Tuning Up

Tuning Up is part of Cork County Council’s Arts in Schools Programme and is organised and managed by West Cork Music. It is part funded by the Arts Council

October – January annually

Tuning Up is a music-in-schools programme which aims to bring students face-to-face with the best Irish performers of the baroque, classical, modern and traditional repertoire. Tuning Up complements the music curriculum at primary and post-primary level. It is concerned wtih broadening the young person’s experience of music, encouraging a sense of exploration and engagement with music in a positive interactive environment.

Tuning Up enables schools to apply for a workshop visit by a professional music ensemble such as a String Quartet, Brass or Wind Quintet, Baroque ensemble or traditional music group. It gives young people an opportunity to experience live music performance at first hand, to learn about the various elements of music and how these combine to create a musical composition, to engage in discussion with musicians and to actively participate in a music performance.

Our Tuning Up programme takes place from October through to January every year.

What the Musicians Say


“Arriving at each new school is like jumping into unknown territory, and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of having to gear each concert and workshop towards whatever group of students you may find sitting in front of you…from junior infant kids to leaving-cert students, from small classroom of 10 to gym hall.  Being able to pass on our knowledge and love of Baroque music to the next generation is priceless, and what I love the most is the honesty of their reactions, fantastically imaginative questions and their ability to leave us smiling for the rest of the day!” – Kate Hearne, baroque cellist/recorder player

“These workshops focus on bringing live chamber music performances directly in the classroom of schools throughout the country, some particularly small schools in remote areas of Cork.  This direct exposure to music is absolutely vital in every child’s development and the effect of such close proximity to live music has a powerful lasting impact that cannot be underestimated.  IT has been a tremendously satisfying experience for us and we continue to be inspired by our experiences performing in these schools.” – Sarah McMahon, Callino Quartet

“Very well planned and delivered tours, organised by West Cork Music, has enabled us to play for hundreds of school children all over the county…” – Eoghan Kelly, Irish Brass Ensemble

What the Teachers Say


“The quartet made the songs and pieces come alive for the children.  They used simple, clear explanations about the various pieces and musical elements.  The quartet covered the strands – “Listening and responding to music” and “performing.”  The highlights of the performance was when some pupils were invited to conduct the quartet.  The quartet finished by performing the theme tunes from The Simpsons and Mama Mia.” – Ms Lawlee, 1st Class Teacher, Convent Primary School, Mallow

“The workshop was a huge success.  The music was interesting and varied and perfect for 2nd level students.  The interaction between the quartet and the students was great.” – Maura McAuliffe, St Mary’s Secondary School, Mallow

“The visit of the Carducci Quartet was an outstanding success with our pupils.  The repertoire was very imaginative and well chosen and the pupil’s interest was held right throughout (never an easy task with 11 and 12 year old boys).” – Pat Fitzgerald, Midleton CBS Primary School

“We have found great support and validity in the interaction between our students and the professional musicians of the Tuning Up programme.” – Carol Daly, Príomh Oide, County Cork School of Music

“The programme offers students the  opportunity to experience the musical journey from composition through to performance in a real and interactive way.” – Mary O’Donovan, Director, West Cork Education Centre

Tuning-Up is part of Cork County Council’s Arts in Schools Programme and is organised and managed by West Cork Music. Tuning-Up is part funded by the Arts Council/An Comhairle Ealaíon