Ukulele Le Chéile
Ukulele Le Chéile was a collaboration between Ballymoney National School in Ballineen, Kilgarriffe National School in Clonakilty and St. Multose National School in Kinsale. The three schools formed a two year creative cluster based on developing music in the schools. They each received a grant of €2,500 per year for two years. The money was be used to purchase ukuleles for the pupils, to fund ukulele lessons and to fund musicians to visit the three schools to perform for them. This initiative was led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills.
While the pupils were waiting for their lessons to begin after Christmas, they had great fun during art class decorating and personalising their ukuleles.
In September 2021, our lessons finally began with our inspirational ukulele teacher, Christine Deady. She taught us lessons every week for the full school year. In December we had an outdoor concert with Christine and Deirdre Archbold. We all wrapped up well and brought blankets for our legs and got treated to hot chocolate while we enjoyed the concert.
In February 2022, each school in our creative cluster made a video about our schools and performed a ukulele concert for the other schools. It was our first public performance and we gained so much confidence from it.
The highlight of our Ukulele le Chéile project was in May when we went on a school tour to Inchydoney Beach for a Creativity Day with the other schools. We began the day performing a live concert for the other schools. Each school composed their own songs on the theme of climate change. We then had time to build sand sculptures on the beach and to admire each others' sculptures. The day ended with a concert in the amphitheatre with 'Rawney and the Monks'. It was most pupils' first experience of a real live concert and they absolutely loved it!
We performed the song that we composed called 'Our Climate' in front of our whole school community at our End of Year Assembly and our parents were very impressed. This year we have been accepted into the Creative Schools Programme which provides funding for developing creativity in our school. We have dreams of recording a podcast of our song and uploading it to Spotify so that a larger audience can hear our message on how to prevent climate change, watch this space!