We just returned from a trip to Ireland so two of my kids (dd9 and ds13) could compete with their respective instruments in the All Ireland music competitions (kids from around the world and from all the counties in Ireland must qualify in their areas then get to compete at the All Ireland).

My dd9 has been the MidAtlantic under 12 fiddle champion every year since she was 6 years old so has gone to Ireland for this event 3 times. Her brother competed in America for the first time this year in accompaniment on his guitar and qualified by placing 2nd.

They did not place in Ireland but being one of the top 14 kids on your instrument in Irish music is, in itself, a huge accomplishment. My dd has been the youngest to compete in her age group at the All Ireland every year and the only child competing on a fractional size fiddle. She plays just as well or better than all those kids up to 3.5 years older than her. Many people felt she did not get a fair shake either due to size or political reasons but both kids are ready to go back and try again next year. I am very proud of their determination and hard work.
Donna, mom to ds15, ds13, and dd9.