We’re Staying Hybrid, Come What May!!

Early yrs Music & Movement, Group Singing/Music & Guitar Academy will remain as hybrid classes even when restrictions are lifted as we’ve really found our sea legs in the world of zoom classes and taken the opportunity to embrace this new experience!! So we’re now officially world wide!

This is such a great decision for our students as we hopefully head back to less restrictions in the coming weeks. It means that the option is still there to work with us on zoom each week, and enjoy our group music classes no matter where you are in the world! We have been able to build our community of musical wonders in Boogie Bugs Music & Movement 3-6yrs, singers aged 4 – 15 and Guitar Academy beyond our locale, to welcome children from various parts of the country. We would be delighted to welcome you too, whether you hope to join in person at some stage, or create with us on zoom from your location!

Moving to virtual classes has been a great challenge for us all – but I decided it was important to take the leap and the children have really settled in so well. I look forward to sharing their company and music every week, sharing a bit of banter and an occasional show and tell 🙂

Materials are shared via email. Zoom links are sent via email or fb messenger/Whatsapp We’ve really found our groove and even managed to record a brilliant song before Christmas! Our singers have plans to record again before Summer. Local students will do so in person if possible, and remote students will do so electronically. Music & Movement children and guitarists will be recording with us too!

Early Years Music for 3-6yrs – Fun, inclusive and education

Our music classes have always been based on building a life long love of music and giving children the basis of a lifetime of learning – whether you sing, play or just enjoy! There is value in every kind of music so we explore as many eras and genres as possible. We foster confidence and inclusion and put great emphisis on class support and comeraderie – we’re all working at our own levels but as long as we’re progressing – that’s ok (and we are!).

I spent some time at the Old Town School of Folk Music when I lived in Chicago and was taught by the legend Dinny Mc Laughlin here in Inishowen as a child. Both experiences gifted me a great love of live music, of participation at every level of experience, and the knowledge that music is a gift that never stops giving!

And so, we are delighted to throw our doors open to you – Music is so good for us in so many ways, and of course the mental health benefits and the opportunity to meet up with other kids weekly have never been more important. I’m so happy we will be here for you no matter where you are, whatever happens!

Feel free to get in touch any time if you have questions about joining our classes. http://www.facebook.com/themusicboxschool or email themusicboxireland@gmail.com

Current classses are:

Boogie Bugs Music & Movement 3-6yrs – Wednesdays at 4pm

Group Singing 5-15yrs – Wednesdays at 5pm

Guitar Academy (previous experience only at the moment) – Thursdays at 6pm

Creating, responding, connecting…what music class looks like in a virtual world

We’ve all been thrust into a new existance overnight – unprepared, unsure and sometimes hanging on by a thread! One of the last things we have come to accept is that we cannot expect the same outcomes and experiences as we had when we met in person. Whether it’s music, meetings, work, school or any other real life endeavour that we are undertaking virually.

The transition to working and creating online has been a steep learning curve, so accepting that the outcomes as well as the experience will be different is a really healthy goal! The outcomes are not ‘less’, they are just ‘different’.

Specifically for our experience playing music, singing and working through all the fun and educational benefits of our early years music, not being physically together is challenging. There are mechanical elements to breathing and posture in singing, to holding guitars and making chords correctly, and following the actions of new songs and activities. In person, we could discuss more deeply, working around the group from person to person to see up close who is stuck, who is struggling, who is thriving this week. In our virual classroom, being singled out can seem more exposing, struggling with new material can be harder – even keeping your camera on can be uncomfortable. That’s all ok – we can work around it all!

When I started moving various workshops online, I was so unsure it would work. I was reminded by the first group hiring me to run my songwriting workshops online that this is new to us all – we are all trying and failing and suceeding as we move through the process. We need to remember our goals and outcomes cannot be the same now. For me those goals have become about creating, responding and creating with the children in my classes. Keeping music in their lives. Moving forward in our progress without pressure, keeping confidence growing, responding to the awkardness and difficulty children are dealing with as they too are propelled into this virual reality.

