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Ashbourne Library’s Music Appreciation Club, Meath CoCo Library Services Service Points. Robin Stewart

Ashbourne Library’s Music Appreciation Club, Meath CoCo Library Services Service Points. Robin Stewart

Overview:  Weekly informal group exploring all aspects and genres of music. Usually 30+ attendees, open to all. Generally comprises a mix of pensioners living (mostly alone) locally, some of whom have memory problems, and adults with learning difficulties (aged 18-50) who attend local day service centres (Prosper Meath and Rehab Care). Age range 18 – 90+ 

Aims of the Club: To foster and celebrate a love of music through weekly presentations and live music performances. The club provides a welcoming, friendly and inclusive social outlet for some of our community’s most potentially vulnerable and lonely residents, giving them an opportunity to meet, chat, enjoy the music and socialise over a cup of tea. The club serves as a springboard to introduce attendees to the full range and scope of the events and activities the library and community have to offer.

Tie-ins with wider initiatives and agencies such as Healthy Ireland, Arts Office, Bealtaine, First Fortnight, Centenary Commemorations, Local History, Age Action and a wide range of other library activities and services. 

Benefits:  Provides a fun, welcoming space for people to mentally engage with new topics, artists and themes, to discuss their interests and memories and to form friendships and empathise with one another’s experiences. Bringing together people who otherwise would be unlikely to meet and have much more in common and to learn from one another than they might initially think. Providing an informal, inclusive forum where all are treated as equals with dignity and respect.

Requirements: Inexpensive to run, funded from general library budget with small discretionary budget to purchase DVDs, Healthy Ireland contribution and €400 from Arts Office to provide four live performances a year, augmented with voluntary and visiting performers. Requires little staff time or previous knowledge from staff. Immensely rewarding for all involved and easily replicable.

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