The Commons Old School of Music was recently formed with the intention of promoting music in the area. The Commons and surrounding villages were always renowned for their music and dance tradition and it is our hope that we can develop this tradition by promoting our Music School throughout the county.
The Old School of Music was established as a result of a Musical Celebration for one of our noted Musicians who attended the school as a schoolboy. His name was Roundy Lawlor, an All Ireland Bodhran player, and he was commemorated on his 90th birthday. The village celebrated his wonderful musical life by having a musicians get together and on the night over 30 musicians from all over the county and from neighbouring counties played in his honour.
The night was such a success it aroused interest especially in the young people in traditional music. It was decided to start up music classes because we were not aware of any group music classes available to pupils within a 30km radius. It was also decided that we would try our best to provide these classes for people at a minimum charge.
Our music lessons start in September of each year and we offer group classes in guitar, tin whistle, banjo and bodhran and accordion to all ages at a charge of €5 per lesson. Our classes fill up quickly with people travelling from the surrounding parishes of Mullinahone, Drangan, Killenaule and Gortnahoe to join musicians from our own parish. These numbers have been maintained since we first started and this is due to the expert teaching by our tutors Martina Bowe McGarry, Ger Healy , Billy O’Brien and to the relaxed and enjoyable classes we offer.
We have in house concerts during the year to showcase the progression of the pupils musical talents and as a celebration to thank parents for their support and commitment. Some of these parents travel a round trip of up to 30 km in order for their children to attend a class.
Dance classes are also offered to young children on Friday evenings at 5pm. The younger members of families from the locality are displaying the talents of generations through these dance classes by Michael Cooney who is now teaching steps to children of his former students. These classes are like a family tradition for some people.
All the above classes will resume again in September and all age groups are welcome.