Experiencing music and learning to play an instrument early in life can have a profound effect on our ongoing capacity to learn – stimulating the brain in preparation for greater efficiency in all future learning due to the way in which music involves and integrates the cognitive (reasoning, spatial, mathematical and creative) skills, language, physical and social learning skills.
It is the privilege of community leaders, parents and teachers to attend to all aspects of the development of our young people – intellectual, emotional, psychological, physical, spiritual, cultural and social. The musical development of a child embraces all of these aspects.
As a music teacher of fifty years, I have always found Musical Festivals/Eisteddfods to be of great value for myself, my students and their parents.
An eisteddfod offers our young people a forum for performing in public. They learn to
- set themselves a goal and prepare to achieve it by hard work and sustained effort
- showcase their talent and ability
- accept the wisdom, guidance and encouragement offered by the adjudicator
- challenge their anxiety and overcome their fears
- give enjoyment to others as they experience the exhilaration of a successful performance
- appreciate their own talents and those of others
- develop their self-worth as well as a perspective about their own talent
- notice and value the contribution made by the volunteers whose generosity makes the eisteddfod possible
An eisteddfod offers teachers
- affirmation and constructive criticism
- encouragement from the adjudicator, other teachers and the volunteers who over the years witness the progress of individual performers
- advice in technical areas and student-practice strategies
- greater repertoire possibilities
- a forum to hear the work of performers other than their own students
- the challenge to encourage every student to achieve a goal by participating in an eisteddfod
The reason for our continued support of the Lismore Eisteddfod
- the great cultural boost in our area in developing our young people’s musical talents
- the close proximity of the location to our town
- the parents’ willingness and expectation to have their children perform in the eisteddfod
- the energy the children expend on practice before the event
- the children’s obviously great excitement, joy and satisfaction
- the parents’ interest and satisfaction in seeing their children perform
- the growth in the children’s self-esteem because they have been able to face the challenge of performing in public
- the children’s desire to participate again next year
- to give the adjudicators an opportunity to express their passion to encourage young performers as they share their talent, experience and knowledge with them
- to allow the adjudicators the opportunity to notice and drew attention to the promising young musicians in this area
I greatly appreciate the teams of volunteers who regularly organise and assist with the smooth flow of the eisteddfods. I was saddened and deeply concerned to learn that the Lismore team of Eisteddfod volunteers, who already do so much for the youth of our community, now need to raise money to pay for the future use of the Lismore City Hall for the Lismore Eisteddfod.
The Lismore Eisteddfod which is culturally enriching for our young people is an event worthy to be held in the Lismore City Hall. It would be fitting that this Hall, paid for by the local people, would always be available free of charge for the conducting of the Lismore Eisteddfod.
Students’ comments following this year’s Lismore Eisteddfod:
“Going to the eisteddfod was really fun. It was exciting playing all the songs in front of everyone and even when I didn’t win something, it was fun listening to all the other people playing their pieces and watching them receiving awards.”
“I enjoyed going to the eisteddfod. It let me show my musical talent on the piano. It was nerve-wracking because I am a bit paranoid and I fear the worst.”
“The eisteddfod was a fun experience, a little bit scary when I first got on the stage. I think it is a good confidence-builder for later life. The duet was a bit less scary because I wasn’t the only one on stage. Overall the eisteddfod was a wonderful experience.”
“Going in the eisteddfod was a fun experience for me. I enjoyed every single part and pieces that I played. I loved it.”
“When I went to the eisteddfod, I was very excited and anxious to play. I felt butterflies in my stomach every time I went up to play, even though I had done it the previous year. Playing on the big Grand piano is just the best feeling in the world, and when you get a place or a highly commended, you know all of your hard work has paid off and you can relax. I love playing in the eisteddfod and definitely can’t wait till next year.”
I think that eisteddfods are good for people to participate in because it’s a great opportunity to develop performing skills, have fun and see a variety of different young people playing. Eisteddfods also have a strong sense of community. It’s a good challenge for me and if you work hard there is a sense of pride after you’ve played. Confidence is gained every time you play.”
“I really enjoyed going in the eisteddfod. I think it’s brilliant getting to listen to all the other people play and get to play for them too. The eisteddfod really helped me become more confident as well, although I still get butterflies. Also, it’s really good having a goal to work towards. It’s also really rewarding to win a prize when you put in a lot of effort. The eisteddfod is a great thing to be involved in regardless whether you win a prize or not, and I’m hoping to go in it again next year.”