A celebration of ‘Mothers in Music’

In one of the first initiatives of its kind in the UK and Ireland, the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast is championing ‘Mothers in Music’, a twelve-week song writing, recording and performance programme designed for female musicians with caring responsibilities.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 4:44 pm
Mothers in Music participants Sinead McGarry, Aisling McCormick, Caroline Baker, Sidney Whittaker, Charlene Hegarty (Talent Development Manager - Oh Yeah) and Wilfie Whittaker, Roisin Whyte and Marie-Thérèse Davis

Addressing the needs of one of the most underrepresented demographics in the music industry, ‘Mothers in Music’ saw 17 women from Northern Ireland Donegal and Dublin come together remotely on a weekly basis for a series of workshops from music industry professionals between February and May this year.

As part of the ‘Mothers in Music’ programme, participants learned how to get back into making music, regain their confidence and build a community of musicians that can support, socialise, work and collaborate with each other.

Charlene Hegarty, talent development manager at Oh Yeah, explained: “Since 2016 Oh Yeah has run the ‘Women’s Work’ festival, which celebrates diversity and addresses issues faced by women in the music industry. We were hearing from a lot of women who were asking for more opportunities to participate in music, but who were unable to attend festival events and programmes due to their caring responsibilities. Mothers in Music’ is our response to this demand and we were thrilled when the Spirit of 2012 fund was able to help us create and deliver a high level industry project tailored to the needs of mothers.

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“Our ‘Mothers in Music’ participants come from really diverse musical backgrounds. Some have written and performed with household names, some have taught and played music for themselves and others are somewhere in-between. What they all have in common is that they have had to prioritise their caring responsibilities over their music.

“We are really proud of how the programme has succeeded in helping participants to build their confidence, enhance their creative and technical skills and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness by bringing like-minded people in similar circumstances together to learn and enjoy music.”

An online video of ‘Mothers in Music’ participants covering ‘Push that Knot Away’ by KT Tunstall, will be premiered as part of the Women’s Work festival, presented by Oh Yeah. Search ‘Oh Yeah Centre’ on YouTube on Friday, June 18 at 6pm.