27th January, 2000
Exploding the Myth of the Musician
Nearly everybody has had a go at
learning a musical instrument at some stage in his or her life
but many fail to continue past the first few vital steps. There
can be many reasons for this. Maybe they under estimated the
amount of work needed to achieve an acceptable standard or maybe
their own standards were unrealistically high. Perhaps there was
too much negative feedback from family and friends. However, with
a little dedication and a positive outlook, anybody can become an
accomplished musician - yes, that includes you!
To the beginner, the idea of playing a musical instrument is filled with mystery and magic. Witnessing the speed and dexterity of a virtuoso can make your first musical fumblings seem pointless and vain and listening to jazz players verbal outpourings on complex chord changes, unusual musical intervals and the use of exotic scales makes you wish you had a physics degree so you could understand it all!
However, all is not what it seems. That last remark about the physics degree is not such a strange idea, for the fact of the matter is all musicians have had to study their instrument at some stage (many will say it's a life long study) whether it be in the hallowed halls of a revered music academy or with the help of a local private teacher or spending all those hours in the bedroom listening to your favourite rock bands.
To assume that musicians have some mystical God-given talent is like saying that Jimi Hendrix came out of the womb playing guitar with his teeth or that Muddy Waters was wailing the blues as a toddler (well, maybe he was in a way).
The point is that one thing all musicians have in common is that they were all, at one time, beginners in their chosen field. Like any diligent craftsman or woman, they have spent hours upon hours of patient study, honing and perfecting their skill.
For you, the beginner, it can seem like you have an enormous mountain to climb but all those musical hero's and role models hat you admire so much once stood where you are standing, at the bottom of that mountain.
Once you have set off on your musical journey, you'll find that it gets easier and easier. The learning curve is steepest at the beginning - just compare how much you learnt in the first five years of your life to what you've learned in the last five.
Don't expect to master your instrument. Although the term is bandied about a lot, no musician would claim to be the master of his instrument. Try to have regular short-term goals in mind. These will soon add up. Any musical concepts that you study or discover yourself, with application, will merge and have a snowballing effect on your own emerging musical identity.
It puts things in a simpler perspective to think of yourself as a craftsman learning the skills of his trade rather than an artist full of lofty ideals who feels the need to connect with his fellow man. Wait until you grow as an experienced musician with skills both musical and social so that you may have a clearer vision of those lofty ideals you wish to communicate.
Finally, have fun and surround yourself with positive people. Music is a wonderful social outlet and when alone, a therapeutic relaxation.
When you finally feel that you can call yourself a musician after having heaps of accolades piled upon you by your adoring fans, stay humble. There is always some one out there in the darkness of the gig whose musical vision can mask you feel like a bumbling amateur you once were.
Good luck and stay tuned.
Mick Lynch (Douglas School of Music)
An Irish Prayer
by Diarmuid Considine
May the winds caress you softly,
and kiss your golden hair.
May you cry tears for Gods
As He answers every prayer.
And your smile lights up each evening
with ceremony and grace,
And your life be golden harvests
too keep you fair of face.
May you always give of Heaven
to the ones whose need is strong.
May Heavens Angels
Keep you safe
When nights are dark and long.
May you always be surefooted
And take one step at a time.
May you recognise the open door
When your journey is all done.
"The First Date ..."
from the book
The Ultimate Guide to Meeting the Opposite Sex,
by local man Kevin Fitzsimons.
There is no reason why you should not, by now, have experienced the pleasure of securing the first date. If you have not, then review your progress and the changes you have implemented in your life. What have you tried? What is there left to try? What have you changed (both physically and in attitude)? How many new places, clubs or associations are you now attending regularly? How many of your friends are now actively involved with you in endeavouring to reach the common goal? Have you subtly made your feelings known, either through others or directly, to those who up until now were unapproachable? Remember that if you have changed nothing in your life, then you are unlikely to see different results or outcomes. It is as simple as that! In any event I am continuing on the basis that you have now agreed to meet a member of the opposite sex at a future date. Congratulations!
