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Primary Ensemble Project

Providing opportunities for musical growth

Primary Ensemble Project

Do you have an instrumental programme in your primary school?

Would you like to develop and improve your school ensemble?

Would you like to perform with other school ensembles in the National Concert Hall?

What is the Primary Ensemble Project?

National Concert Hall Education, Community and Outreach and RIAM Outreach, are launching an exciting and innovative programme for primary schools that have existing ensemble programmes.

Aimed at developing key areas of early ensemble playing in a vibrant and holistic programme, RIAM specialist tutors will visit schools in early 2017 to lead two engaging and participative workshops. During these workshops, the tutors will help the schools’ young musicians to develop aural and technical skills alongside ensemble performance and improvisation techniques.

Following these workshops, on 27 April, the ensembles will meet in the National Concert Hall and play with the other participating schools in our collaborative Performance Day. Family and friends can come along to hear your ensemble on Ireland’s most prestigious stage, in what promises to be a performance not to be missed!

What is the rationale for the project?

The project aims to support developing ensembles in primary schools. It is aimed initially at primary schools in the earlier stages of school ensemble playing, and aims to complement the existing work of the school and / or music teachers. It is hoped and anticipated that both the children and the schoolteachers will benefit from the interaction with the RIAM tutors through the collaborative experience of sharing of best practice.

The Performance Day will offer the schools the opportunity to play together, learn from each other, share teaching resources, and experience the empowering effect of performance on the stage of the National Concert Hall.

What is the structure of the project?

Workshop Phase (January – March 2017)
The workshop phase consists of two visits to each of the participating schools. Both of these two hour workshops will be facilitated by the Project Academic Coordinator and a tutor from the RIAM.

Workshop 1
  • Rhythm and tuning games.
  • Playing as a group.
  • Prepared piece practice.

Workshop 2

  • Ensemble development.
  • Improvising together.
  • Performance preparation.

The ensembles will work on one piece to be performed by their ensemble only, and one piece to be performed in collaboration with one of the other participating schools.

Collaborative Performance Day – 27 April 2017

The Performance Day is an opportunity to showcase the schools’ work, and to meet and perform with other participating schools. The day will consist of individual workshop / rehearsal preparation, a rehearsal with the collaborating school, followed by a performance on the main stage of the National Concert Hall. Friends, family and schoolmates will all be invited to the performance.

How does my school apply to be part of the project?

The deadline has now passed; we will be in touch will all applicants in the New Year.

There is no cost to the schools to participate in this programme but as this is the initial phase of the project, numbers of participating schools are limited.


If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us at education@nch.ie.