Music has a positive effect on children; it’s a skill, a hobby for life and it helps them to relax in a stressful world. It is a powerful tool that helps children develop coordination and motor skills, enhances concentration, builds confidence, boosts self-esteem and teaches children patience and discipline. Music challenges children to grow and overcome obstacles as they face new experiences every time they learn new music or set foot on stage. It is proven that children who play music use rhythm to learn formulas and memorise for exams, thus attaining higher grades. In addition, it helps children socially, fosters creativity and most importantly it is fun!
Miss Hayes established the Fossa National School Band in 2013 and it has grown from strength to strength over the past 3 years. The band meets every Tuesday from 2:45pm – 3:45pm and consists of pupils from fourth, fifth and sixth classes. Our musicians include children who play tin whistle, flute, violin, banjo, mandolin, guitar, concertina, accordion, keyboard and percussion instruments including a bodhrán, cajón and drum-kit. Our School Band ethos is to be relevant and play and enjoy contemporary music like Avicii, One Direction and Coldplay while also fostering a love of traditional, religious and classical music.
We have a great repertoire of tunes and during the year we entertain both the school community and the wider local community. This year the school band performed at a number of events including the Christmas concert to welcome parents, school masses, Seachtain na Gaeilge and a prayer service for the newly created Ludato Si Garden on the church grounds as part of the Kerry Diocese’s Earth Week project. In 2014 we acted as the welcome committee and warmer upper for the school musical ‘Annie’ and in 2015 we performed before the Christmas concert in the church. On both occasions the band played a medley of tunes to get the audience in the Christmas spirit.
The Fossa National School Band has experienced many successes. In 2015 members of the band were part of a group to win the U14 Community Games County Competition and went on to represent Fossa and Kerry in the All Ireland Final in Athlone. In 2016 the U12 and U16 Music Groups came second in the Community Games County Round and second in the Instrumental Music as part of Scór na bPáistí.
This year we will bid a special farewell to our 6th class band members who were part of the original band and we hope they leave with fond memories of performing together. Maria Montessori, the founder of the Montessori approach to education, advocated that teaching and learning should be fun. As a teacher I aspired to pass on my love of music to the children and to make the band an enjoyable, fun time for them. I hope I have achieved this. Thank you to all the school band members for all the effort, hard work and commitment they put in during the year. It has been a pleasure.
Plato: Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.