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Carmel Dunne

Ceol / Level 2

Awardee 2006

Ceol / Level 2
Cormac Lynch
Paul Kelly

Carmel is a retired public servant and the founder and Executive Director of the CEOL Project. CEOL began in 1999 to provide music programmes and tuition for the children of Ballyfermot. Through CEOL’s auspices children in the area have the opportunity to play an instrument and sing.

The Challenge

Music literacy is seriously underdeveloped in Irish children. Additionally, many teachers in Ireland require more training and support in this area, and as a result many Irish children are missing out on a comprehensive musical education. This has a detrimental effect on their learning. As well as a source of joy and fulfilment, music has been proven to be a conduit to other subject areas and it creates intellectual stimulus.


The Idea

CEOL began in 1999 to provide music programmes and tuition for the children of Ballyfermot. Carmel is the Founder and Director of Ceol and believes passionately in the provision of early music education for all children, regardless of socio-economic background or learning ability. Ceol has developed its own unique methodology enabling teachers to deliver the music curriculum in a way that reaches every child. From 2006 CEOL began rolling out its model to other schools and regions throughout the country.


The Impact

Today, Ceol has expanded its programmes to include pre-school music education, which can be easily used by parents and teachers alike. CEOL Ireland is working with over 550 educators who teach over 17,000 children, across the four provinces of Ireland.

Ceol is currently in partnership with the Irish National Teacher’s Organisation (INTO), and provides summer and in-service online courses via the INTO website. Ceol aims to target all children, at all primary levels in Ireland enabling a critical mass of Irish children to be musically literate and fluent. In addition, they are working closely with Canavan & Byrne, Early Years Education, in promoting their Step into Music for pre-schoolers.

The Ceol Programme not only nurtures valuable music skills, it also has huge benefits both in attendance rates and academic achievement amongst the children in disadvantaged areas. International research shows the links between early music education and academic competencies. It has been shown to work on many levels, building confidence for teachers who were nervous about teaching many parts of the music curriculum. It is expected that children in their classes will thrive not only in music, but also in languages, maths and science.


Ceol aims to complete the education of every child through music.

Carmel Dunne

Carmel Dunne, Elevator Award, 2006

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