Queen's University Belfast.

Originally from Glasgow, William Jackson was a founding member and creative tour de force of Ossian, which became one of Scotland's best-loved traditional bands. In addition to being a renowned harper and multi-instrumentalist, William has gained an international reputation as a composer of music inspired by both traditional and classical elements. He is also a trained Music Therapist.

Gráinne and William first performed together in October 2004. Since then they have toured extensively in the USA giving concerts and workshops, as well as performing at several international harp festivals. They have both released a number of solo and collaborative CDs.



Soundworlds Parent & Toddler Music Programme is part of the early years music programming developed by Music Generation Mayo. It is primarily delivered by tutor Marcella Bourke, who has an extensive background in music facilitation, with childcare qualifications and certification in Kindermusik. She has an incredible passion for and belief in the benefits effects of exposure to music for very young children and has worked extensively throughout Co. Mayo delivering sessions in various childcare and community settings.


A typical session might include:

·        Greeting and Goodbye - rituals that help children feel comfortable, individually recognised and ready for learning

·        Singing -  a natural way for children & parents  to express their innate creativity and growing sense of rhythm and melody

·        Vocal Play -  encourages expressiveness and confidence when developing speech

·        Movement - helps children develop coordination and rhythm

·        Instrument Exploration & Play Along -  to help young children practice fine-motor skill and experiment with sounds rhythms and a steady beat

·        Turn taking / Sharing - practiced and developed to encourage social behaviour

·        Storytime -  exposes children to new vocabulary and preparation for reading skills

·        Focused Listening - gives children an opportunity to practice the skills of attention and careful listening

·        Circle/ Community dance and so much more!


The Soundworld’s environment is a place where a child’s uniqueness is recognised, their individuality and their unique way of learning/ engaging is prioritised.  It is a place where good self-esteem, confidence, social skills and integration with peers is enhanced, a place where a child’s voice matters and their ideas are valued.


The programme is delivered in situ to Parent & Toddler groups in a six-week block, each session is approx. 90 minutes in duration. The cost for the entire programme is €360.

For further information contact Music Generation Mayo on 09490 41013 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Jam Bands Mayo is an exciting new project to facilitate and encourage young musicians to get together and create music. Following hugely successful Summer and Easter programmes you can now attend fornightly sessions throughout the county in Ballina, Ballinrobe, Westport, Claremorris and Castlebar - check for all dates and information.


The idea of Jam Bands Mayo is to bring young musicians aged 12-18 together to 'jam', make music, explore ideas and inspire each other. Facilitated by experienced musicians, participants create music together in a collaborative and creative way to bring out and showcase the unique voice of each of the young musicians individually and as a group.


Jam Bands Mayo aims to ignite and fuel a passion for playing, writing, performing and pursuing music; to pass on useful skills that will help the budding musician on their musical journey; to give real life experience in creating and performing; to invite the young musicians to have ownership and leadership in their own music making; and last but definitely not least - to have fun!


Regular Jam Band Sessions are open to all instrument players from any background, including singers. The current sessions are sunsidised by Music Generation Mayo and are only €5 per 2 hr workshop.  For more information and to book a place, please visit or call the Music Generation Mayo office on 09490 41019 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


This programme was developed in partnership with Music Generation Mayo and Derry based organisation Wall2Wall Music, with local tutors undertaking intensive training in group music making during 2015/16.



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Music Generation Mayo in partnership with The Arts Council of Ireland and Songbirds offered an amazing opportunity for young musicians and singers in Co.Mayo aged 13-18 yrs. to participate in a unique project to explore and develop their songwriting and musical skills. The project took place over 3 months, culminating in a series of mastered recordings and a live concert. 

This programme was made possible as a result of a new partnership initiative between The Arts Council of Ireland and Music Generation to support the work of professional musicians in a range of ambitious music education programmes. This exciting new partnership is aimed at adding significant value to the current core tuition being carried out by Music Generation programmes throughout Ireland.

Note: The closing date for participation in this programme has passed and the programme operated during Sept - Dec 2015. You can listen to some of the songs written and recorded here on Soundcloud


What was involved?

