Some good results!

Three students have recently competed in various Eisteddfoddau around Brisbane, with some excellent results. Hannah Grondin, a music theatre specialist, was awarded Overall Champion in the Redlands Eisteddfod, while Chenaya Aston was Junior Champion. Chenaya was also awarded a third place in the MTAQ awards for music theatre. I am thrilled at these results. They have not come without some hard work by the students and me, and support from our long suffering parents!

Well done to all who competed. I look forward to more great efforts from the Plainsong students in the next round of Eisteddfoddau: Enoggera, Ipswich, Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Students are progressing well in our studio, with Charlie Keirnan awarded an A+ for her preliminary grade AMEB singing for leisure. Exams and Eisteddfoddau are a great way to develop one’s confidence in performing, and most competitions are not as competitive as it may seem. Most competitions for the under 12s give ribbons to all entrants, and in the higher grades a positive attitude is usually adopted by the adjudicator, who takes pains to provide constructive criticism for the entrants – usually directed to the teachers! Adjudicators know and appreciate that the young performers are indeed young and inexperienced, who will struggle at times to give their best technical or musical performance on the day. I know this: I regularly adjudicate these competitions, and always try to give the students positive feedback, as well as providing feedback to continue working on in the singing studio.

Competition is occasionally seen as unhealthy, but in the Arts, especially in music performance, competition is unfortunately a fact of life. Roles are hotly sought after, and the best nearly always wins the plum parts. So for those contemplating a career in singing and performance, it’s important to develop a healthy respect for the positive benefits of competition. Competition hones our craft, and allows us to be the very best we can be. Performing in the Arts should always have the love of the endeavour first and foremost, but standards are important for the maintenance and development of the craft of singing and performance.

So I encourage all Plainsong students to perform regularly (under my strict supervision, of course!) and to hone their performance craft by doing just that: performing.

About Jessica

Dr Jessica O'Bryan PhD is an educator, researcher, singer and author. Her next book on Musical Theatre Education and Training will be published in 2020 through Routledge. Her last book was Teaching Singing in the 21st Century (2014, Springer). She lives in Brisbane in a semi-renovated 20s Queenslander home with her husband, Dougal the Groodle, and all the single ladies (Poppy the Groodle, Lucy the Cat, and the chooks).
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