Sunday 25 August 2019

'Beethoven will just have to take his place with Kurt Cobain and Hozier'

Craig Wynne, Director of the Academy of Modern Music, with budding musicians Alana Flood on piano and Charlotte Clinton-Murray on guitar. Photo: Mark Condren
Craig Wynne, Director of the Academy of Modern Music, with budding musicians Alana Flood on piano and Charlotte Clinton-Murray on guitar. Photo: Mark Condren

It's a case of Roll Over Beethoven and move in Metallica, Nirvana, Elvis, Adele and Coldplay at the Academy of Modern Music in Terenure, Dublin.

Music Generation has not yet hit this city suburb, but the academy is filling a gap for children who studied a musical instrument and then gave up.

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Sometimes early enthusiasm turns to apathy because, in the first instance, Beethoven and Chopin don't always enthral the young and, secondly, there's nothing to tell you how good you are at the end of the year.

Craig Wynne, whose life's work is making sure Ireland continues to produce talented musicians, has found a way of encouraging them to stick to their task and not waste their natural talent.

His Academy of Modern Music will do two things for aspiring musicians: teach them what they want to learn as opposed to what others want them to learn, while a new exam and grading system aims to keep them focussed.

"Between learning through music they know and knowing that their efforts will be recognised through the awarding of grades, this new approach is already proving to be successful," says Wynne.

"We won't be ditching Beethoven, he'll just have to take his place with Kurt Cobain, Hozier, David Guetta and other contemporary singers, musicians and composers. I've already found that the children and teenagers coming to us for lessons are more enthusiastic learning the music they like as opposed to the music that, maybe, their parents like.

"Learning about Beethoven alongside songs by Amy Whitehouse and Guns N' Roses puts a context on it for young learners. And it keeps them interested."

And, he says, "the grade system allows the students to keep track of their progress and to take pride in a tangible achievement".

Students anywhere in the country can ask their teachers about the academy and how to register or they can log on to academyofmodernmusic.ie.

Irish Independent

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