Ella Mai Coughlan, age 12, plays flute with Mahon Community Concert Band, a new programme for young local brass, wind and percussion players, run by Cork Academy of Music in partnership with Music Generation Cork City.
When I was in 4th class, it was recommended to me that I try the flute, and it’s like it was meant for me, because I could play it easily right from the beginning. I really like the flute. My first teacher was Fabiola, and now I have Oisin.
My sister plays the violin, and sometimes we like to figure out how to play songs together. Oisin gives me music and then I look at my sister’s music and I say ‘Oh I have that aswell’ and then we play together.
I’m also in the Mahon Community Concert Band and it’s really really fun, ‘cause we play loads of different pieces. Right now we’re playing Christmas pieces like ‘Sleigh Ride’ and ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’. We’re playing at the GLOW Christmas festival tomorrow. We’ve played for St. Patricks Day too and lots of other performances.
Last week we went to Dublin for a flute workshop with Sir James Galway and Lady Jeanne, which was really fun. It was snowing while we were on the bus. There were over 30 flautists from Cork, and more from Kilkenny and other counties. I already knew some of the others from BandCAMP and Brass Off.
Music is kind of like therapy. When I was younger I was very bad at maths, and I used to cry about it, but then I would always go into my bedroom, play my flute and feel better.
If I’m in a sad mood, I’ll always play sad songs, to kind of be in that emotion, but then I’ll play fast songs and nice songs after that. I always feel better after I play my flute.
If I play a really good piece that I’ve been struggling with, my mom always cries and she’s very proud of me.
When I’m older, I’d like to go on tour playing music, and see different places around the world.