Mairéad & Úna

October 2019

Úna Watkins (11yrs) and Mairéad Ní Cheallacháin (10yrs) are cousins and pupils of Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn. The girls attend the weekly Music Mash Up Junior Group music lessons in St. Joseph’s Youth Centre in Mayfield, in partnership with Foróige.

Úna – I play the ukelele and occasionally the keyboard. A year ago I joined this group, so this is my second year of it.

Mairéad – I also play the keyboard and used to play the guitar. I find the keyboard easier to play.

Úna – I heard about the project through my sister, who is in the senior group now. Music Mash Up is really well known in our school, so this is very popular. Three girls from my class also go to these sessions.

Mairéad – Music Mash Up do a singing programme in our school also, for bigger classes and our school has a Banna Ceoil.

Úna – We play all kinds of music here. Lots of pop music and even classics like Queen. We both listen to Billy Eilish & I love Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” but mostly, I listen to what’s on the radio.

Mairéad – A lot of the time we get the choice of what music we play. I go through phases of what I like. At the moment, it’s a lot of Queen! My favourite is “Don’t Stop Me Now”. Playing music makes me feel happy. Sometimes talking can be hard work. Music is easier.

Úna – When I start to learn something new, I go really slow and you wouldn’t even recognise it. Then I get better at it and I feel so proud of myself, because it sounds good! I always hum & sing around the place.

Mairéad – I once auditioned for the show Annie & got to the 2nd round. We’ve also performed in the library and sang a song that we wrote here in Music Mash Up called “The Summer Song”. I felt really nervous because I don’t like singing in front of people, but in a group it was so much easier.

Úna – There was a big group of us putting the song together. It was so enjoyable. We put all the lyrics together. It’s a very cheery song! Our tutors Davie and Niamh helped us out a lot. Martina, Niall & Ger (Foróige) help all the time.

Mairéad – I think music helps to build up a person’s personality. Even if you’re really young.

Úna – I think music helps to release energy! Well first of all, the community who do Music Mash Up are so nice. Then if you’re sad or angry, I feel singing & playing an instrument in a group helps to get it all out.

Mairéad – The great thing about learning music is, even if it doesn’t become your job, it can always be part of your life.

Mairéad & Úna – Music Generation Cork City