We start back to classes this week, and though I’m always anxious to see results, to perform, to make plans and record and schedule concerts and push the children to test their own limits, I will remember that I have three main responsibilities this season – Create – Respond – Connect. I think if we manage that we will be in good shape when we come out the other side.

Pls get in touch with any questions! themusicboxireland@gmail.com or http://www.facebook.com/themusicboxschool

Be safe out there!

Bernie xxx

Singing/Music for 6-14yrs Online! Jan ’21


We are delighted to be able to continue some of our classes online from JANUARY 12th. Having done some great work and recording before Christmas, a couple of our classes have undergone a bit of a redesign to get the most benefit and enjoyment from this online platform. We are also delighted to open the doors to new as well as returning students. Join us for a great season of song and music exploration. A perfect way to bring the joy of music to your home ❤

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Taking part in classes via Zoom can seem daunting to begin with, but you will very quickly settle in to our relaxed and supportive atmosphere. These are new experiences for us all, but the gifts of the arts to our educational, social and mental well being are well worth the effort. ❤

GROUP SINGING/MUSIC: Our Singing group for ages 6 – 14 is themed this year to give us something to celebrate each week! Working and doing school work at home can be tough, so we’ve decided to keep things positive! Focussing on uplifting, fun, upbeat and inspiring songs, we’ll sing our hearts out celebrating life and our own amazing selves! As always, lessons will include singing & breathing techniques, group work, collaboration, solo work and harmony. We hope to fit in another recording later this year depending on restrictions, and have decided on the really empowering song ‘The Power in Me’, by Rebecca Lawerence, who is really looking forward to hearing our take on her song! We will also be looking at different music genre, musical terms and expression in our performance. We will look at other performers to explore these themes. This class is a combination of two previously in-person groups – The Music Box Singers & The Sliabh Sneacht Singers – but it also includes students from outside our immediate location – one of the perks of having classes online!! We welcome you all – it’s been a great opportunity to share songs together ❤

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SINGING SCHEDULE: Wednesdays 5pm

REGISTRATION/FEE PAYMENTS:

Registration couldn’t be easier – just pop me a message on our FB page – http://www.facebook.com/themusicboxschool OR use the contact form on our website OR email: themusicboxireland@gmail.com

Fee Payments – classes this term are charged as follows:

Guitar Academy – €5 per class – payable at the start of each month via PayPal or Revolut

Boogie Bugs Music & Movement – €5 per class – payable at the start of each month via PayPal or Revolut

Group Singing – €4 per class – payable at the start of each month via PayPal or Revolut

paypal.me/berniedohertymusic / Revolut 0863068655

ONLINE CLASSES LAST 45 MINUTES AND TAKE PLACE VIA ZOOM.

OUR CLASSES RUN THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL YEAR INCLUDING MID TERMS, BUT CLOSE FOR SUMMER & CHRISTMAS.

New Year Music Classes Resume Online!

We are delighted to be able to continue some of our classes online from JANUARY 12th. Having done some great work and recording before Christmas, a couple of our classes have undergone a bit of a redesign to get the most benefit and enjoyment from this online platform. We are also delighted to open the doors to new as well as returning students.

Taking part in classes via Zoom can seem daunting to begin with, but you will very quickly settle in to our relaxed and supportive atmosphere. These are new experiences for us all, but the gifts of the arts to our educational, social and mental well being are well worth the effort. ❤

GUITAR ACADEMY: Guitar classes will continue at a pace to suit each group, sourcing new material from students as well as myself – we have some good suggestions and requests in already! These classes will be a mix of new skills and songs taught, as well as individual work undertaken by each student. Classes currently are for students with some previous playing experience and we are happy to accept new or returning students with some guitar knowledge to our online community. For beginners in guitar or ukulele, pls see note below*.

GUITAR SCHEDULE: Advanced Guitar – Wednesdays 6pm. Improvers – Thursdays at 5pm.

