There have been fresh calls for a music school in Galway City, where over ninety percent of children have no access to formal music learning.
The need for a music school was discussed at a recent public meeting hosted by Maoin Cheoil na Gaillimhe which brought together elected representatives, parents, music students, educators and stakeholders.
Hildergarde Naughton TD said that all the stakeholders must come together to formulate precise and achievable plans for a school of music.
“With Galway being the Capital of Culture in 2020 there is an opportunity to achieve such a school as one of it’s lasting legacies. I am committed to working towards that aim,” said the Galway West TD and singer.
Eamon Ó Cuív also called for a new music school, said there would be a unified political front and a meeting of the interested parties to develop a strategic plan that can be presented to government.
Principal of Maoin Cheoil na Gaillimhe, Hugh Kelly said that this discussion has been brought up year after year, it has been sitting in the Galway City Development plan for more than a decade yet no formal progress is yet visible.
“With a population under 18 of somewhere in the region of 16,000 young people and growing, the need for long term planning is paramount. The GRETB collated figures last year of music provision in the city and arrived at a total of about 9%,” he said.
“This means that 91 children in every hundred currently do not have access to music learning. That leaves us with a figure of about 14,500 children with no access to formal music education.
“Even if the figures were twice as good and 18% had access, it falls so very short of what is considered acceptable for a modern urban city that wishes to be seen as a cultural capital.”
The event on Friday opened with a fantastic recital performed by some of Galway city’s exceptional award-winning music students Oisín Kerans (18), Amara Debiasa (10 yrs), Gordon O’Connor, Laoise McMullin; followed by an ensemble of Maoin Cheoil na Gaillmhe teachers orginating from Hungary, USA, UK and Ireland including Dr. Ramin Haghjoo, David Clarke, Hugh Kelly, Principal, Maoin Cheoil na Gaillimhe, David Szabo, Gergely Kuklis and Robert Solyom.