Adjudicator James Muir gives guidance to young pianist Jacky Lui, with piano convenor Barry Mason looking on.
Adjudicator James Muir gives guidance to young pianist Jacky Lui, with piano convenor Barry Mason looking on. Renee Pilcher

Mastering the music at eisteddfod

“IMPECCABLE” is how adjudicator James Muir described the behaviour of ensemble competitors on Tuesday afternoon at the Queensland Eisteddfod.

The experienced music teacher, lecturer and eminent pianist was in Gympie enjoying what he called “highly commendable” performances.

“What impressed me about the ensemble groups was that their behaviour was impeccable and the obvious parental support,” Mr Muir said, adding some very fine string players were developing at the junior level.

Competitors were “certainly getting good guidance”, he said.

Mr Muir adjudicated at Gympie eisteddfod four years ago and said he was very happy to be back in the region.

For eisteddfod competitors, one of the most valuable facets of the event is the feedback they receive from adjudicators.

“The most important thing is to be encouraging,” Mr Muir said.

Adjudicators make comments when they award places at the end of each item and each competitor also receives an individualised adjudication sheet, which helps them refine and polish their performances. And often adjudicators generously give extra time, demonstrating techniques or sharing tips.

Yesterday, Mr Muir, who lectures at various institutions including the Sydney Conservatorium Access Centre, shared exercises with young pianists to help fine tune their technique. Based on the teachings of French virtuoso Marcel Ciampi, Mr Muir revealed these particular exercises were “passed from one student to another”.

Audiences are welcome at the Heritage 117th Queensland Eisteddfod. Tickets available at the Gympie Civic Centre box office.

Gympie Times


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