Russell Brand gives Offaly music book massive seal of approval

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly


Russell Brand gives Offaly music book massive seal of approval

Russell Brand gives Offaly music book massive seal of approval

Hollywood star and comedian Russell Brand has given a huge seal of approval to a children's book written by an Edenderry music teacher.

Emilia Paliulyte, who runs the Eden School of Music in the North Offaly town, is due to launch 'Pooky Plays Piano' in the coming weeks, but the colourful book, which aims to teach young children how to master the piano, already has one very famous fan.

While at a show in the Helix in Dublin, former St. Mary's Secondary School Edenderry student Emilia was introduced to Brand through friends, and the pair got talking about her latest venture. 

"I just had a copy in my bag," Emilia explained to the Offaly Express. "I asked for a photo with the book, but he actually started looking through it and asking questions."

"He loved one song called, 'The Gratitude Song,' which teaches children to be grateful for what they have," the Edenderry teacher added.

Much to Emilia's suprise, the Get Him to The Greek star, said, "Emilia, do you mind if I take this copy? I’d love to give it to my daughter, I’ve been looking for a book to teach her piano."

"I was so taken aback and of course, I gave him the book," Emila said. There are a lot of videos on the Eden School of Music Facebook page giving a sneak peak into the book that impressed Russell Brand so much, and 'Pooky Plays Piano' will be on sale on Amazon this Friday.

Emilia had the idea for the book last year after the school's exciting adventure as part of Ken Wardrop’s award-winning documentary, 'Making the Grade.'

"I had been looking for a book that would look colourful, fun and interesting to children while also giving them a chance to learn, be creative and have fun," Emilia remarked.

She then created 'Pooky Plays Piano,' a book bursting with vivid colour and fun activities, offering, "a creative and
imaginative invitation to take the firsts steps into the magical world of piano."

With the help of Pooky, the pink musical unicorn, students will be encouraged to spend some time to get to know their keys and will then seamlessly transition into reading music.

The majority of compositions offered are duets to encourage the positive bond between the pupil and the teacher. Most of the compositions in the book are centered around the middle C while practicing at home and require moving an octave higher for the duet, which will make it much easier to develop an understanding of the topography of the piano.

Each lesson will start with learning a new note or a new concept with written and clapping exercises included. As students progress, they will have a chance to create their own songs, which will encourage creativity within the learning progress.

Many of the songs in the book will have lyrics to assist the ear development of the student. Overall, with the guidance from Pooky, students will learn the basics of piano in more fun and creative ways.

In his foreword for the book, acclamied pianist and teacher Tim Treacy says, “Pooky Plays Piano is a delightful, fun, and modern introduction to playing piano which includes composition, sight reading, duets, musical games, and writing exercises."

"Creativity shines through in this delightful and colourful book and composition is promoted from the very beginning, something sadly often overlooked by many other method books," he continues.

Eden School of Music on JKL Street offers individual lessons in piano, voice, guitar, violin, drums, musical theatre and
ukulele. The school's students are excelling in RIAM exams, receiving honours and distinctions.

They also perform at Christmas and Summer concerts, where they can show their family and friends what they’ve learned in a year.

"We see students grow their confidence so much through these concerts. We also now offer grinds in Junior and LC music. Our students have gotten H1 and H2s this year, we look forward to helping more students achieve their musical goals," Emilia explained.

In another piece of big news this year, the school announced that it was starting language lessons. "My students have shared with me that they have to travel far for Irish/French grinds. So I found excellent tutors and we now offer Irish/French/German lessons, not only for exam students, but also for younger children so they would be ready for classes in secondary school," Emilia explained.

"We also offer French classes for adults who’d like to improve their skills or learn a new language as a hobby."

To celebrate five years in business and to launch 'Pooky Plays Piano,' Eden School of Music is hosting a concert on September 2. There will be music, cake and a raffle on the day and all our welcome.

You can find out more about the books, the concert or any of the classes on offer over at the Eden School of Music Facebook page. You can visit that page by clicking here.