The Donegal Music Education Partnership (DMEP) provides instrumental/vocal tuition in all genres of music (classical, jazz, traditional, rock/pop) at reasonable rates to children and young adults. We can also hire out instruments. Pupils of the DMEP can join an ensemble or choir to help develop their musical and social skills.
One of the guiding principles of the DMEP is that music has the potential to make a vital contribution to all our lives. Learning to play an instrument or singing in a choir helps to build your confidence, develops your creativity, shows the value of discipline and builds social skills.
Group and individual tuition is offered in a range of instruments with the timing of lessons being largely during after school hours and on Saturdays. This tuition is largely held in the network of schools, colleges and centres operated by our parent organisation, Donegal Education and Training Board. Some of our main performing groups are based in Letterkenny, and we have junior choirs based in Dungloe and Carrick. We try and facilitate music tuition in all areas of the county.
We’re a busy organisation!
We have more than thirty tutors on the books, mostly part-time. The conductor and composer Vincent Kennedy from Dublin is the conductor of our Donegal Youth Orchestra. During the year we’ll organise many concerts, performances, examinations, masterclasses and more, in partnership with the wider music and arts community on the island of Ireland. In 2016, for instance, we had the Donegal Youth Choir singing in a major RTE concert in Dublin; the Donegal Youth Orchestra and a string section in a sell-out Earagail Arts concert in An Grianan theatre in Letterkenny; and a ‘Soundwaves’ group performing in Glasgow at a world conference. And we helped to organise a group of young musicians playing on the gig rig at the All-Ireland fleadh in Ennis. (And all that’s not the half of it!)
Music is important first and foremost because – it’s music! From a traditional slow air to a Beethoven symphony, there’s nothing like music 🙂 Research is also coming up with more and more reasons to learn music. Musical training helps to develop language and reasoning, shows the value of discipline and helps with social skills. Students who have early music training will develop areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. And on it goes!
You can read more about the benefits of music education in this great article by the National Association for Music Education.