During the course of the project participants engaged in a series of workshops examining the songwriting process from sketch to demo to a final recording of their song/music.

The Songbirds musicians showed participants how to develop structure and harmony in their compositions, as well as looking at topics such as arrangement, music appreciation, recording and live performance tips including microphone technique and stage set-up.

Participants were encouraged to be involved in all project outcomes, e.g. event organisation, production roles, promotion, documentation and presentation. The project aimed to provide young musicians with the tools necessary for creative expression through lyrics and music and to become future drivers of similar projects as part of their own musical development.

Recordings will take place throughout the project with each individual producing a professionally mastered CD on completion. Shortly after the workshops ended, participants rehearsed and performed their finished songs at a live concert, followed by an official CD launch in March 2016.



Who are Songbirds Ireland?

Three artists/musicians make up the Songbirds team, Carol Keogh, Miriam Ingram and Colin J. Morris. Based in Dublin, the trio have a wealth of experience in mentoring young developing musicians and songwriters as well as recording, releasing and performing their own material as professional musicians, songwriters and music producers.




This programme is made possible as a result of a new three-year partnership programme between The Arts Council of Ireland and Music Generation to support the work of professional musicians in a range of ambitious music education programmes. This exciting new Partnership is aimed at adding significant value to the current core tuition being carried out by Music Generation which is aimed at creating better access to high quality performance music education for children and young people.


Music Generation Mayo is co-funded and supported by:





Oct 2013 in St. Joseph’s Post Primary School, Charlestown

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MESSIN WITH THE MUSIC comprised series of creative music making workshops aimed at young people. Participants spent time getting to know each other with a chance to ‘jam’ together whilst developing theoretical skills involved with musical creativity. Participants were split into ensembles with the facilitators as mentors building upon all objectives throughout the week. This culminated in each band having an original piece of music prepared that they performed live to an audience for the grand finale of the programme.

Throughout the week participants learned the fundamentals of composition, songwriting, music theory, performance, rhythm, improvisation and musicianship in a fun and relaxed environment.


Information on the Facilitators:

Tommy Mc Aleer is a very experienced multi-instrumentalist who has been a performing musician for over twenty years both in England and Ireland. He has written and recorded his own material along the way and released an E.P “My One Desire” in the year 2000. He has played in numerous ensembles, groups, and collectives including “ MACALEER”  and “THE MEAN MISTREATERS” and currently teaches and contributes to community projects.

Dennis McLaughlin is a music graduate of the University of Ulster and currently teaches guitar and music theory at McCloskey's Piano School. He is the Youth and Community Officer at Link Academy CIC which provides rehearsal spaces, recording studios and facilities for young bands, tutor and community groups.

Caolan McLaughlin is a multi-instrumentalist and keyboardist with the Bronagh Gallagher Band and has toured extensively throughout Europe for the past 10 years. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Music with experience in composition for film,  studio technique, arrangement, song-writing, co-writing, session work, performance and educating.

Watch a video featuring images of the participants below!

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Monday 15th – Friday 19th July 2013 in the Ballina Arts Centre

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Concert pianists and piano duo partners Cliodna Shanahan and Simon Callaghan delivered a week of specialised performance music education of the highest calibre which inspired and enhanced 8 young developing pianists, all in a joyous and nurturing environment. Participants were engaged throughout each day in individual tuitionsolo and duet practice; group sessions and sitting in on their fellow studentslessons.

In addition to developing the young pianists'solo performancethe Piano Summer School will also provided experience of working in ensemble with duet partner.

The summer school ran over five days and included an informal concert at the end for the students to share their favourite pieces with each other. It also included a duo recital given by Clíodna Shanahan and Simon Callaghan. 

