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Mind The Gap’s ‘Music Changes Lives’ Begins Jan 5th
04 Jan 2010 :
Joanna Crooks
Mind the Gap Productions’ new project, ‘Music Changes Lives’, is a four-part observational documentary series about the transformative power of music. The series will start on Tuesday, January 5th.

St Agnes in Crumlin and St Ultan's in Cherry Orchard have worked to implement a music tuition programme in their schools. Three years ago Joanna Crookes, the former administrator of the National Youth Orchestra, offered her services on a voluntary basis to the DEIS-designated St. Agnes School in Crumlin whereby she implemented, with the aid of grants, donations and bursaries, an innovative music programme based on the Venezuelan model El Sistema which gives each child in the school a half hour of music tuition per week. Following the success of the programme St. Ultan’s School in Cherry Orchard have since followed suit.

‘Music Changes Lives’ examines this system of teaching through music and its possible benefits through interviews with school principal, Sr. Bernadette, music teacher Joanna Crooks and a look at some of the students from both schools who are taking advantage of the music lessons.

The series is directed by Mike Casey (Des Bishop: Joy in the Hood) and produced by Bill Hughes (Happy Birthday Oscar Wilde). Bernadine Carragher (Messenger Boy: Christie Hennessy) is the project’s executive producer and the editor is Eamonn Little (Red Mist).

Bill Hughes tells IFTN “In this series, our aim was to get a very real sense of the hard work and effort put in by these special pupils and their families as they took on the challenge of learning to play an instrument and also the selfless commitment of the Principals and music teachers involved in this groundbreaking project. For this observational documentary series we had to gain the trust of everyone involved, in order to reveal the true reality of the children’s lives. We wanted to ask the question – why is this music programme, which is clearly of enormous benefit for those involved, dependent on the generosity of teachers and local sponsors?"

‘Music Changes Lives’ will screen on RTÉ1 at 10.15pm on Tuesday, January 5th.



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