Image shown: Rath National School pupils sing at Skibbereen Day Care Centre. Photo credit: Anne Minihane.

Pupils of Rath National School

The ‘Advice to a Younger Generation Tour’ kicked off in December 2017 when Skibbereen Day Care hosted students from Rath National School and The Starling Band. Songs composed by residents of community hospitals and day care centres in West Cork over the last five years as part of The Starling Song Project are now being performed with local school children. The tour will run until early March 2019, visiting all the day care centres in the region. 

The Starling Song Project began in 2012 as part of West Cork’s Arts For Health Partnership Programme. Singer-songwriter Liz Clark collaborated with older residents on composing a series of original melodies.

The residents all took the time to tell me about their lives and the past. We wrote the songs together. I learned how best to spark a lively dialogue, not by asking outright for words of advice without a context, but to share some of my own and each week I came with a printout of old Irish sayings and adages. ‘ – Liz Clark

The words of wisdom and pieces of advice from participants in the many conversations that took place during the music sessions inspired the compositions. The tour aims to link up the generations, with students from local schools coming to day care centres to sing along.

I’m hoping the atmosphere will be quite lively with kids singing along and stories flying about the old days. It’ll be a nice opportunity for these age groups to mix – all through music.’ – Liz Clark

The Starling Band is led by Liz Clark with Deirdre Archbold, Christine Deady, Paula K O’Brien, all healthcare professionals working in Clonakilty Community Hospital who met through the Arts for Health Partnership Programme.


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