Saturday 22 October 2016

John Lennon bus takes young Dublin musicians on 'Magical Musical Tour'

John Lennon mobile studio
John Lennon mobile studio
Lindsey Lawlor (17)

Young musicians were delighted when the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus rolled into Tallaght this week.

The bus doubles up as a mobile recording studio and gives young singers the chance to take a trip on a 'Magical Musical Tour'.

While aboard the bus, students write, record and produce their own music song and videos.

Established 16 years ago by Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, the bus will travel along a 'Long and Winding Road' to six different Music Generation Centres around Ireland.

The 24-day Irish national tour will see the bus travel to 11 counties.

Lindsey Lawlor (17) was one of the lucky few to board the bus in Tallaght.

"We came in and got a tour of the bus. Then we wrote a song from scratch and made a music video," Lindsey said.

"It's amazing. The facilities they have are just fantastic."

The nationwide tour took over a year to organise.

"Some of the counties where we will stop have been running competitions to select the students who will get to go on board," tour coordinator Caroline Wynne said.

The bus was parked in the wide open Library Square in Tallaght and will operate from a beach carpark in Donegal next month.

"That's what Music Generation is about," Caroline said. "We go in to every county and we pick up on the strengths and see what the needs are in the area and work on them."


The bus is home to three dedicated in-house producers and engineers who spend up to 10 months at a time travelling on the bus and teaching students along the way.

Producer and engineer Hendrick Kuhling (26), from Berlin, Germany, said the schedule can be gruelling.

Students and school kids spend roughly eight hours on the bus, tuning guitars, writing music and filming.

"Most of the kids are very creative and we are there to help them to figure out the easy stuff. By the end we have them producing a big sound," Hendrick said.

The bus has travelled extensively around the US, visiting music festivals including SXSW and Coachella.

The bus previously visited Ireland in 2013 in collaboration with U2's Music Generation scheme.

"Our aim is to build on this great sense of enthusiasm, and inspire musicians of the future," director of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Brian Rothschild said.

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