I enjoyed my trip to the Derry Fleadh at the weekend. The main event I saw was the Under 12 Ceili Band competition. My song Charlie was playing drums in the St Roch’s Band and they played well. I think there 12 bands on in total and it was hard to believe that all the kids performing were still at primary school. When I think back to when I was playing at 10 years old I was never near this standard of performance.
The beauty of it though is not that they’re all great players but more that they have been introduced to the fantasticness (is that a word?) of playing music together at such a young age. Most kids nowadays don’t get these opportunities as music is dumbed down in schools and music is learnt to backing tracks.
What a joy it is to play with other ‘real’ musicians. The sharing, the listening, the sense of community, the laughing together, the running together is what it’s about. We don’t ever want to lose this and unfortunately a lot of school music teaching is based on the opposite of this – everyone wearing headphones, performing to bland backing tracks etc.
For once I agree with the No campaign in Scotland – “Better together” not seperation (when it comes to music!)