Over 120 clients (schools, youth groups, arts organisations, educational institutes and media) including:
EMILY LYNCH – WEBWISE
Thank you for your tremendous work in creating “I Like It” and in coordinating the performance, which was, without a doubt, the highlight of Safer Internet Day! We’ve been quite overwhelmed by the incredible reaction to I Like It. I’ve been at two separate anti-bullying events this week and literally everyone under 35 was talking about it. In three days we’ve had about 80,000 views across the different platforms. We’ve had colleagues in Safer Internet Centres across Europe contact us to say that they can’t get the song out of their heads and English isn’t even their first language, never mind Cork English! Just yesterday I met the president of the Irish Secondary Students Union (ISSU). He’s 16 years old and he said “I thought it was going to be another cringey anti-bullying video but I ended up watching it about five times”. High praise from a teenager;)
Somehow you managed to create something that appeals not only to the target demographic of 10-14 year olds but also to their teachers! Exactly what we wanted but usually near impossible to do. The rap is cool, current, cute and above all catchy, but also very appropriate. We’ve always struggled to make anti-bullying campaigns cool as what makes them cool often makes them inappropriate for schools but you’ve hit the perfect balance.
I’ve taught music for about 10 years so know more than most how much time, commitment, energy and above all talent pulling off performances/productions like I Like It take. You really have an incredible gift for producing music and for getting the best out of young people. I’ve been wanting this project to come to together for quite some time and knew you were the person for it but you’ve really exceeded expectations on every level! When we reconnected in January I really didn’t think we’d have the time to pull it off but your can-do attitude and dedication to the project made magic happen!
TERESA HUDSON – LIBRARIAN AT COLÁISTE EOIN, FINGLAS, DUBLIN:
The students did more work and paid closer attention to Garry than I have ever seen them do before. They are normally very resistant to doing any writing, but managed to write a whole song! For some students, the experience of writing and performing a song was one of the best experiences of their lives.
MAIREAD NI BHEARA – TEACHER AT SCOIL BARRA NAOFA, MONKSTOWN, CO. CORK:
Garry came to Scoil Barra Naofa , Monkstown on 6 different days over a three week period, in October 2014. He worked with all classes from Junior Infants to 6th Class. The aim of the project was to write a rap with each class based on the theme of Winter/ Christmas. A CD of all tracks ( including the teacher’s rap!!) will be sold at our Christmas Fair.
All teachers were highly impressed by Garry’s ability to interact with the children to help them to write and record a unique rap. Garry’s enthusiasm was infectious and the children responded instantly. Garry was able to naturally adapt to cater for even the youngest of our pupils. I was particularly impressed by his understanding of those children with special needs. Every child felt involved and contributed positively to the final track. It has been a hugely positive experience for our entire school community. We await with anticipation the sale of Scoil Barra Naofa’s first ever Rap Cd. I would highly recommend Garry to any primary school.
A big thanks from all the teachers and pupils of Scoil Barra Naofa.
EVELYN GRANT – DIRECTOR OF CORK MUSIC WORKS & THE CORK POPS ORCHESTRA:
I can only rave about GMC! He is, undoubtedly, one of the top music workshop leaders in Ireland today. It has been such a pleasure to work with him on a wide range of projects, since his student days – with people with special needs in Cork Music Works; on inter-generational projects; on schools projects; and U.C.C.’s Certificate in Contemporary Living (music module) and in performances for the Cork Pops Orchestra in City Hall, Cork, in the R.D.S. in Dublin and most recently with the Knocknaheeny Youth Music Initiative in Áras an Úachtarán. His work is always so relevant, so meaningful and always so respectful of the groups with which he engages.
What makes his work so special? Certainly, his huge talent. But, in the context of delivering workshops – it is his ability to adapt, to continually come up with fresh ideas and to prepare, plan and deliver exactly what he has agreed. What makes him so special is that he genuinely believes in the power of rapping and music production as a means of expression and that he is totally committed to sharing that with people – of all ages and abilities. His unfailing politeness and flexibility make him a joy to work with. Every project has been top-quality – and lots of stress-free fun. (Excellent value for money, too!) But, bottom-line – a true musician and a gentleman.
SINEAD CLIFFE – GURRANABRAHER ARTS PROJECT, CORK:
We first met Garry (GMC) while attending a week long event in Liverpool with the Triskel Arts Centre, it was obvious then that Garry is very dedicated, professional and creative in his approach to his work and when working with young people.
