It’s really interesting for young people to be part of the process of building a piece of music, ‘arranging’, as well as learning a melody and piecing that altogether into a performance, that’s really special, and to get to work with the musicians (Atlantic Arc) that are here today is a super opportunity, it doesn’t come along every day. The young musicians know that this is a really good opportunity and they want to make the absolute best of it.

— Rosa Flannery, Music Development Officer, Music Generation Laois

The experience is a really powerful and inspiring way to promote progression opportunities for young musicians through linking, fusing and expanding individual talent and helping to push creative boundaries to a whole new level.

— Rosaleen Molloy, National Director, Music Generation

Really wonderful and re-assuring that in spite of the pandemic so much vibrancy and energy is being demonstrated through the medium of music.

— Kevin Lewis, CEO, Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board

The opportunity to get everyone into the room to perform live, not mention performing alongside your ‘idols’ and to learn from some of the best musicians in this field is something very exciting.

— Gavin Barr, Music Development Officer, Music Generation Carlow

For what can be an intense class, they are really engaged, it’s just continuous excitement from them to play music, they are just bursting with energy and it’s really amazing to watch. I really wish that this was around when I was younger, it can really help to develop a musician whose aspirations are towards professional performance.

— Padraig Rynne, Music Development Officer, Music Generation Clare

What a great weekend the masterclass was and a wonderful performance as well. It was a great model and I want to let you know that I am so happy to see a masterclass/performance opportunity offered. ….they got so much from the whole experience and now on fire about trad music and how to get more involved. Thank you so much.

— Parent

Such a warm atmosphere, everyone is so supportive of each other and even if you don’t get it the first or second time there is such an openness you just try it again, it’s really just been a great experience.

— Roisín, participant

Music can be very competitive and some musicians get very overwhelmed and think they need to have everything absolutely perfect, but over the three days I found that I enjoyed it more as I went with the flow of how Atlantic arc were teaching us and how relaxed and fun they were. I felt I was under no pressure so I actually enjoyed learning the tunes and I was so privileged to be playing with them on the night.

— Aisling, participant

What I learned the most is how beneficial it is playing in a group. I loved learning from such amazing musicians but also playing with talented musicians my age.

— Caoimhe, participant

I usually play on my own so I enjoyed the excitement of working with a group of musicians with different instruments and unique sounds created by the fusion. I learned the importance of experimenting with different sounds…it made me more confident.

— Julien, participant

I gained the experience of playing on stage in front of a large crowd, which was something I always assumed wasn't for me, but I learned that I actually love playing for crowds…AND I got to teach my tune to Dónal Lunny, that’s just insane!

— Evan, participant

I feel like this whole workshop has opened up a lot of new possibilities in music for me…it makes me feel encouraged to improve my skill and practice more and try and get more creative.

— Shona, participant

I just thought it was really cool to meet Dónal and the band and to actually play with them, it’s nice to get their feedback on your own playing and to meet them as a person.

— Roisín, participant

They can really hear you playing and they say what else you could do or how you could change something that you couldn’t hear yourself.

— Hugh, participant

We’re really lucky to be able to play with them…such amazing musicians!

— Emily, participant

(the masterclasses) really help you understand what you are doing and help you improve your own musical ability

— Leah, participant

 It’s been a fabulous weekend, I’ve learned so much about harmonies, working on arrangements in different groups, so I’d highly recommend it, I’ve had a blast!

— Iona, participant

I’ve felt really lucky and really happy to have this experience and feeling support honoured to be able to learn from these musicians, who, if you listen to their life stories, its just amazing what they’ve done and where they’ve been.

— Willow, participant

…you’re just sitting there thinking ‘how in the name of god did they just do that’, its magical!

— Ben, participant

Playing with musicians who have far greater experience than me just shows me how much more I have to learn, how much more there is to learn in general and how much better you can always get at an instrument, no matter how good you already are, there’s always something else to learn and I can see that from playing with Atlantic Arc….It’s more than what I expected honestly, it’s really great, the talent of every single person in the room is outstanding.

— Stephen, participant

There’s things about music that you can’t learn from youtube videos or books about music, it comes from speaking to and playing with people who have had lifetimes of experience playing music, and are still playing music today.

— Sean, participant

It was so cool, I will never forget it, ever, it was such a great experience.

— Seoda, participant

What they (Atlantic Arc) are doing in terms of introducing different elements into harmony and instrumentation within traditional music is not something that young people get to hear or do that often…the goals definitely hit all the bases, it was absolutely fantastic.

— Oisin O’Cualain, Musician Educator, Music Generation Clare

it’s fantastic being here, there is a brilliant bunch of young players here and they are all musical ‘thinkers’. It’s a privilege to be working with young people who want to learn, they are all true musicians, they all think on their feet and they are highly versatile and they are taking the music in at a ridiculously fast pace. We did two arrangements, it came together extremely quickly and it’s a complex arrangement but the pieces fell into place really fast, which is just a reflection on how well this whole process is really working. I’m not a born teacher as such but I can teach them what I know. It’s really very gratifying that they are learning something from me, I just feel that personally and I love it.

— Dónal Lunny

It was a learning curve for us, we realised the benefits that come from this student-teacher relationship that we’ve developed with these young musicians through SoundWaves. I think it’s a fantastic initiative, it’s given so much purchase and encouragement to young musicians, we’ll see the benefits of this, we’re already seeing the benefits of this.

— Dónal Lunny

The talent that these kids have is just incredible, the level is just out of this world, its really exciting to see what is going to come in a couple of years, out of all these wonderful young musicians.

— Tara Breen, musician Atlantic Arc

Working with young people is incredible because you forget what it is like to be a young adult entering into music and the excitement, because you can get a bit jaded from the constant performing and touring, so its really nice to be around the enthusiasm and people who want to know lots quickly and who enjoy each other’s company, just that energy is a nice thing for us to be around.

— Pauline Scanlon, musician Atlantic Arc

(the live show) was unbelievable, I just can’t believe they only had a weekend to do a workshop because it sounded like they have been practicing for weeks. Great young musicians, I’ll be keeping an eye out for them in the future!

— Audience member