Calling Musicians interested in developing or establishing a practice in Early Years Music

The four Dublin Local Authorities are collaborating to offer professional musicians an opportunity to develop their skills and understanding of music in the early years. There are three experiential CPD workshops to choose from and musicians can attend more than one.

Each CPD workshop offers a follow up opportunity to observe, and in some instances assist, an early years music specialist working in context with early years children. The four local authorities are offering a stipend to musicians selected to participate.

Professional Development Workshops

1. Music-making in Early Years with Thomas Johnston
Dates: Tuesday 4th of June and Wednesday 5th of June
Location: The Lab, Foley Street
Time: 10.15 am – 3.30 pm.  Lunch provided. 
10.15am – 11.30 am / coffee break / 11.45 am  –  1.15pm / lunch / 2 pm – 3.30 pm / Close

In this interactive early years music-making CPD workshop participants will explore a range of ways of incorporating meaningful music-making into young children’s everyday experiences. Participants can expect to gain insights into innovative approaches to music-making, learn new songs and musical activities, explore connections between music-making and the Aistear framework, and importantly, increase their confidence in facilitating music-making experiences with children.

Thomas will share his own approach to facilitating music-making workshops which includes:
i. developing aural awareness through listening play
ii. developing vocal awareness through song play
iii. developing kinaesthetic awareness through movement play
iv. exploring and experiencing instruments
v. multi-sensory musical experiences

2. Music-making in Early Years with Julie Tiernan
Date: Saturday 8th of June
Location: Draíocht, Blanchardstown
Time: 10.15 am – 3.30 pm.  Lunch provided. 
10.15 am – 11.30 am / coffee break / 11.45 am –  1.15 pm / lunch / 2 pm – 3.30 pm / Close

At the heart of this workshop lie the possibilities of creativity, trust and expression, leading to a shift in listening when working with 3-5 year olds through music. This workshop is framed by a desire to both challenge and be led by the children you work with. Participants will gain insight into Julie’s intergenerational work and child led pedagogy. On the day Julie will share how music can be used in a meaningful and authentic way to bring different generations together - in particular preschool and retirement ages, and offer insight into accessible lesson plans. Explore this inspiring and challenging approach in a safe environment facilitated by early years music specialist Julie Tiernan. If you play an instrument feel free to bring it with you. Be prepared to sing and move freely around the space.
Participants of this workshop will also be offered an opportunity to observe and shadow Julie on June 15th when she will deliver music workshops for early years children and families, in Draíocht Blanchardstown and Walkinstown Library, as part of the national Cruinniú na nÓg celebrations.  (See below).

Follow up Observation on Saturday 15th of June

CPD participants are invited to observe early years music specialists working in context with early years children. Musicians can request to attend any of the following: 

1. Creative Music Making with Julie Tiernan
A music workshop exploring some of the infinite possibilities of creative expression when we use our voice and imagination to celebrate selfhood and explore the world around us. Early years children and families will join Julie as she creates a wonderful world of magical encounters using song and musical activities that support creative development and wellbeing in early years children. A limited number of observation places will be open to musicians to observe Julie in action and reflect on practice in a follow up conversation.

Venue 1: Draíocht, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
Date/Times: Saturday 15th of June. 10.30am – 11.10am / 11.30am – 12.10pm
Duration: 30 minutes plus 10 minutes free play
Participants: early years children and their carers

Venue 2: Walkinstown  Library, Percy French Rd, Dublin 12
Date/Times: Saturday 15th of June.  3 pm – 3.40 pm
Duration: 30 minutes plus 10 minutes free play
Participants: early years children and their carers

2. Fergal is Fuming - Presented by The National Concert Hall and London Symphony Orchestra Ensemble
Location: National Concert Hall, Dublin City
Date: Saturday 15th of June. 
Times: 11 am and 12.30 pm
Duration: 30 minutes

A dragon with a short temper is not a good combination, as Fergal's family and friends soon find out. He burns the dinner, reduces the football goal to ashes and absolutely cannot play a nice, quiet board game. It is only when he starts to notice other animals have clever tricks to calm down that Fergal begins to win back his friends, especially when he discovers dragons can cool off in a very handy way.

Musicians of the CPD days are invited to book a place to observe the London Symphony Orchestra Ensemble as they deliver this musical storytelling Concert for early years children aged 0 -5 years in the NCH. Stories are brought to life by the instruments and the music creates a soundworld to accompany the narration. Presented by animateur Vanessa King the event will consist of two informal and participative concerts.

How To Apply:
Musicians are invited to submit a CV with two referees named and express an interest in writing and should include the following information in a one/two page word document for assessment by the four local authorities:
• An overview of your current music practice
• An overview of your experience of working with children in a music context
• A rationale articulating a need for support in this area of professional development
• The dates you are interested in attending stated clearly

Email submission only to:
Deadline: Friday 17th of May 2019

Queries can be submitted to:

Fingal Arts Office:   

Dublin City Arts Office:



Julie Tiernan is a community musician, researcher, songwriter, musician, performer, social justifier, educator, early years music facilitator, forest dweller and reflexive practitioner. Julie's work weaves through spaces and paths less travelled, often on the fringes of communities, bringing music making and the expectation of expression with her. Working as a community musician and researcher for 17 years, Julie has gained experience and expertise in working with groups of all ages in many diverse settings including ; Nomad, Irish Probation Services, Focus Ireland, Mental Health Arts, the University of Limerick, Boston University, The Learning Hub, Sound People, The Ark, Music Generation and Traveler training centers. Using music, technology and creative composition as vehicles of engagement Julie places participants at the heart of her work, and in turn is led by the needs and expressions of the people she encounters.

Thomas Johnston is a musician, educator, researcher, whose work lies in those spaces between Irish traditional music, performing arts for children and young audiences, community music, and music education practice and policy. He is Artistic Director of Ceol Connected, a company dedicated to promoting high quality and meaningful experiences of the traditional arts amongst children. He is also a researcher and lecturer in music education, Irish traditional music, ethnomusicology, and world popular music at DCU. Thomas has worked with organisations such the National Concert Hall, Common Ground, Music Network, Helium Arts, The Ark, and Early Childhood Ireland. He has worked with Helium Arts to develop ‘Pop Up Picnic’ -an interactive and immersive multi-sensory performance for children under three with complex needs. Other related work includes designing and facilitating professional development workshops for various early childhood care and education providers. As Artistic Director of Ceol Connected, Thomas produces Tradoodle Festival, Ireland's first traditional arts festival exclusively for young audiences. Ceol connected has also created and toured several traditional music and theatrical productions for young audiences; most recent production Return of Spring, toured nationally between January - April 2019 supported by the Arts Council.

This is an initiative of the four Dublin Local Authorities in partnership with The National Concert Hall, Draíocht, The Lab and funded by Creative Ireland Cruinniú na nÓg programme.