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Professional Development

for artists
Arts for Health West Cork

Each year artists and healthcare professionals working on the programme can avail of professional development workshops. The type and content of the sessions varies each year and responds directly with the ambition of the artists in their delivery of the programme, so if the artist or participant has an idea outside of their skill set, we can build in the learning to help realise project ideas. Delivered by peers or invited specialists, the sessions vary widely and where possible, they are open to arts and health practitioners outside of the team.

Below is a selection of sessions from 2016-19 programme. If you wish to hear about forthcoming sessions check out facebook or email with your interest.

2020 Professional Development Programme is affected by COVID 19 government restrictions and take the form of one-to-one mentoring clinics for artists on the team with Arts for Health Programme Manager Justine Foster, exploring supports and options for artists during this challenging time.

Dancing with Dementia

At Uillinn

For AfH artists, physios and care staff working with people with dementia
This practical dance workshop, led by Ríonach Ní Néill, shared some of the techniques she uses in weekly dance sessions for people living with dementia. The focus is on mental & physical stimulation and activation, engaging outwards with each other, stimulating the imagination and memory, providing opportunities for group recollection and reminiscence, and also jokes and laughter. ‘We approach the sessions as an artistic practice, providing time, space and support for the participants to engage with their own physical aesthetic impulses.’

Ukulele on the Wards

at Uillinn

For all AfH artists, partners, staff and healthcare professionals
(absolute beginners only)

Arts for Health musicians Liz Clark and Colm Rooney gave an introduction to the ukulele, a light hearted step by step guide to playing one or two old favourites to entertain and engage the patients, families and staff on the ward.

Creating Books

At Uillinn

For Arts for Health Artists

Explore the art of “D.I.Y” bookbinding and creating that professional finish with AfH artists Tess Leak and Sarah Ruttle. This session follows on from their collaboration with designer and book-maker Orlagh O’Brien from Haiku Island Press and will share how they made a limited edition of books using just a small printer, basic tools and a photocopier.

Art and End of Life

Facilitated by Breffni McGuinness, Irish Hospice Foundation
Wednesday 5 December 2018
This challenging session helped to give the artists confidence in how to interact with people who are dying or at end of life. The group explored what to say and what to do? and how you might communicate with someone who is dying or at end of life, and importantly what role the Arts and the artist might play to support someone who is dying or at end of life. The outcome was really afirming to the practices that were already taking place.

Exploring Sound, Cross Artform

Wednesday 23 January & Tuesday 19 March 2019 at Uillinn. Invitation open to all artists on the team

Arts for Health musicians will host a peer sharing to explore the  hidden potential in the bank of instruments available to the artists team. The session will take a an open and creative approach, inclusive for non musicians to investigate cross artform collaborative opportunities.


Arts for Health, Exploring Working with Cognitive Difference (Training session, part 3)

Facilitated by Sarah Cairns
Tuesday 12 February 2019, 10am at Uillinn. Booking essential
This professional development session seeks to further inform arts and health practitioners when working with people who are experiencing memory loss and dementia. Continuing the conversation from previous training, participant consider techniques and their environment. The latter part of the session will serve to address specific challenges where artists can lead the session with anything they would like to tease out.


Arts for Health, Artists Training Day with Gráinne Hope /Kids Classics

Thursday 22 August 2019, 10am to 3pm at Uillinn

The training day will be an opportunity for the Arts for Health team to come together and explore methodology and approaches for working in healthcare settings with older people

The session will focus on:

· Understanding the role of a healthcare musician and the appropriate placement of music in sensitive settings.

· Exploring the skill set and best practice methods necessary to deliver quality interactions in Hospitals and Nursing Homes.

Programme content may include:

· The approach and methods required for successful musical interactions in hospital and care home environments

· Vocal and instrumental repertoire and improvisation

· Challenges of working in a team within a clinical space