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Clare Students give voice to their creativity with podcast project

CLARE national school students have been making their voices heard as part of a new radio project.
The third class students of Ennis National School and fifth and sixth classes of Broadford and Kilbane National School have created their very own podcasts which are now available to stream.
In partnership with the Clare Arts Office and Creative Ireland, Glaoch! is a commissioned recording project that aims at amplifying the voices of national school children in Clare.
Artist/producer John Lillis was invited to work with national schools in Clare to develop the two unique podcasts which were created, directed and presented by primary school students.
John explained, “In our current social climate of restricted movement and distanced interactions, our dependence on each other and our ability to communicate lies at the core of our wellbeing.
“Listening remains one of the more potent skills available to us. Our ears do a lot of the work, but the rest lies in our imagination.
“Glaoch! is a way to send a message, to amplify a voice to a community or nation, and to connect with its own local environment.
“Though much media content is created and directed towards young people, children’s voices are seldom heard in transmissions.
“Glaoch! aims to give volume to the imagination of primary school students in Clare, creating a unique radio experience that is fostered organically within the classroom.”
The students of Ennis National School and Broadford and Kilbane National School were the first pioneers to explore this new arts initiative.
Between March and May 2021, John worked with the students over a seven-week period to help plan, develop and produce the content.
With the creative support and encouragement of Lisa Walsh of Ennis National School and Deirdre Troy of Broadford National School, fun and imagination were brought to the forefront of all activities.
All material was recorded within the school or classroom environment.
“Students were encouraged to engage with their surroundings, their community, their history, and, most of all, themselves in an attempt to create 40 minutes of podcast content that’s honest, clever, reflective, fun, personal, entertaining and educational,” said John.
Areas covered include local folklore, dreams, interviews with local musicians and advice for their future selves.
There is even an interview with a pair of socks, perhaps the first one ever in the world.
The students were invited to research potential guests and performers, with each visitor to the classroom being interviewed by the participating students.
Visiting guests, performers and interviewees included Síomha Brock, Dermot Sheedy, Albert Hardiman, Pat O’Brien and Ray Cuddihy.
Wider school participation was encouraged, with teachers and other students kindly agreeing to perform music and songs for the podcast.
“What resulted from the seven-week project were unique recordings directed by the young students that show a deep sense of fun, engagement and imagination that could only be delivered from the wild minds of children,” said John.
“We hope the listening experience is as special for you as it was for us in the recording process.”
The Glaoch! Shows are available to stream online through Soundcloud using
Ennis National School :

Broadford National School :

The Glaoch! project is a Clare Arts Office initiative supported through the Creative Schools program, and was funded by Creative Ireland.
John paid tribute to principal Aonghus O’Brien and Deirdre Troy in Broadford National School and to Lisa Walsh and principal Brian Troy in Ennis National School as well as Ceara Conway and Siobhan Mulchay in the Clare Arts Office.

by Jessica Quinn

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