Music Generation Clare PhD Scholarship

Music Generation Clare PhD Scholarship

The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, in partnership with Music Generation Clare, is delighted to offer a 3-year PhD scholarship. County Clare is one of twelve areas of the country currently participating in Music Generation – Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Through the Clare Music Education Partnership (Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, Clare County Council, Clare Education Centre, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and University of Limerick), Music Generation Clare delivers a range of affordable, geographically accessible, high quality performance music programmes for children and young people throughout County Clare in cooperation with existing providers and the creation of strong, creative, active and integrated partnerships. During its initial phase 2014 – 2016 the programme aims to develop an integrated infrastructure in County Clare that will provide opportunities for music performance and pedagogy for up to 16,000 children and young people, and to nurture an ethos in performance music education based on the core values of access, quality, partnerships, diversity, creativity and sustainability.

The Music Generation Clare PhD Scholarship provides funding for a three-year fulltime PhD at the Irish Academy of Music & Dance, University of Limerick. The PhD Scholar will study the implementation and delivery of the Music Generation Clare Programme. The proposed research should reference and reflect on the ethos and/or programmes of Music Generation Clare.

In responding to the local need and context of County Clare, Music Generation Clare’s programme is based on five goals:

1) Systematic and coherent provision of vocal and instrumental tuition

2) Implementation of a progressive, skills-based programme of performance music education tuition for pre-school, primary school children, post-primary students and young adolescents

3) Increasing access to live music opportunities as both performers and audience members

4) The development of accessible and comprehensive resources

5) Creating sustainability through partnerships, research and evaluation

The PhD research will provide valuable insights into music education development within County Clare, the findings of which will inform future policy and practice. Since September 2014, the following programmes have been delivered:

Escalation singing programme – structured vocal programme in primary schools in the county reaching almost 700 primary school pupils.

Minimasters early years programme – 20 week programme (2014-2015), to be 26 weeks in 2015-2016, operating in early years services in the Ennis/Clarecastle area. Introduction to music making, incorporating song, composition, recording, percussion and culminating in an end of year interactive music-making session.

Primary school strings programme –whole class introduction to violin performance – currently in place in one school (15 week programme in 2014-2015), with 65 fifth class learners.

Songstories songwriting programme – 12 week song writing programme for 12-15 year olds, in partnership with Ennis CDP Primary Health Care Programme for Travellers. Works written were recorded, to be subsequently performed at an event during Traveller Focus Week in November, 2015.

Guitar programme – Introductory guitar programmes for 9-12 year olds (8 week programme), in partnership with Ennis CDP Primary Health Care Programme for Travellers, and the second for 15-18 year olds (12 week programme) in Ennistymon in partnership with the North West Clare Family Resource Centre.

Programme participants are also afforded the opportunity to partake in festivals, events and schools throughout the summer months such as Ennis Street Festival, and workshops with touring and visiting musicians. Further instrumental programmes are being rolled out from September 2015.

Eligibility –The scholarship will cover PhD research fees for 3 years.

Applicants should have academic qualifications appropriate for entry to doctoral level research. Applicants should prepare an outline proposal of approximately 3,000 words which will be assessed initially by the internal Academy research group. This outline proposal should contain the following:


  • Description of the research topic
  • Methodology
  • Relationship of the project to existing research
  • Bibliography (additional to the word count)

Applicants should also include a personal statement, detailing their qualifications, experience and any other material relevant to the application. Applicants should secure the support of a potential PhD supervisor from the Irish World Academy faculty prior to application and include this information in the submission.  For further information on the faculty from the Irish World Academy and their research interests, please see

The applications will be assessed by the Academy research group in consultation with Music Generation Clare. Once a decision has been made, the successful applicant will also have to apply through the main University of Limerick Research Board before being finally accepted to undertake this PhD.

Conditions of the Scholarship:


  • The awarding of the scholarship is dependent on the successful applicant being accepted for a PhD by the Postgraduate Research Committee of the University of Limerick
  • The scholarship is awarded initially for a period of one year. However, if progress is satisfactory, the scholarship will be awarded for a further two years
  • The successful applicant must conduct their research in the context of Music Generation Clare

Applications must be received by 4pm Tuesday May 3rd, 2016

Enquiries may be directed to Dr Niall Keegan, Associate Director, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance


Applications can be submitted in hard copy to:

Barbara Christie, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick

Or in soft copy to:

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