Download the Recital Programme here: pdfRecitalProgramme.pdf

Information on the Facilitators:

Irish pianist  Clíodna Shanahan, following  her early piano  tuition in Limerick with Moira Gray,studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School,Surrey and graduated from  the  Royal  College  of  Music  with  first  class honours,where  she  also received  a  MMus  in  Advanced  Performance   and  numerous  prizes  while studying with Ruth Nye, Yonty Solomon and Noriko Kawai. Cliodna has performed solo throughout Ireland in the John Field Room,National Concert HallNational  Gallery  of  Art  and  RDS,  Dublin;  Castalia  Hall,  Kilkenny,   GMIT,  Galway  and Waterfront  Hall,  Belfast.  She  has  also  given  solo  recitals  as  part  of  the  Irish Chamber Orchestra'sMBNA Shannon International Music Festival and of the Comhaimseartha  SeriesIrish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick.Clíodna has also performed extensively throughoutthe UK,in the Wigmore Hall,Royal FestivalHallConway Hall and Royal Opera House,London,and at the Centre Culture! lrlandais,Paris.

Her highly successful piano duo partnership with Simon Callaghan has become an integral part of their performing schedule.

British pianist and Steinway Artist Simon Callaghan'intelligentancompelling performances  both on the concert platform and inthe recording studio have earned him a reputation as an exciting and versatile artist of the new generation.Performance  highlights include Rachmaninov's Second Concerto at Birmingham'sSymphony HallLiszt'sFirst Concerto with the RLPO, Wigmore Hall,chamber music

recital in South Korea and Japan and a gala concert with ENO principals.He has also broadcast on BBC Radio and has appeared on lTV and BBC Television. Simon Callaghan'srecent CD of English piano music on the De Rode Pomp label received rave reviews,including the following comment from musicweb-international (2009)"an essential can ask nothing more...stunning playing"

Watch our showreel featuring participants from Key Notes Piano School below:

VideoLink Website



Creating a Traditional Music Ensemble with Emer Mayock

Music Generation Mayo, part of Music Generation, Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, funded by U2 and the Ireland funds together with local partners, is offered an opportunity to experienced young traditional musicians and singers with a high standard of playing ability to form a traditional music ensemble.

Participants, aged between 12-18 yrs, participated in a six month music residency under the guidance and mentorship of acclaimed Co.Mayo musician and performer Emer Mayock. The residency culminated in live performances by the ensemble in July 2013.

Having played traditional music since childhood on a range of instruments including the Flute, Low Whistles, Fiddle and Uilleann Pipes, Emer Mayock has recorded two CDs: ‘Merry Bits of Timber’ and ‘Playground’ - the latter continuing her interest in writing new music and containing mostly her own compositions. She has worked with numerous Irish traditional musicians includingDonal Lunny and Paddy Glackin, as well as artists from other musical genres including French music producer Hughes de Courson, Breton harpist Alan Stivelland the Grammy nominated Afro CeltsEmer is currently working with Uilleann Piper Mick O’ Brien and Fiddle player Aoife Ní Bhriain exploring and recording tunes from the Goodman Manuscripts collected in Munster in the 1880s. A CD of this music has just been completed.

EmerMayock Image 2Speaking about the upcoming residency, facilitator Emer commented The residency offers the lucky participants a period of intense musical education both on a practical and creative level. They will have the opportunity to explore the area of ensemble playing and will learn to work with other musicians while also availing of individual one to one tuition on their chosen instrument. The residency will take the participants on a journey that will lead them to a public performance at the end of six months, they will be involved in an integral way in every aspect of the event.”

This is one of a variety of music residencies being rolled out by Music Generation Mayo in 2013 with particular focus on the many talented young musicians that exist throughout the county, to enhance their current practice and support them into the future. “We are very fortunate to have access to high calibre tutors such as Emer in Co.Mayo and it will be an absolutely fantastic opportunity for the young people involved to avail of her skills and vast experience as a musician, performer and composer” said programme Co-ordinator Kate McKeon, “the skills they will learn are highly valuable in the development of young musicians with their sights set on professional careers in music performance and/or studying music at third level.”

 Please note this residency programme took place during Jan-July 2013, pictured below are the ensemble known as Gealóga and they continue to perform regularly.

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 Click here to watch Gealóga performing on the RTÉ Big Music Train in Oct 2013