County Wicklow residents aged 55 and over are invited to pick up instruments they used to play and start playing again with the help of Making Music with The Rossana Trio: the Wicklow Teaching Residency, a partnership between Wicklow County Arts Office and Music Network.
The project is focused on helping participants return to playing an instrument and sharing the joy of group music-making. It provides participants with free tuition from professional musicians, access to instruments for the duration of the programme and opportunities to connect and learn with other budding musicians along the way.
This year’s participants will receive tuition on uilleann pipes, whistle, flute, violin/fiddle or bodhrán with The Rossana Trio, comprising renowned musicians Mark Redmond (uilleann pipes, whistles, flute), Lynda O’Connor (violin/fiddle) and Robbie Walsh (bodhrán).
The project will run from November 2023 to April 2024. Participants will receive eight one-to-one lessons and three group lessons with others playing the same instrument. The project will conclude with three large ensemble sessions, where all participants will join together with the professional musicians to play music learned during the project. As well as playing together, participants will meet for coffee sessions and chats on wide-ranging musical topics and more.
Mary Walsh, a previous participant in the project, spoke about her experience of returning to playing an instrument through the residency: “I really loved the course and am so glad that I took that first step of applying…I think after the ripe old age of 65, you tend to lose a lot of your confidence in your musical ability, and I can truly say this project has brought my love for music back to life again.”
Applicants must be aged 55 or over, resident in County Wicklow, and have some previous experience of playing music. Some experience of reading music is welcomed but not essential. The project will be based at Wicklow County Campus, Clermont House, Newrath, Rathnew, Co. Wicklow.
Commenting on the announcement, CEO of Music Network Sharon Rollston said: “We are thrilled to announce the call out for this our third Wicklow Teaching Residency in partnership with Wicklow County Arts Office. Following on from the previous residencies, we’re delighted to be able to give even more people the opportunity to rekindle their love of learning and playing music. We warmly welcome Mark, Lynda and Robbie on board, who we know will guide and inspire participants with their vast musical knowledge and expertise.”
Wicklow County Arts Officer, Jenny Sherwin said: “Drawing on the musical backgrounds of ensemble-in-residence, The Rossana Trio, the tuition programme will offer participants the opportunity to explore music across the classical, folk, pop and world music genres.”
Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Aoife Flynn-Kennedy, said: “Wicklow County the Council’s County Development plan is committed to making provision for the county as an ‘Age Friendly’ region. This Music Residency is a good example of a series of actions the County Council will take to fulfil this commitment over the course of the Plan 2022 – 2028.”
Places on the residency are limited to 15 and priority will be given on a first come first served basis.
Participants must be available on all project dates; a full list of dates is available on Music Network’s website. While the preference is for in-person events wherever possible, individual lessons can take place via video call if necessary, in which case we will provide technical support to enable online learning.
You can find out more about the project and apply to take part online at www.musicnetwork.ie or by calling Sarah Ledwidge on 01 475 0224.
The closing date for applications for Making Music with The Rossana Trio: the Wicklow Teaching Residency is Wednesday 1 November 2023 at 2pm.
The Wicklow Teaching Residency is presented by Wicklow County Council Arts Office and Music Network. This initiative is funded by Creative Ireland.