Adam O’Sullivan, age 13, plays piano and guitar with the Ballyphehane Youth Project Rock/Pop group sessions in partnership with Foroige and Music Generation Cork City. Being able to learn new instruments with a group is why Adam enjoys the Ballyphehane Youth Music Project so much.
The fact that I can play all of my favourite songs and play them with my friends is what I like the most.
I am a big fan of 70’s music, in particular Queen. I also like Ed Sheeran and listen to other music online. When I come to the music sessions each week, I get to play electric guitar or keyboard and someone else will be on vocals, another on drums and bass.
Music calms me down. If I am angry about something, I just go play on my piano and it calms me down. Before my birthday, I was listening to music online and thought, I want to do that, so I got a guitar for my birthday. I am happy learning the two instruments right now. There’s enough to learn in that and I want to get even better at playing them.
I recently took part in a school talent show called “RoCo’s Got Talent” and performed “Bohemian Rhapsody” on piano to a crowd of over 800 people. The nerves weren’t that bad actually. It felt good being on stage. I’ve more gigs coming up too – the team here are planning a few gigs for the band, which will be good.
My aunt and uncle play a lot of music – my aunt plays the bag pipes and my uncle plays the organ and the accordion as well, so there is some music in the family. I get plenty of encouragement from them and my whole family.
I sometimes think, if I didn’t do music, where would I be? I think music has changed me. I have learned how to read chords. I never knew how to read music until I came here. Now I can. Freddie, one of the tutors, shows me the chords and music theory and Aaron, the other tutor, shows me how to set up amps and leads and all that band stuff.
In my primary school there was only tin whistle and I didn’t really like it, so I was able to go into a different room and play a piano and I would just play that instead. Now, I see music being in my life forever. Maybe, when I’m in my twenties, I’ll be famous for playing the piano!
My best advice to anyone young who is starting music is don’t quit! It would be a big mistake to give up. Beethoven, Freddie Mercury, they didn’t get where they were by quitting!