Wow, what a week it has been in Ceol Chuilinn! Annual Spring Concert is over for 2016!
My students really worked so hard in the week leading up to our concert at the weekend. We came back after the Easter break and literally had just days until our concert so they had been a bit rusty and had a lot of work to do. Slight oversight on my part as I thought I had a second week of classes before the concert. Nevertheless, the kids practiced so much and it paid off. Their concert was super. Concerts like this are a new thing for our area so it was a great surprise to most of the audience to see children from 3 to 13 performing a mix of Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and many more.
So there I was on Monday morning thinking this would be a slow week with everyone tired after the concert and all their practice but I was so wrong! It’s now Friday morning and I can’t believe what a great week it’s been. I figured after the concert the kids would kick back a bit but the motivation the children get from their performance is like none other. Students came in this week with whole pieces learned, better vibrato, better tone, LOADS of questions, and above all an enthusiasm that would warm your heart.
I asked all of my students what their favourite part of the concert was and for most it was the cake and buns that were so kindly provided for them by parents afterwards!
From all of their feedback and the parents’ I put together this list:
- Small kids thought the big kids were amazing
- Big kids thought the small kids were ‘sooo cute’ and took them under their wings
- Lots of parental involvement made the concert feel like more of a group effort
- Ceol Chuilinn ensemble had their first official performance and have inspired many more budding students to join.
- Students who were too shy to play at other concerts finally bit the bullet and had a great time
- Overall celebratory atmosphere
I mentioned at the end of the concert that Twinkle Twinkle was my favourite piece and it genuinely is! I love the sound of the whole hall joining in for this lovely simple tune and I love that without knowing it, the kids can already play this one piece that is their passport to the world. No matter where they go and who the meet, Twinkle Twinkle puts a smile on people’s faces. More importantly, it’s one piece that is common repertoire all over the world. If you can play it with your peers in Ireland, you can play anywhere in the world. So as I watch my students all play it together I feel like I’ve accomplished something, whether I’ve managed to get the best out of each child or reached any other aims I had for the concert, or not, at least I can rest easy that I’ve given them one important thing – they can enjoy music, and play in harmony with others. Job done.