AAQ music teacher goes from singing to Grade 3 to performing at the Grand Prix

For Martin Farragher, who performs as Faraway Martin, music has always been a part of his life, from singing in bands in his home-country of Ireland to performing at weddings. The guitar-playing teacher swapped singing to Grade 3 students for performing at Qatar’s inaugural Formula 1 Grand Prix in November 2021.

Martin, landed a last-minute opportunity to play on the main stage of the Formula One Qatar Grand Prix, which saw him headline on the Saturday evening. For the music teacher, music is a passion that he gets to share with his students at GEMS American Academy – Qatar (AAQ) and the whole community.

“The staging and the setting were amazing, but for me the real highlight of performing at the Grand Prix was seeing some of my students there with their parents. My students think I’m a celebrity (I’m far from that!), and it certainly seems to motivate them to pay more attention in class.”

Martin finds that having a repertoire of songs and videos to show the students inspires them, and enables the students to connect with different genres and instruments.

“This term, my Grade 2 class has been learning Three Little Birds by Bob Marley in sign language, and some of the students were not connecting with the music,” he explains. “But when I showed them a video of me playing the same song at a gig; it really motivated them.

“Performing at large gigs like the Grand Prix is awesome, especially as many live events were cancelled due to COVID-19. Getting back on stage and performing original music is a wonderful feeling. As a teacher, I have the unique opportunity to share the joy of music with the next generation and teach them to find their own voice.”

Martin’s grand prix performance has led to further opportunities, and his latest single, “I Wanna Go”, has recently been release to radio stations in Qatar, where it has made its way into the Top 40 most played songs on QBS Radio.

Additionally, the teacher is preparing new music for 2022 and is planning an all-ages concert in Doha where his students and their families can come to support, and sing along. 

Mark Lentz, CEO / Principal of AAQ, said: “We are very proud of Mr Farragher’s achievements in and out of school. We are fortunate to have such an excellent musician and inspirational teacher on our staff. Students at AAQ get to enjoy creative arts and music throughout their school careers, and it is an integral part of our school culture. We encourage our learners to fully develop their talents and interests, and it is inspirational for our students to see that their teachers are modelling that mantra and pursuing their own passions, too.”

Check out Martin’s music on YouTube, where you can like and subscribe to support his musical journey: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf3dkNiAJehx54H7i-3BUxA

Do you have a passion that you’re pursuing outside of the classroom? Or maybe you have an uncommon and exciting hobby – if that’s you, share your story with GEMS in 10, by sending an email to: newsletters@gemseducation.com