During the last few years we have worked with Garry in the Triskel Arts Centre and at various music events in the city. We also employed Garry at various occasions throughout the last 3 years to teach specific technical, recording, production and creative elements of creating music, specifically in rapping. Garry is punctual, reliable and is very adaptable when working with groups of youngpeople.
Garry is respected and admired by the young people who attend our course, he has always worked well with the groups encouraging and challenging them creatively, while always remaining friendly, patient and fun in his approach to teaching.
DER FITZGIBBON – ARTS ORGANISER, SCOIL IOSAGAIN BOY’S PRIMARY SCHOOL, CORK:
All class teachers were full of praise for his professionalism, his technical, organizational and motivational skills, his ability to generate co-operation and creativity among the boys of all ages.
The workshops were the highlight of the week for most children, allowing all to participate in an enjoyable, focused, creative and disciplined way. In a number of notable cases, teachers remarked that, in the workshops, particular children were involved and focused on “school work” for at least one hour during the school week.
At the end of the workshops we were able to produce a CD of 22 tracks featuring the work of the classes from 1st to 6th, which sold out immediately. It was wonderful for the boys to have such a concrete record of their work. We hope to have Garry back in the school, to conduct workshops in the coming school year 2011/2012 with as many classes as possible.
Garry McCarthy has been involved with youth events in Triskel Arts Centre for many years both as a musician in his own right and also as a facilitator of workshops for young people. As far back as 2008we invited Garry to participate in a series of workshops and showcases which took place in Liverpool against the backdrop of Liverpool City of Culture 2008. Most recently – May 2010 – Garry was involved in a very successful Hiphop Festival which took place at White St. Car Park in Cork.
He is an extremely talented, reliable and hardworking young man.
MARK PEYTON – FADA PROJECT, CORK (Farranree Alcohol & Drugs Awareness):
GMC (Garry McCarthy) ran ten rap sessions here at the project for us from September to November 2009. These sessions really helped young people from the local area to express themselves through rapping. The young people got an opportunity to showcase their skills in the community centre at the end of the sessions for their parents and other groups in the community. The sessions were a great success overall.
BRENDA GRIFFIN – PRIMARY TEACHER/MUSICIAN @ SCOIL CHOLMCILLE PRIMARY SCHOOL, CORK:
GMC did a 3 day workshop with all 11 classes in Scoil Cholmcille, Blarney Street. He had a great rapport with the boys and they thoroughly enjoyed their time with him. Garry altered each session to suit the different age groups and was able to elicit clever, funny, rhyming and musical raps from each class. As a result, we now have a very professional recording of each rap. I would highly recommend GMC to any school, secondary or primary.
JOANNE KEANE – PRIMARY TEACHER @ SCOIL MHAIRTIN, CO. CORK:
GMC did a three day workshop with 1st class right up to 6th class in our school, Scoil Mháirtín, Kilworth. The children were extremely excited about these workshops and they certainly did not disappoint! It was a great experience for them to see the process of how a track is recorded, from the composing right through to editing stage. All of the tracks turned out fantastic and the children are extremely proud of them. I would highly recommend GMC’s workshops to any other school.
NORA FURLONG – MAYFIELD ARTS CENTRE, CORK:
Garry facilitated music workshops exploring the theme of social inclusion as part of a collaborative youth initiative programme with Mayfield FÁS training centre coordinated by Mayfield Community Arts Centre. The music piece produced by the group qualified in the finals of a music competition hosted by Development Perspectives Ireland and eventually won the group a day in a recording studio, radio time as well as 100 copies of the CD.
Garry has also worked with a group of young people with disability with whom he recorded a piece reflecting on the themes of self advocacy and identity. These workshops offer the participating young people the space to creatively reflect on important themes and develop new ways of expressing themselves using music.
CARMEL HENNESSY – CIT/UCC PATHWAYS TO EDUCATION:
Garry McCarthy has facilitated a number of workshops on behalf of the Pathways to Education Project (UCC/CIT Collaborative Project). This project works with the second level sector to increase the number of students with disabilities attending third level and further education. As part of this project, Garry presented a number of aspiration-raising rap workshops for students with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Vision & Hearing Impairment and Physical Disability to increase self confidence and creative expression, concentration, co-ordination, planning for the future and social skills. The students learned about language and rhythm. Garry encouraged a sense of self and local pride amongst the students which made their production relevant and fun!
At all times Garry was professional, empathetic, courteous, creative and encouraging to each student. He worked both with the group as a whole and with each student on an individual level to elicit the participation of each student. I would have no hesitation in recommending Garry for any work of this type.