DIT project leads to first ever collaboration between a school band and the National Symphony Orchestra

The first ever collaboration between a school band and the National Symphony Orchestra took place recently. As part of the Dublin Institute of Technology's Wind Band Project, St Joseph's Primary School and Ballymun Comprehensive performed with the Orchestra in the National Concert Hall under the baton of Conductor Gearoid Grant. The school bands will play three further concerts - two in February and one in March - as part of the Irish Times 'Music in the Classroom Series'

DIT's Wind Band Project has been running in St Joseph's Primary School in Ballymun for over a year and a half. As part of the Project all of St Joseph's 600 students are exposed to instrumental music making, which begins with recorder lessons in 1st class. This continues all the way through to their final year and is the backbone of the Wind Band initiative, which requires constant and considerable support from the teaching staff. From these lessons 40 students are then chosen to form a band that comprises an extensive range of Wind, Brass and Percussion instruments.

Participation in the Project benefits the students in a variety of ways and impacts on their development on a number of different levels. Reading music teaches the students to recognise patterns both aurally and visually from an early age. The actual playing of the instrument requires co-ordination of the intellect, the ear and the body and develops the memory. Students also develop discipline, social skills and responsibility through their participation in the project.

The Wind Band Project is part of the DIT's Community Links Programme, which aims to address disadvantage in both Dublin Inner City areas, and to an increasing degree, disadvantage in rural areas.

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