BOOGIE BUGS EARLY YRS MUSIC & MOVEMENT 3-6YRS: This class has had some fun new elements added, as I’ve collaborated and trained over Christmas with collegues around the world working in the early years field. This class is a great mix of song and dance, educational games and activities and always contains my own original songs as well the work of others – there’s always something new and fun and it’s full of sound, colour and great songs, friendships and sounds.

BOOGIE BUGS SCHEDULE: Wednesdays at 4pm

GROUP SINGING: Our Singing group for ages 6 – 14 is themed this year to give us something to celebrate each week! Working and doing school work at home can be tough, so we’ve decided to keep things positive! Focussing on uplifting, fun, upbeat and inspiring songs, we’ll sing our hearts out celebrating life and our own amazing selves! As always, lessons will include singing & breathing techniques, group work, collaboration, solo work and harmony. We hope to fit in another recording later this year depending on restrictions, and have decided on the really empowering song ‘The Power in Me’, by Rebecca Lawerence, who is really looking forward to hearing our take on her song! This class is a combination of two previously in-person groups – The Music Box Singers & The Sliabh Sneacht Singers – but it also includes students from outside our immediate location – one of the perks of having classes online!! We welcome you all – it’s been a great opportunity to share songs together ❤

SINGING SCHEDULE: Wednesdays 5pm

*BEGINNER GUITAR/UKULELE – a list is in operation to assertain if these classes can begin on Zoom or will wait for in person sessions to resume. Please get in touch to add your name and we’ll let you know if these groups will progress.

REGISTRATION/FEE PAYMENTS:

Registration couldn’t be easier – just pop me a message on our FB page – http://www.facebook.com/themusicboxschool OR use the contact form on our website OR email: themusicboxireland@gmail.com

Fee Payments – classes this term are charged as follows:

Guitar Academy – €5 per class – payable at the start of each month via PayPal or Revolut

Boogie Bugs Music & Movement – €5 per class – payable at the start of each month via PayPal or Revolut

Group Singing – €4 per class – payable at the start of each month via PayPal or Revolut

paypal.me/berniedohertymusic / Revolut 0863068655

ONLINE CLASSES LAST 45 MINUTES AND TAKE PLACE VIA ZOOM.

OUR CLASSES RUN THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL YEAR INCLUDING MID TERMS, BUT CLOSE FOR SUMMER & CHRISTMAS.

Online Workshops in Singing or Songwriting for schools, clubs & workplaces.

Did you know that I frequently travel to schools, clubs and even workplaces to deliver workshops? Of course most of this is happening online now, but it’s still a great way to introduce music or new concepts and opportunities in music. I really do believe anyone can write a song, and I love getting the chance to show how achievable it is! From stand alone workshops, to a series of workshops run over a few weeks, these workshops are suitable from age 7 right through secondary school and beyond! They can really open your eyes to new possibilities and create a wonderful sense of challenge and achievement.

Singing is a great way to lift the spirits, and while we may have to wait a while for our group singing to come back – when it does we’ll be ready! Whether you’re working towards a particular event, or engaging in focussed work learning songs and improving technique – I can help you improve collaboration, increase comeraderie, introduce harmony and solos, and perhaps even consider a performance! Both the Songwriting and the Singing workshops are perfect for adults as well as children – the benefits of music don’t expire with age!

I’m happy to chat or answer any questions – so ask away!

Email: themusicboxireland@gmail.com. Facebook: The Music Box. Ph:0863068655

‘Christmastime Again’ – a timeless song and a special project for us!

Hi there,
I’m Delighted to share ‘Christmastime Again’ with you. You can view it any time at this link:

It’s a perfect Christmas song with a wonderful story in a year where we need all the cheer we can get!This song was written by two Buncrana men 40 years ago.  Neil Doherty & the late Colm Smith.  They have played music and sung and directed going back to the early showbands and throughout their lives were always involved in local music.  Colm was in the local Pantomime Orchestra and Neil was the director of it for decades.  Phil Coulter actually wrote the closing song for Buncrana’s panto during their tenure, a gorgeous song entitled ‘Best Wishes’.  


