Killavullen NS
Educating in a joyful, positive and secure setting

“Where words fail, Music speaks…..”       At any time of the school day, throughout the year, the corridors of Killavullen National School can be alive with the sound of music coming from our classrooms.  Our pupils thoroughly enjoy and derive great pleasure from the many musical activities we embrace.

Singing & Our Choir

For many of us, the memories of singing songs at school with our friends are very special and we ensure that our pupils have ample opportunity to express themselves through song.  As well as being an integral part of the music curriculum, song-singing is used across many curricular areas e.g. history, Gaeilge, maths as a means of teaching and learning. Music is a vehicle for excellent memory skills. Have you ever listened to a song for the first time in a long time and still remember the lyrics? Through catchy melodies and a variety of sounds, music has a way of “sticking” with us.

Our beautiful choir, led by Ms. Angland, regularly tunes up for various performances during the school year, some of which we’ve outlined below.

Cór Fhéile na Scol

We are regular participants in Cór Fhéile na Scol.   Cór Fhéile offers an opportunity for children to come and sing, play musical instruments, dance, recite poetry, perform pieces from musical theatre and perform gymnastic routines. The emphasis is on fun and participation and we have many treasured memories of practising and preparing our songs and taking the big trip to the magnificent City Hall in Cork city and experiencing the buzz and thrill of performing to a packed audience.  

Singing for Sacrament Celebrations and Mass

We are fortunate that our school is situated directly across the road from our Parish church, the Church of St. Nicholas.  Our children have the opportunity to attend mass during school time throughout the school year and to sing the appropriate parts of Mass under the guidance of Fr. Condon.  Of course for Sacramental Celebrations – Receiving Holy Communion for the First Time and the Sacrament of Confirmation – additional hymns are learnt to enhance the solemnity of these occasions. 

 

Scór na bPáistí

We are regular competitors in Scor na bPáistí which is a series of competitions for National School children organised by the GAA. It takes place in the first quarter of the year with progression through Parish, Area and Divisional finals to a County Final stage. There are individual and Group competitions and there is something for everyone. We strive to give our pupils the opportunity to perform and share what they’ve learned with an audience and our Halla is often host to a cabaret!

We participate in many categories of Scór each year, which gives our singers, musicians, dancers and reciters a chance to perform in a competitive but relaxed setting.

 

Christmas Performances

Our infant classes prepare and put on a Christmas play each year during which they entertain their audience with several songs, all sung with the sweetness and charm that only human beings of that age can display.

Our school choir has built up a huge repertoire of Christmas songs, carols and instrumental tunes that we proudly belt out for parents and the school community, just prior to the Christmas holidays each year; a sure event to stir up the excitement for the festive season for everyone!

Even Covid couldn’t stop our choir from singing!

 

Playing – Instruments

Tin-whistle

All of our children are taught tin-whistle from 1st class.  Often recommended as a gateway instrument, the tin-whistle is a great instrument to introduce and start learning the rudiments of music. It gives children a feel for music as well as enabling them to learn to read music and understand the rhythmic values of the notes.  With only a little help they can play simple tunes in no time, thus quickly building their confidence.

 

Private Music Lessons

The school owns a selection of instruments which are loaned to children for one year so they can learn the instrument on a trial basis and discover if they enjoy learning it, before committing to purchasing one themselves. We are fortunate to have a private music teacher, Ms Sheleen Glynn, who provides after school instrumental lessons.  Group or individual lessons are offered.  

 

Trad Group

Our trad group, made up of pupils with a special interest in playing trad music and 2+ years of playing under their belts, meet regularly to practise a few tunes together and are frequently called upon to perform at school events and community events.

A Note of Private Music Lessons

The school facilitates parents and children by making rooms available for activities outside of school hours conducted by private individuals who are Independent Contractors. These activities are not part of the school curriculum and are not regulated by the school which only provides facilities to enable these independent contractors and parents to make arrangements between themselves. Parents discharge any fees payable directly to the independent contractor who is responsible for all aspects of the service provided. Contractors have their own insurance. While the school makes every effort to facilitate all parties, neither the Board of Management of the school nor the trustees of the Parish can accept any liability whatsoever for any matter arising in connection with such activities or in neglect or default of any such independent contractor whatsoever.

Listening & Responding

For a number of years, we have been privileged and honoured to welcome a visiting international choir as part of the Cork International Choral Festival.  The choir performs for our pupils, teachers and guests in the next door, St. Nicholas’ Church.

Founded in 1954, the Cork International Choral Festival is held annually over the five days preceding the first Monday in May and  welcomes choirs from across the world for a programme of Gala concerts, Schools Concerts, National and International Competitions, and world-class performances.

Over the last three years, we have welcomed the UBC Choir (University of British Columbia, pictured above) from Canada, Haggemotecór from Sweden and the Addictio Chamber Choir from Finland (below).

This occasion presents a wonderful opportunity for our children to simply enjoy listening to a group of established singers fill the church with beautiful, spine-tingling song as well as allowing them to observe how a choir can sing with a unified voice, blend harmonies and achieve a range of dynamics, varied tempo and tone in their songs, under the direction of their choir master.

If you only look at one more thing before you leave the website today, make it one of the short videos below. The power of a choir of voices is simply breath-taking and, while nothing replicates being there, these videos give a sample of what we are treated to each year.

Afterwards, the choir holds a Q&A session where the children can ask questions about all things choir and music related.  Our visitors then join us in our Halla na Scoile for some refreshments and a chat and our own pupils get their chance to play a few tunes or sing. 

It’s one of the musical highlights of our school year and one we hope to continue for many years to come!

Listening to Each Other 

An important part of music education and activities is learning to listen to each other and develop a musical vocabulary to describe what one is hearing.  Our children frequently compose their own pieces of music be it a melody, song, rhythmic piece, tin-whistle tune, rap. Children either have free reign to compose something or are given a focus e.g. fast/slow tempo; a piece starting soft but getting louder.  Composing musical pieces is also an activity that we integrate with other subjects e.g. composing a jingle for an advertisement or creating a rap of something they have learnt in science.  

 

Listening Strand

 

Dabbledoo, the online resource that our teachers use to teach the subject of music have an exciting range of music for listening exercises, through which the children learn to listen and respond to environmental, vocal, percussion and instrumental sounds as well as develop an appreciation and understanding of the various genres of music – classical, Irish, contemporary, instrumental, music from the movies etc.  

We also listen to music simply for the pleasure of it and often throw on a piece while the children are engaged in a visual art activity or simply having a couple of minutes of relaxation time.