Ukulele le Chéile
In 2020, we secured funding for an initiative called Creative Clusters. We are in a ‘cluster’ with two other schools; Kilgarriffe N.S. in Clonakilty and Ballymoney N.S. near Enniskeane. Our cluster decided to develop a programme around the arts. The teachers identified music as a subject which would potentially benefit from some input. The staff devised a survey on ‘Survey Monkey’ and children from all three schools gave their feedback about their experiences of the arts in school: visual arts, drama and music. This feedback helped to form the vision for our project, which has become known as Ukulele le Chéile. We have bought a set of Ukuleles for each school and the children have decorated them beautifully. Covid-19 had put a stop to our gallop. However, we are now back on track and looking forward to our next step; the beginning of lessons on Thursday 23rd September 2021. These will be facilitated by a very talented singer, song-writer and music teacher from Clonakilty called Christine Deady. This term, the children in Ms Kingston’s room and in Ms Helen’s room will begin to learn the Ukulele and begin to get creative. The children will be encouraged to bring their ukuleles home and to enjoy playing about on them. In the Spring term, we hope that the children will perform over Zoom for the pupils in the other two schools and also become the ‘audience’ for their performances. In the summer term, we are hoping to embody the name ‘Ukulele le Chéile’ and get together in various outdoor locations and jam together, children from all three schools.
We plan to document the different stages of the journey through photographs, audio recordings, written feedback and examples. Watch this space! Towards the end of the process, the children will participate in an evaluation of the programme in the form of a survey. This will help to formulate and update our arts policies in each of the schools. The children will take a central role in the development, implementation and evaluation of this project. Opportunity will be given to the children to learn a new instrument but more importantly to express themselves using it. The children will be encouraged to experiment, be creative, work with their peers, write music, draft and re-draft pieces they compose, sing, accompany with other instruments, perform for classmates, parents, school assemblies and hopefully perform for a wider audience including members from the other schools within the cluster.
Ní neart go cur Ukulele le Chéile!
There is no strength without unity!