This song was recorded back when it was written, but then faded into history until Neil gave me one of his CD’s last year and mentioned there was an old Christmas song on it, I couldn’t believe how lovely it was and I taught it to lots of local children last year.  It was a special moment when Neil and his wife Helen came to hear it performed for the first time in decades.  The children were so proud.  


Despite covid, we were determined to bring it back to life, so with careful social distancing, children from our Community Music school – The Music Box,  recorded it this year with Derry producer Eamonn Karran. Local photographer Donal Kearney made a gorgeous video featuring old and and new Christmas photos from local residents as well as some beautiful local wintery scenes.  


It’s a real Christmas Card from Donegal, and the song is full of the spirit of Christmas for people everywhere with it’s lovely nostalgic sound and catchy chorus.Please make it part of your offerings this year, I really think it will be loved far and wide and spread some much needed warmth in a tough time.

ONLINE LESSONS!!

Beginning from TUESDAY 13th OCTOBER, all our MUSIC BOX classes will run using ZOOM for our live classes and a very easy wee app called SLACK for students to stay in touch, access notes etc. The IDP ran a great course recently offering help to move classes online, and I really feel having had a couple of weeks of in person classes, that we can progress online and maintain our wonderful sense of community as we do!

Boogie Bugs Music & Movement 3-6yrs

Singing/Music 6-14yrs

Guitar Academy Age 6+ – various levels.

We are DELIGHTED to welcome new students to Boogie Bugs 3-6yrs, Singing & Music AND Guitar Academy from anywhere!!!

TIMETABLE:

Wed 4.15, Boogie Bugs 3-6yrs

Wed 5.15, Singing & Music

Wed 6pm Advanced Guitar

Thur 5pm, Beginner Guitar

Thur 6pm, Intermediate Guitar

ONLINE PRICES: (via PayPal)

Singing & Music €4 Weekly**Guitar Academy €5 Weekly**Boogie Bugs $5 Weekly

HERE’S HOW IT’S GOING TO WORK!!

We can do all our work on ZOOM safely and it’s really simple – once we get the first week over, we’ll all be masters!  Classes will all run at their usual times (I know this will be tricky for kids in after schools, but maybe their carers will jump on board too!).  

Our classes will still run for 45 mins. If you want to join the online sessions, you can do so by paying weekly on Paypal, and I can then forward a zoom meeting link to you on FB or via email. Paypal address is:  paypal.me/berniedohertymusic – pls be sure to include your child’s name/class in the notes section of paypal.

In addition, I’ll also be asking you to download the SLACK app (pretty name!).  This is a really simple free app where I can share notes and classwork, where families and kids can stay in touch or ask me or each other questions if they’d like too. I’ll need your email address to add you to our Music Box Slack account so please send that on as soon as possible.  In Slack, each class has a link so it’s very easy to navigate and find the work related to your class.

I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to this, hopeful that after the school break, we can meet face to face and maybe even complete our Christmas project – but even if we can’t – I have a wonderful Spring Music & Video recording plan in place too don’t ya know!!

Get in touch with your questions!!

Chat soon,

Bernie xxx

http://www.facebook.com/themusicboxschool / themusicboxireland@gmail.com

http://www.themusicboxireland.com / http://www.berniedohertymusic.com

Whoa – somebody stop the rollercoaster!!

Well just like everyone else this year, here at The Music Box we’ve had start dates, close dates, likely dates and re-open dates! It’s definitely been quite the ride, but I’m ready to hop off now and settle into something that is sustainable, beneficial, positive and totally doable – ONLINE CLASSES!!

Beginning from TUESDAY 13th OCTOBER, all our MUSIC BOX classes will run using ZOOM for our live classes and a very easy wee app called SLACK for students to stay in touch, access notes etc. The IDP ran a great course recently offering help to move classes online, and I really feel having had a couple of weeks of in person classes, that we can progress online and maintain our wonderful sense of community as we do!

Boogie Bugs Music & Movement 3-6yrs

Singing/Music 6-14yrs

Guitar Academy Age 6+ – various levels.

We are DELIGHTED to welcome new students to Boogie Bugs 3-6yrs, Singing & Music AND Guitar Academy from anywhere!!!

