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Cim ar Chim, Step by Step Community music programme in an Irish probation centre: A personal reflection

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Proactive instruction and alternative education have progressively become the schooling of choice for many non-traditional learners in Ireland. Community training, probation and Traveller support centers endeavour to take an existing curriculum and tailor it to such learners' needs. One community based education and training centre funded by the Probation and Welfare Services, Cim ar Chim, is located on the north side of Limerick city.When built in 1973, it was considered to be a state-of-the-art area. Today, however, this area has been named the murder capital of Western Europe; violence and crime rates are high while 50 per cent of the population is under 24 (Cusack 2006). This article offers a reflection on the experience of a tutor and community musician working in this environment. I hope to demonstrate how up-skilling the existing staff and increasing student-to-staff/tutor ratio in addition to other factors dramatically changed the dynamic within this place of learning.

Keywords: Ireland; arts; community music; probation; staff; youth

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Limerick.

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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  • The International Journal of Community Music publishes research articles, practical discussions, timely reviews, readers' notes and special issues concerning all aspects of Community Music. The editorial board is composed of leading international scholars and practitioners spanning diverse disciplines that reflect the scope of Community Music practice and theory.
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