The Donegal Music Education Partnership administers vocal and instrumental tuition through a number of centres across County Donegal. The tuition deals with a range of musical genres including classical, traditional, jazz and contemporary/rock music. While tuition for children and young people is the primary focus of the partnership; adults can also avail of the service. It is also recommended to students that they take a weekly music theory class to compliment their music education.
Teaching Centres exist throughout all electoral areas in the County including Letterkenny, Buncrana, Carndonagh, Moville, Ballyshannon, Carrick, Gortahork, Gweedore, Arann Mor Island, Dungloe and Stranorlar. The range of instrumental and voice tuition taught includes piano and keyboard, and instruments from a range of musical families, including the string family featuring the flute, clarinet, oboe and saxophone; the brass family including the trumpet, Cornet, trombone, tuba and French horn.
Classes in guitar along with a full range of traditional instruments, taught through the traditional Irish genre are also available. Students who participate in weekly classes are also encouraged to join one of the performing groups formed by the partnership. These groups vary across a range of musical styles and genres including jazz, classical and choral music and cater for junior, intermediate, and advanced musicians, both children and adults.
Performing as part of an ensemble allows the musician and singer to take advantage of performance opportunities both within and outside the County. One of the key guiding principles of the Donegal Music Education Partnership is that music has the potential to make a positive fundamental difference to all our lives. Learning to play an instrument or singing in a choir assists with developing confidence, exploring creative expression, learning discipline and gaining the skills for social interaction.
Students also have the opportunity to expand their understanding and knowledge of music. Some members of the County Donegal Youth Orchestra were awarded music scholarships by the Apple Hill Centre for Chamber Music, in partnership with the DMEP. Students spent the month of July last summer being coached in their instrument, in performance skills and chamber playing at the Apple Hill Centre in New Hampshire in the United States under the direction of Lenny Matczynski, the Apple Hill String Quartet and other tutors from the US and abroad.