TIMETABLE:

Wed 4.15, Boogie Bugs 3-6yrs

Wed 5.15, Singing & Music

Wed 6pm Advanced Guitar

Thur 5pm, Beginner Guitar

Thur 6pm, Intermediate Guitar

ONLINE PRICES: (via PayPal)

Singing & Music €4 Weekly**Guitar Academy €5 Weekly**Boogie Bugs $5 Weekly

HERE’S HOW IT’S GOING TO WORK!!

We can do all our work on ZOOM safely and it’s really simple – once we get the first week over, we’ll all be masters!  Classes will all run at their usual times (I know this will be tricky for kids in after schools, but maybe their carers will jump on board too!).  

Our classes will still run for 45 mins. If you want to join the online sessions, you can do so by paying weekly on Paypal, and I can then forward a zoom meeting link to you on FB or via email. Paypal address is:  paypal.me/berniedohertymusic – pls be sure to include your child’s name/class in the notes section of paypal.

In addition, I’ll also be asking you to download the SLACK app (pretty name!).  This is a really simple free app where I can share notes and classwork, where families and kids can stay in touch or ask me or each other questions if they’d like too. I’ll need your email address to add you to our Music Box Slack account so please send that on as soon as possible.  In Slack, each class has a link so it’s very easy to navigate and find the work related to your class.

I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to this, hopeful that after the school break, we can meet face to face and maybe even complete our Christmas project – but even if we can’t – I have a wonderful Spring Music & Video recording plan in place too don’t ya know!!

Get in touch with your questions!!

Chat soon,

Bernie xxx

http://www.facebook.com/themusicboxschool / themusicboxireland@gmail.com

http://www.themusicboxireland.com / http://www.berniedohertymusic.com

Music is Back!!

Well, it’s been a while, but we finally have a start date! Classes in person will start from Sept 14, and online classes start on Sept 7th!

I’ve been busy behind the scenes navigating safety plans and guidelines for a safe return to classes, and I’m so happy that we can recommence our classes and get back to some music. Deeeeelighted!!! Please check details and be sure to book as places must be limited and specific safety measures are in place for some classes, as well as slightly shorter times of 45 mins (30 mins for online).

**Paypal is available for anyone preferring that option: paypal.me/berniedohertymusic**

Our website has been updated so each class has it’s own page full of information and timetables regarding the classes you’re interested in. .

Some classes will be in person – Singing/Music, Guitar Academy & Boogie Bugs 3-6yrs (45 mins long) and some will be online – Boogie Bugs 0-3yrs (30 mins). As always, we will pay at the start of each month/block, and paypal will be available for online classes as well as in person if you prefer that. Please do get in touch with any questions you may have

Pls be sure to book – walk-ins will not be possible under covid-19 guidelines and room capacities etc. Timetable summary is below also!

Musical Independence!

Sounds intriguing…….

guitarsThis term most of our guitarists are selecting songs themselves – working on them at home and in class – working more towards becoming ‘performers’ and ‘independent’, rather than continually playing a prepared list of songs together.  My aim is that they will feel more in control of their music and their playing – and that ultimately one song will lead to another – one new chord or variation will lead to more new discoveries – tabs, power chords, bar chords – they’re all being incorporated already, and because it’s music chosen by them – they are more driven to work on them at home as well!

I am also encouraging everyone to sing while they play, in class as well as at home.  Many of our guitarists are singers, but in a ‘guitar class’ context, they can fall into that idea of only playing, rather than keeping both skills going together.  Not all our guitarists are singers, so that won’t suit everyone, but for many, it’s a confidence building exercise in a room of like minded children who share that ‘we’re all in this together’ view.

We’ll see where it goes – we’re, still working on a few group songs to make sure our learning is incorporating important ‘next steps’, but after just a couple of weeks of this additional element – it’s definitely paying off in terms of what I’m hearing the students play in class, and how much enjoyment they are getting from figuring out the songs themselves, and working with me on new chords, difficult stretches in the music and song choices.

Great start to the year guitarists ❤