By Louise Harrison
Violin teacher at the Mid-West Vocal Academy (MWVA) Patricia Vaughan loves teaching, and passing on her knowledge and love of music that began at a very early age.
“My earliest memory of music was when I was very small and hearing my father sing. He loved music and singing. He used to sing songs from the shows every day.
“When I was in primary school the pupils were taken to The Savoy Theatre in Limerick and I heard our National Orchestra play Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. I thought I had died and gone to heaven,” laughed Patricia.
According to Patricia, children and adults should learn music for the pleasure of being able to play a piece, perfect it and enjoy it, and to be able to enter the world of music where they can go to a concert and hear all the instruments in an orchestra working together to make beautiful and wonderful sounds.
“To be able to sit down at home in the evening, close one’s eyes and let magnificent music wash over them and maybe calm them. I also have an article ‘Early Music Lessons Boosts Brain Power’ . Shortly after starting lessons parents have often told me that their child has improved in maths and spellings. In my opinion this is because they have learned how to concentrate through music lessons,” said Patricia.
Now in her third year of teaching at the MWVA, Patricia has taught for many years in various schools in Ennis and Limerick, a career path that began with her first lesson at nine years of age.
“I don’t remember much about my first lesson, just going up Crescent Avenue with my mother and into the house where Mr Hasset lived, he was the organist in the Jesuit Church in Limerick. I remember he got me to pluck the violin strings.
“I play two instruments, violin and piano. Mr. Hasset also taught me the basics of the organ but I have forgotten that now,” added Patricia.
While in secondary school Patricia completed her Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) grades while studying with John McKenzy then she went to Cork to study the Suzuki method with Philipp Lees and Trudy-Byron Fahy for five years.
“I love everything about teaching music, the children especially, they are very entertaining and I have so many funny stories I could tell you about what they said and did during lessons.
“The greatest pleasure is in seeing them develop their musical skills. I also like teaching adults when they are starting to learn as they can be so apologetic, wondering if they are too old, then they are so happy when they can play a tune.
“Teaching in MWVA has been nothing but a most enjoyable experience. I must say all the teachers I’ve met there are so friendly and kind but especially Owen Gilhooly,” added Patricia.