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Donegal pop-up summer course Soundwaves gave students two weeks to start bands, write songs and make videos – here’s what they came up with

Last week’s How Music Works article featured IMRO’s Victor Finn and Keith Johnson talking about why they think the Irish music industry is failing. One of the valid points they had for me, is about allowing and supporting labels, managers, publishing companies, sync licensing companies to develop and grow here as opposed to always sending that business to the UK. It’s a possibility.

The reason I started doing the How Music Works series in the first place is because there are people working in music for a living in Ireland but without thumbing through a Hot Press Yearbook it’s hard to even know what they do as they are background roles.

On the front-end of things, the actual musicians, there are encouraging signs of development between school and third-level/post-secondary happening whether it’s a course at BIMM, Newpark, Ballyfermot etc.

There’s no replacement for practical experience though, which is why the Soundwaves pop-up course in Letterkenny, in partnership with Donegal Music Education Partnership, and Music Generation and Arts Council Ireland is a great idea. Over the past two weeks, the course has been putting music students into five bands where they have been tasked with writing, recording, filming and promoting their songs – all of the skills that a musician in 2015 should have.

They achieved this with some help from industry professionals from Wall2Wall Music, such as producer Rocky O’Reilly, Cheylene Murphy from Wonder Villains, songwriter Sarah Cullen and video producer Jeremy Fitzhoward.

The five bands: Snasta, Broken Crayons, The Ratas, Advanced Utopia and Broken Heavens, have been tasked with promoting themselves online now with their videos and Bandcamp recordings.

That’s a great practical experience the students are getting in just two weeks.

Here is all the band info and their videos/songs below.

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