There was great craic agus ceol when All Ireland football winner and former Musik Maker, Ger Brennan launched the Musik Makers ‘Pulling Strings’ CD on Friday 18 October in Croke Park. Musik Makers, founded by Tom Phelan SJ, is the inner city charity that provides musical instruments and training for young people to promote their education and development through music.
There are fifty members at present in the Musik Makers, based in Gardiner St Church Dublin. Tuition takes place under the watchful eye of Jesuit Brother Tom Phelan, himself a singer songwriter originally from Ballyfermot. Tom’s song ‘A Mother’s Embrace’ that he wrote about his own mother if also featured on the CD. (You can listen to him speak about Musik Makers here)
And over the past 20 years hundreds of young people, Irish and new Irish between the age of ten and seventeen from the north inner city and even further afield have learnt to sing or play and instrument and some have even gone on to play with groups including the Merciful Hour Band.
“Others unfortunately were not so lucky”, says Br Phelan. “Some had their lives destroyed by drugs or alcohol. We know we might not change the world and sometimes we will fail but if we even prevent one young person from going astray then our efforts are all worthwhile.”
All proceeds from the Pulling Strings CD will go to Temple St Children’s Hospital. It features a wide variety of songs played by musicians who learnt their trade in the Musik Makers and it’s available from Gardiner St Church shop.
Ger Brennan, a former member and long-time supporter of Musik Makers said the CD was evidence of the talent nurtured by the Musik Makers project and was “a testament to the efforts of the many volunteers who taught there in the past 20 years” He said the collection of songs reminded him of many memories from the past and gave him hope for the future.
Tom Phelan SJ says the project is only possible because of public generosity and the goodwill and support of their volunteers and those who have gone through the project and want to give something back.
“Even in these tough times we take heart from these positive things and we’ll continue our work with the young people of the north inner city fully aware that our contribution is a modest but positive experience for the young people we work with.”