U2-funded children get a chance to record song on board ‘Beatles’ bus

John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is an advanced music studio on wheels

Music students from Dundalk Youth Centre taking part in a workshop on the John Lennon Music Mobile an Education Tour Bus. Engineer Jamie Thompson, Conor Loughnan and Kate Rogers play outside the bus at the National Concert Hall today. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Music students from Dundalk Youth Centre taking part in a workshop on the John Lennon Music Mobile an Education Tour Bus. Engineer Jamie Thompson, Conor Loughnan and Kate Rogers play outside the bus at the National Concert Hall today. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

Students attached to the U2-funded Music Generation project have been given a chance to participate in a venture founded by another musical icon; John Lennon.

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus rolled into the National Concert Hall in Dublin to allow the students to avail of one of the advanced studios on wheels.

The tour bus is funded by the John Lennon Foundation and endorsed by his widow Yoko Ono Lennon who has maintained that the late Beatle would have loved the project.

A dozen students from Music Generation projects in Louth and Mayo were tasked with assembling a song, recording it and shooting a video in the space of a day.

The project has been funded by a €5 million grant from U2 and €2 million from the Ireland Fund. Projects are up and running in 10 local authority areas with two more to be announced by the end of the year.

Niamh Drum (16) from Dundalk, who plays guitar, piano and ukulele, said she came to master the art of songwriting. She was honest enough to admit her preferences were for contemporary acts such as Taylor Swift and Mumford & Sons rather than The Beatles or U2.

“I’ve never written songs before today, but I’d be interested in learning,” she said. “It is such a great experience.”

Music Generation director Rosaleen Molloy said the calibre of the recording facilities, which have been used by artists such as the Black Eyed Peas, would not otherwise be available to young music students.

“It is a fantastic way of us reaching more than 10,000 children and young people in the programme’s development over the last 18 months,” she said.

“It puts them in contact with an opportunity to work with the very brightest and best of music producers.”

The tour has taken in Cork city, Portlaoise and Dún Laoghaire and will visit Temple Bar on Thursday.