You are probably experiencing a mixture of feelings - the predominant one will be excitement and lots of it. This is what life is all about - a break from the mundane, a concoction of excitement and trepidation, an almost living on the edge feeling. At an extreme it could feel like an injection of life that youre high and alive on. If you have reservations, or are worried for whatever reason, you should just live for the moment and enjoy it. You will soon be meeting someone who may be a real prospect and even if theyre not, you could be meeting someone for a second or third date. The sky is the limit now. A little planning in any endeavour is always helpful and the same applies here. You cannot, of course, plan every detail but you can cover the basics and put some contingency plans into action to protect yourself. You will be meeting a virtual stranger on your own for a sociable time. You will be trying to create an impression, but the important thing to remember is that it is no tougher for you than it. Is for anyone else and that includes the person you are meeting. Youll be engaging in conversation for at least a couple of hours, watching your Ps and Qs and editing everything in your head before you say it. This is quite normal, but believe me youll be more than pleasantly surprised at how quickly time will slip away and at how quickly youll get into your stride. The first date does not get any easier with experience. Its quite common to believe that as soon as you get one over with, the rest will be a piece of cake. The only difference is that next time you wont be quite as green and youll know what to expect to a certain extent.
I will begin with the obvious. Make sure you are well washed, shaved if applicable, and dressed in a neat fashion. Avoid chewing gum even if you are somewhat nervous. There will be a sense of expectation, or more accurately, a sense of not knowing what to expect. Luckily its a short gauntlet youll have to run and you will come out the far side faster and better than you think. Mixed with the quite natural nervousness will be a sense of excitement that invariably accompanies the entering of an unknown territory. A word of advice - do not dramatically change your appearance for the first date. If you do, there is no way you will feel comfortable with yourself, and if you meet someone you know you may feel embarrassed. Wear clothes you are comfortable with, and if you have a particular hair-style, stick to it. This is not the time for a radical physical overhaul.
Cllr. Deirdre Forde
Speech to Cork County Council on her motion:
"That the County Manager, County Secretary and County Engineer accept my formal invitation to visit Douglas Village and environs to see first hand the inadequate infrastructure in the area"
I placed this motion in a clear and unambiguous massage to Management and this Council and the people who live work and play in the wider Douglas area believe that the present system of local government has not responded to them for a long time. They believe that the system isn't breaking down it has broken down. Why? Because it is not listening to them.
We draw up beautiful strategies: wonderful plans aspire to the highest ideals. I can speak to residents associations about the commitment and integrity of staff at the County hall but I speak about performance measurement results. What are strategies without Performance Measurement results?
The people of Douglas do not see results and haven't seen results for a very long time. What they see are planning applicants upon planning applications not including what is in the pipeline. They see potholes and roads like lunar surface choking traffic problems not to mention lack of footpaths bad footpaths and poor lighting but most of all they feel the deafening silence from Cork County Council.
In effect Cork County Council is telling the people of the wider Douglas area to go suck eggs as have Cork County Council respond to their wishes.
Their wishes are and read my lips:
An infrastructure suitable for such a modern urban area for the amount of new development and existing development.
An infrastructure suitable for the fifty thousand cars plus that need to use the roads now.
An infrastructure that reflects the motor tax they pay.
An infrastructure that won't choke the commercial life out of Douglas Village.
An infrastructure now not when ten thousand more houses have been built.
Why should these planning permissions even be entertained without proper infrastructure in place?
Why assist Developers by giving them permission to build at the very high densities without assisting people with proper infrastructure at the same time. This greed and bad planning masquerading under the Bacon report at the expense of ordinary people.
Why should the residents have to wait 15 years for a footpath for their children?
Why does it take over three years or more to remove a mound of topsoil from a main access road to Douglas Village?
Why is there an opening in the road covered by timber and left for six months?
