Julie O’Brien, age 13, is learning guitar and piano through Cork Academy of Music in partnership with Music Generation Cork City in Fairhill, and is a student at North Presentation Secondary School.
My main instrument is guitar, and it’s probably my favourite because it was my first, but I’ve started to play piano now too.
I learn guitar in a big group of about 8. We suggest songs to our teacher Tom, and if he thinks we’re able to play them, he’ll print the chords, and the lyrics too so we can sing. He goes through the chords with everyone, and we all know it then, so that we can all play together.
I practise a lot at home so that I get the chords right. My advice would be to make sure you’re fully ‘in there’ when you practise. That you’re fully focused.
One of the friends I’ve made in the group Emma, is learning piano with me, with our teacher Tony. And another friend I’ve made in the group Katelynn is in my class in school too so we play together, and we accompany performances in the church, like recently we played songs at the Christmas mass. Our music teacher in school, Miss Fiona Moylan, is an excellent teacher. Sometimes we learn the ukulele too in school.
Adele songs are my favourite. I like her style because its easy to sing and to play. My dad is very musical. He plays electric guitar and we try to play together. I try to teach him songs that I learn with Tom, but he thinks those pop songs are all rubbish and he wants to play rock! He plays Metallica, and he tries to teach me electric but I’m like ‘no its too loud, I don’t like it!’.
My sister Ciara used to play accordion, and we were both Irish dancers. I was born into Irish dancing because Ciara was already in it. I competed in the Munster Championships and the Irish Nationals in Irish dancing. And I like Irish music too because I was brought up around that style.
Music is one of my main passions, ‘cause I’m not really into drawing, and if I tried to cook maybe I’d burn down the whole school! North Pres School are really good at pushing your passion. Anything musical, they’ll put you into it. Or if there’s anything for people who are into art, like any art competitions, North Pres are there!
I’m so glad that I joined the music group. It’s been a key part of my life.