I’d love to tell you a bit about myself, and share some of my music with you!
I’ve lived in various places, but home is in the wild and beautiful Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal. I’ve always played music and written songs, I play a few instruments and continue to try to learn more! I believe in teaching and sharing music and creativity in a way that goes beyond competition or grades. I hope to impart a love of music – something that will stay with us forever, and a true belief that music and creativity is in us all. That’s the stuff that will get us through the hard times, help us be more mindful of each other, and bolster our self awareness, self acceptance, confidence and our wellbeing in the process. Music is magic, and it’s there for us all.
I started working with children in a community music setting over 12 years ago – first with early yrs classes and later with older children for group guitar and group singing. We do everything from performing, writing, recording and playing guitar & ukulele. I also partner with groups all over Donegal/Derry & beyond – some of my partners have included The Playhouse Theatre, Derry, Carnegie Hall, ETB (Educational & Training Board), Inishowen Development Partnership, Creative Ireland, Donegal County Council & Library, Cruinniú na nÓg, as well as family centres, schools and specialist groups. I work with every age group – from babies to teens and right through the generations through our massive choir of ages and other community endeavours.
In the past few years as those first music babies became teenagers, I saw so starkly how much they needed their creativity to guide them through those turbulent years. As covid took hold, I saw that us adults needed it every bit as much as they did. Especially when you look at how many of our citizens fall through the cracks of benefitting from activities likes sports, whether through choice or ability. We need to make sure that we’re all supported to create and grow and be part of something helpful and enjoyable, whether it’s football or songwriting. We all need that outlet, we all deserve to belong somewhere. Music fires every part of our brain and being, the benefits are huge and the rewards are endless. Now more than ever, it’s what we need.
I turned to Music for wellbeing more and more over covid, and found a home among the Social Emotional Learning community, who so beautifully articulated what I’d been trying to achieve in my classes. I’m developing projects around Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and Songwriting programs for adults as well as children, to remember, respect and retell their stories. I studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in their Group and Community Music Diploma (distinction ahem..). I brought nature into the fold through the Leave No Trace programme, writing a music based on their principles and becoming a Leave No Trace Trainer. Despite missing our amazing Choir of Ages, I found a way to connect with every age through ‘Sing Strong’ training – a singing programme designed to help those struggling with COPD, Pulmonary Fibrosis and other breathing related illnesses. The benefits can extend to all singing groups through carefully designed exercises.
If you take a browse through the pages on this site, you’ll find all the goods on how I incorporate music into every part of the community, and how you can too – whether it’s at a class or workshop, a school, your workplace, online or in your spare time. There’s also plenty of information on The Music Box music school, the wonderful Carnegie Hall collaboration – The Lullaby Project, the story of our amazing Inishowen Choir of Ages, and of course some of my own songs too. All of these are stories still being written, and growing and changing all the time…..I hope to meet you along the journey.
Have a wee look around, and get in touch if you’d like to chat about anything at all!