Why pile housing estate upon housing estate with no recreational facilities?
Why spend money commissioning the Brady Shipman Report and then no coherent action on it?
Why was there £8m in a fund at the Department of the environment for the setting up of a one stop shop and no application made for Douglas - an area the size of Charleville.
Why should I as their elected representative have to make numerous phone calls write letters place motion before area committee before I get a reply to a query? Well I got it all right - in a local paper. This is not teamwork Chairman.
These are real people we are dealing with here. People who want to go about their lives in a normal decent manner. They know more houses must be built they accept that. But not at the very highest densities, not without adequate infrastructure. Where does the buck stop for these 40,000 people? Who will accept responsibility? Who must accept responsibility?
I can go on and on Chairman but I tell you it is no wonder that people are disillusioned with local government. I am just an ordinary person Chairman doing the job I was elected to do. Shoot this messenger if you must but the message will only get louder.
The Forty thousand people who live in love the Douglas area will no longer stand idly by. The County Manager must take action now. Extra funds must be diverted immediately to the roads around Douglas Village and Estates where needed.
The people of the wider Douglas area are adamant that they are presently not well served by Cork County Council. I appeal to Management to heed this wake up call. I appeal to them not to misinterpret my soft voice for soft action. I appeal to him to listen to people of Douglas Rochestown Grange /Frankfield and Donnybrook.
ADVERTISING AND YOU
Every successful businessperson knows it pays to advertise, but they also know that squandering money on ineffective advertising is a foolhardy exercise. To illustrate that point, compare the cost of local advertising by leaflet distribution to advertising in the Douglas Weekly. The artwork for a leaflet can cost around £25 if not more. Then there's the printing; a run of 5,000 will cost about £250. And finally distribution, that costs about £40 per thousand. Add it up and it comes to £475 compare that to a, same-size half-page add, including art work, in the Douglas weekly for £140, First of all your saving £335, second an ad in the Douglas Weekly has a longer life span than a leaflet. Next, each copy of the Douglas Weekly is seen by more than one person. In fact the Douglas Weekly reaches over 40,000 people every week. Some advertisers have even complained that the response to their ad was so great that they had difficulty in handling the increase in business. Now beat that for a result !
WATCH THIS SPACE
Although the Moon is much smaller than the Earth, it still has an influence on its bigger companion. Just as the Earth's gravity pulls on the Moon pulls on the Earth, stretching it into a slight oval. It makes the oceans bulge on either side of the planet, producing tides along the coastlines. The tides, in turn, effect the speed of the earth's spin and the distance between the Earth and Moon.
Twice a day the oceans rise in a high tide and then fall back in a low tide, as the Earth's surface sweeps in and out of the tidal bulges created by the Moon's gravity. The tidal cycle lasts 24 hours and 50 minutes, because the Moon's movement around the Earth means that it arrives above a given spot 50 minutes later each day. The actual height of the tides depends not only on the position of the Moon on its orbit, but also on local geography.
We have received many enquiries regarding why the same face of the Moon faces us and why do we never get a glimpse of the far side. We know that this is hard to understand and the more you think about it the harder it is to comprehend.
The reason is that the Moon only rotates once every time it orbits the Earth. And due to this the same face faces us.
Douglas Community School achieved
the ultimate success in the arena of Public Speaking on Monday
17th of January. The school debating team won the final of the
Cork Mental Health Public Speaking Competition which was held in
the Silversprings Hotel. The topic for debate was A New
Millennium - a new era for Mental Health.
The team consisted of Kieran French, Brian Brady, Dave Aherne, with Michael Barry as reserve. They defeated Carrigaline Community School and St. Gobans College, Bantry, in the final. Congratulations to the team on their wonderful success and to their mentors Mrs. Aileen Goulding and Mr. Brian OConnor, who spent many hours in preparing the team for this event.
In winning the competition the team was retaining the title for Douglas Community School, as the school, with a different debating team, also won this Public Speaking Project last year.