Others do Eisteddfods. That is originally a Welsh habit, and for some reason it’s really taken root in South Africa.
We on the other hand do Ceili’s or Ceilidhs. These are a habit from Ireland, and seeing that there is a strong Irish connection in the Studio, we felt they were a more appropriate idea.
Ceilidhs are a lot less formal than Eisteddfods. There is no competition; there are no judges and no medals to be won. But there is a ton of good fun to be had, promoting the idea that music is not technically a competitive sport but a lovely hobby that is meant to relieve stress, not generate it.
You can’t win the Olympics playing guitar. (Though some try.) At a Ceilidh, what you get is acceptance, and enthusiasm. And of course, good food and better music, depending on who is playing. The best music is always produced by yourself – seconds before you actually play it. 😉
Ceilidhs promote the spirit of community a lot more than Eisteddfods, exams, or even concerts do (though concerts do a lot on a more formal level). Attending Ceilidhs, the young musician doesn’t feel left alone any longer. Ensembles form spontaneously at Ceilidhs, some of them staying together for years after.
Our Studio Ceilidh rules are simple.
Everyone gets a turn to play. Everyone gets another turn to play. And so on. When someone plays, people should listen, or at least keep the conversation down. Competing or bragging is not allowed (but doesn’t ever arise anyway as it is completely outside the spirit of the Ceilidhs).
There are a lot of benefits to Ceilidhs, but to discover them, you have to come and play.
See you there!