In Spink Comhaltas, we recognise that good quality musical instruments are expensive. So, over the last 5 years, with support from Laois Partnership, Music Network and other grants, as well as significant fund raising on the part of the branch, we have invested in a comprehensive music instrument bank.
This instrument bank is targeted primarily at our junior musicians, and is intended to allow musicians to learn to play a new instrument at a cost-effective price until they reach a point where they are ready to invest in their own instrument.
Instruments are typically rented for 1 year, with an option to extend for a second year. Parents are required to sign a rental agreement, with a small deposit on the instrument and a rental payment for the year. Musicians are expected to commit to work at learning their instrument. Typically, instruments are only rented to musicians who are existing members for at least one year, and have achieved a basic level of proficiency on an instrument like a tin whistle.
We have assembled an instrument bank of 50 instruments, and continue to add to it each year.
The bank is made up of:
In addition, we have 2 harps and a starter uileann pipe set.
Musicians renting harps or pipes are expected to commit to individual lessons with a specialist teacher to fast track their development.
Our instrument bank also includes a number of instruments which are used in our ceili bands and groups, including:
For parents who are considering investing in traditional Irish instruments for their children, we can advise on trusted suppliers to consider.
In 2018 we have invested in comprehensive sound equipment which is primarily used for concerts and events which Spink Comhaltas runs. This equipment is available for hire to third parties.