We are delighted to have seen a fantastic uptake on the instrument making strands of the Ballyfermot College of Further Education (BCFE) Ceoltóir programme, which are taught by Na Píobairí Uilleann (NPU) at the PipeCraft Training Centre in Clonshaugh, Dublin 16. The pipe making strands are now fully subscribed however, there are some places remaining on the harp, mandolin and mandola making strands of the course, which will be starting shortly.
The Irish harp, following the uilleann pipes, was inscribed on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage recognition last December and the making of this iconic instrument will now be taught at NPU’s PipeCraft training facility in Clonshaugh as part of BCFE’s National Higher Diploma in Traditional Music Performance Programme (Ceoltóir). Other instruments included in the expansion of the teaching programme are the mandolin/mandola along with the existing courses in uilleann pipes, flute and whistle making.
The Level 6 programme in Musical Instrument Making and Performance is a two year course and will commence at the start of the academic year in September/October in accordance with all Covid-19 safety protocols.
Speaking about the announcement of this expansion, NPU Chief Executive Gay McKeon said: “Expanding the cohort of skilled instrument makers in Ireland is a vital part of the preservation and promotion of traditional music and we’re delighted that Na Píobairí Uilleann’s facility in north Dublin is able to play a pivotal role in that objective.
“In partnership with Ballyfermot College of Further Education, we have framed these new additional courses in harp, mandolin and mandola making in an accredited module which will help provide a career pathway for participants who have ambition to develop the specialised craft of instrument making.”
The re-establishment of Ireland as the world centre for excellence in the manufacture of uilleann pipes, flutes, whistles, harps, mandolins and mandolas will result in the provision of employment in an export-led sector and an increase in cultural tourism.