It’s back to school time, and our guest this week is Susie King Butler, owner of Musica Fusion, a music school in Charleville, County Cork.

Click on the player below to play the podcast audio (download: 25:26; 15MB; MP3), or scroll down to watch the video.

 

Musica Fusion was founded six years ago and has grown to cater for 300 students, with 22 teachers and classes in 30 different disciplines. Based in a converted cinema in Charleville, the business end of the school includes a music shop and there’s also a community orchestra which Susie and a team of volunteer teachers run as a non-profit. The orchestra is open to all, whether they are enrolled at the school or not.

“We’re touching base with classical music, trad music, rock music, hip-hop. It is a real, true fusion”, she explains. The school also teaches creative writing, dance and sign language.

Lockdown was a challenge, she says. As well as live Zoom classes, they made extensive use of pre-recorded classes in order to complete their programme for the academic year. Now they are preparing to re-open, with extra safety measures for social distancing and a ‘blended’ approach, allowing any student to opt for online tuition if they wish at any time.

Over the summer, the Musica Fusion Community Orchestra kept their members engaged with a virtual collaboration. Students recorded themselves playing at home and the videos they submitted were stitched together into an ensemble performance of the Theme from Inspector Gadget, which we’ve featured in this episode with the kind permission of everyone involved.

Musica Fusion will re-open for classes on 7 September. For more information, visit musicafusion.ie.

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