Musicians visit Mecatina School (1/2)

**Six students from sec.1-2 ELA class in Mecatina School wrote about their experience with music workshops and shows. Three different texts are in this post.**

Fergus O’Byrne, Jim Payne and Mike Sixonate at Mecatina School

When the singers came I enjoyed it a lot. It didn’t feel like we were talking to world stars, but we were. They were really friendly and a lot like us. They came from the same place as us if you think of it. Imagine; world stars coming from a small town like ours. Mike is from a town even smaller than ours, so he said.

Jim came from a bigger town and Fergus was born and raised in Ireland. They were all friendly and very easy to talk to. It was very special that they got to come here in such a small town. They have probably been to much bigger schools than around 24 students as well.

Jim and Fergus have been doing shows together for multiple years now and we got them here last year. Then Jim and Fergus suggested Mike to Ms. Kelly and she worked to get Mike here too. Mike is also very friendly and enjoyed his time too, despite the plane ride (landing and takeoff included ;D ).

They even talked about how much it was like their own home here and how it was so much like where they are from. Jim had written a song about the Lower North Shore, and he was saying in the song how he thought he was home until he saw a French sign. I go to Newfoundland most summers and I even notice how much we are like them. In some parts of Newfoundland, we even talk the same as them, but other parts have a stronger accent.

During the visit we also made some songs. One, with Jim and Fergus, and one with Mike. They both turned out well and some were funny. It was also fun to make them despite not having much time. It was also fun talking with Mike since we haven’t talked with him before. He can do a pirate voice too when he sings. I found that really cool. He sang Cpt. Red Beard in the pirate voice.

Jim and Fergus were here last year and I really enjoyed having Mike here as well. It was interesting with his cool pirate voice impressions and putting it in songs. I also enjoyed the funny stories he told. He told a couple funny stories about his adventure on the plane and a couple of his music career and his journey with his career.

Jim and Fergus had some stories too. They had some funny ones, and they played some good music too. Not exactly my type but it still sounded good.

I enjoyed having them here a lot and I hope they will come back next year and the same for Mike.

By: Landon Robertson, Secondary two, Ms. Kelly’s English Class, Mecatina School

group pic with 3 musicians
Mecatina students with their three guests. Photo by Kelly Anderson-Lessard.

Musical Workshops

On the days of March 28th, March 29th, and April 1st, my entire school got to meet three very talented musicians: Fergus O’ Byrne, Jim Payne, and Mike Sixonate. We did musical workshops with Jim and Fergus. We also did workshops with Mike.

They were here on a Thursday and a Friday the first week. I wasn’t at school on Friday, but I can tell you what we did on Thursday. First we met with Mike that morning. We didn’t get to speak with him as long as we should have though because the plane was late. He introduced himself and played a couple of songs. Then he got us to come up with ideas for a song. We decided to write our song about the plane. We gave him a couple of ideas, then went for lunch.

In the afternoon we met with Fergus and Jim. They discussed the song writing process with us, played a couple of songs, and asked us to share why we loved our homes so much. On Friday I wasn’t at school, but my classmates told me they wrote the songs.

On Monday I was able to see the finished products. The songs were wonderful, considering they were written in two days. I wish I could have been there Friday, it was truly a unique and entertaining experience. I hope we will be able to do another workshop like this in the future.

Written By Colby Gallichon, Secondary 2 English Class, Mecatina School


Travelling Musicians

Again this year we had the opportunity to have music workshops with Jim and Fergus along with Mike. The workshops lasted two and a half days and were filled with music and song writing. Both music groups were a little different. Jim and Fergus’s songs were mostly folk songs that we are familiar with, while Mike’s songs were more unique and about his life.

The musicians were wonderful and I hope they all come back next year. They gave us some ideas to aid us when writing songs. We even had the opportunity to write two songs with them. They, along with us, performed the two songs for the school and staff on the last day. By doing this, they may help inspire a future musician!

Mike was not only funny, but also nice. He made us laugh with his jokes and stories. His stories were much like our own because he grew up in a small town. Mike also helped us with song writing and gave us ideas of unique ways to create and preform. Mike gave advice for people wanting a music career. He told us not to just jump into a musical career but to have a backup plan. He told us that if he had his time back he would have continued his education and followed his dream when he was more financially secure.

Jim and Fergus are not only helpful but also understanding. They gave us ideas that can help us with writing songs. Like every word at the end of a line needs to rhyme. They were here last year and it was wonderful. I am glad they came back again this year. They are able to take anyone’s ideas and make them work with a melody.

It was great that they came back again so we could learn more about music and some other different types of styles. I find it amazing to learn about music. I love music personally and it has always been in my life. So, I find it wonderful that we were given the chance to participate in a number of different workshops and to be able to ask questions to performers who experience audiences and song writing in their daily life.

Carly Buffitt, Secondary 1, Mecatina School, La Tabatiere

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