School of Music
Mountrath and District has a strong history and culture of music and music making. With the level of interest in the town in learning to play different instruments, it was difficult to know why there was no music club in the town, though many were getting lessons often travelling as far as Portlaoise. A shortage of instruments and the expense of purchasing an instrument that may be discarded
after the novelty wore off were obstacles many encountered so the Community Forum proposed creating a library of instruments that could be – try before you buy as it were. This also provided an opportunity to music students to develop their genuine interest in learning the more expensive instruments.
We provided a grant not only for the instruments but to also guarantee the payments due to the tutors so that the 10 week block courses could get started quickly. Success was fast and three tutors teaching instruments quickly grew to 5 teaching six instruments to individuals and groups of eight. There are lessons in tin whistle, violin, guitar, flute, accordion and bodhran, a healthy mix of music. Enrollment has grown to 70 students and we expect that number to grow again when the school moves to it’s suite of rooms in the convent. What a magnificent achievement in such as short time, we can’t wait to have full orchestra setting the tone for the town.