BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 30th August 2019)- Over the past weekend, 11 children, both boys and girls ages 5 to 15, took part in the graduation ceremony, for the 13th  annual banjo, guitar, fife and cuatro summer instrument workshop, held at the Zack’s Historical-Cultural Library & Museum located at the Buckley’s Estate. 

Seated in the audience were family members and other well-wishers. A few of the other workshop participants were unable to attend.

This year’s workshop-observed under the theme ‘Discipline Is Still The Key’- began on Monday 29th July and ended on Saturday 24th August with that graduation ceremony. Each child received a certificate of participation.  

Veteran musician Wilmoth ‘Mighty Jules’ Solis from the Dieppe Bay community was the workshop tutor while the usual workshop coordinator was Winston ‘Zack’ Nisbett, better known as the Doctor of Culture.

At the recent musical event, the audience was treated to a recital by the children accompanied by Nisbett on the shak-shak and Solis on the guitar with the combined strumming of banjos and guitars as well as the beating of the traingle in the singing of songs.

Nisbett in addressing the audience talked about the significance of the children being disciplined in the field of music and as individuals in general.

Guest Speaker at this year’s graduation ceremony was well-known writer Lorna Callender, a former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education.

“When you have learnt the instrument now, you have a sense of pride to do other things because before you came to this course, you couldn’t play the instruments and now you can so just try to be better and better and then you can say maybe I can play another instrument-some maybe you will do the guitar, some of you maybe the flute, maybe the keyboard so on. Don’t think you will stop here because this is the beginning .It is the language for all the world. It is a universal language and you know that when you play for a tourist whether they can speak English or not, they still appreciate your music and you still see them tapping their feet even babies so music is a language that everybody can take. It is also the language of love. You don’t realise the talent and the power you have inside of you but it can help you. This workshop will show you that you can do anything you put your mind to,” she commented.

Callender continued: “You have learnt rhythm and so on then you will learn melody so you are beginning of a whole new world and please explore it so that you would know education isn’t just for the classroom; education can occur anywhere you are so make the whole island your classroom, keep curious about everything and ask questions when you don’t understand; no question is a silly question. If you want to know, you ask questions and now you’re in a world that we didn’t even have because you have Google and you can find out anything you want so use the lovely brain God gave you. Sometimes I think that your mind or your imagination is the magic that is within you and if you learn to develop it, it will take you anywhere in the world.”

She encouraged the youngsters to turn to music during times of unhappy moods and to keep away from negative behaviour.

“Remember it can change your moods. If you’re about to get into a fight, go and take up your banjo and play or if you and your mother have a quarrel or you’re vexed, it will chase the mood away.”

At the end of her presentation, Callender gave each student a copy of one of her late husband’s (Timothy Callender) books entitled ‘SEARCHERS SECRET & SIELNCES described to be a detective thriller in VERSE. Her departed spouse was a well-known author from Barbados.