TY Internship Programme - Clare Rodrigues Fanning

Last week, Clare Rodrigues Fanning joined our team through the TY Internship Programme at the IIMS. During her placement, Clare was involved in a whole assortment of various projects, not to mention a very exciting music video recording (on which she also sings as a soloist!). She tells us all about in this blog.

Clare showing off her IIMS TY Intern hoody in the Amphitheatre

I am spending a week in the Irish Institute of Music and Song (IIMS). This what I have been doing:


I sat in on a meeting where all the teachers were discussing what they had done last week and their plans for the coming week and what would be their priorities for this week.

Then I began to catalogue the extensive music library into different categories per instrument and level, eg. Choir, Singing, Piano, Guitar, Trumpet etc.

Just before lunchtime, both founders and CEOs of the Irish Institute of Music and Song - Dónal and Michael - were going out to do a few jobs so I went out with them. They were going to get Christmas cards printed and they needed to go to the print shop to pick what card they wanted to use. It was interesting to see how businesses in Balbriggan interact and work together.

After that, we went to another place where they were approving designs for masks, coats and hoodies with the IIMS logo and writing saying ‘The Irish Institute of Music and Song’. I thought they looked really cool.

When we got back to the campus, I started writing a short Jingle. It is 5 bars and in the key of A major in 4/4 time. It was fun to write since I had never written one before.


In the morning first thing, I was cataloguing some more music books into the different categories. IIMS has lots of music books! Then I sat down in the office with the task of uploading some pictures from the school work phone onto the secure cloud drive. These were photos from the Sounds Good music summer camp which took place between lockdowns over the summer. It looked like lots of fun.

After that, I had my lunch and worked more on my Jingle. I think it is getting better…

I sat in on one of the guitar lessons which was online, and three other piano lessons which were in person. For one of the piano lessons, I got to assist in teaching the student which was a lot of fun. I learnt a lot watching and assisting in these lessons and different teaching techniques. I really enjoyed the day - especially when I got to help with one of the lessons.

Clare recording a video


The first thing I did was write about how I found the process of writing my jingle and what I had to do for research. I then wrote about how I found the composition part and what songs I listened to, to give me inspiration and how the composing process was for me. For the researching part of my jingle I listened to a number of different Christmas songs and I looked at their lyrics to see what I could do for my own jingle. I then started playing on the piano and seeing what notes sounded nice together and then when it sounded nice I built on from that until I had my jingle.

I was then helping Hugh with some editing for one of their videos and he showed me all the different platforms that he was using for editing and creating the video. This was really interesting to learn about since I had never done anything like that before or any sort of editing.

I also helped him set up for a recording session, which was scheduled for later that day. People were coming in in the afternoon to record themselves singing ‘All I Want For Christmas’ by Mariah Carey in their native language. There were people singing in Russian, Lativian, Lithuanian, Polish, Manderin Chinese, Spanish, French and I sang it in Portuguese. It was lots of fun to record since I had never before recorded music and I learnt lots of new things about audio recording. For the recording I did lots of different warm ups and I practised a lot in the morning because I was very nervous to sing in front of them but once I started singing it was fine, they were very patient and we did lots of different warm ups until I was ready to record. They recorded me three times. I also sat in one lesson which was a girl working towards doing her Grade 6 in piano.


Today there was another girl doing work experience in the music school so we did lots of activities together, including creating and filming TikTok content, listening to each other’s jingles, decorating the Christmas tree with a whole array of different coloured baubles and lights.

We started playing a piano duet called The Dolly Suite. The duet was a lot of fun to learn and I had also never played a duet which was a good learning for me. It was a beautiful piece which made it more enjoyable to learn and to play. I loved putting up the Christmas decorations since Christmas is my favourite time of year and one of my favourite parts of Christmas is decorating and making a place look nice and christmasy. My favourite Christmas songs are Do they know it's Christmas, Winter Wonderland and Christmas Lights.

On Friday, I will be working as Production Assistant for another video shoot in Balbriggan with the team so today I did a “recce” to check if the Christmas lights were switched on at 4pm in George’s Square and the Courthouse. This is important because we needed to know if the scene would be right for filming tomorrow. All was good so the shoot is on.


On Friday I was first cataloguing music books into their categories. When I had finished that I sat in on a meeting that they usually have at the end of the week to discuss what they got done that week. At lunchtime, we went out to film the video to match up with the audio that we had recorded on Wednesday and we got different shots of places around Balbriggan. It was so cold! After filming, hunger pangs began to speak so we went to get lunch and went back to the music school to eat.

In the afternoon, I watched Michael give a Zoom lesson to a choir and it was really interesting to watch and see how he was teaching them online. Later, more people came in to record the video and I was assisting Michael in doing that while Dónal recorded some more singers in The Square. It was a lot of fun. I am not sure I am ready to be a film director any time soon but I could be a director’s assistant.

The whole week has been great, both the learning and the fun that is the culture of the Irish Institute of Music and Song. I even got assistance in improving my singing voice! Maybe a career in music is in my future.

Clare creating a video post for the IIMS social media team

44 views0 comments


©2019 Irish Institute of Music and Song.