This weekend we went down to Trivandrum at 4:30am on Friday morning (to beat the traffic!) to be there to teach at the other school Abraham works at, a.k.a CDMS. It made a nice change to be exclusively teaching piano to children rather than teaching classroom lessons to people our own age! The school that we went to offered piano, keyboard, guitar and drum lessons which all went on all day in the small building so it got quite noisy as the day went on... There is also no kind of structures timetabling in the centre and students just turn up at any point in the day so we just had to be there on stand-by on the off chance people would show up! (which they did!)
The method of teaching here, like Nadia said, is completely focused on graded exams and because of this, the students are taught the bare minimum they need to pass it, i.e just learning the pieces and scales they need to play in the exam and not expanding their other skills such as sight-reading. This made teaching them a little difficult to get used to as many of them were not very good at actually reading the music. I think as the weekend went on though, we found ways of getting around this and it did become a little easier to get things across to them. We tried making tactful suggestions about how the students should perhaps engage in short weekly sight-reading classes with fun music like pop or Disney so maybe that could be the future? Some of the students returned the next having practiced with our methods, making huge improvements which was really rewarding.
As well as continuing our work at ACCM, we are also becoming more integrated with the children's home we are living at. For example, the weekend before last we organised a little concert where the children could put their name's down and do a performance in front of everyone. It was great fun and they really seemed to enjoy all the singing and dancing that happened so this weekend we're planning on doing something similar again but this time, making more of a competition out of it!
We had some exciting news over the weekend as well. We're going to be on Indian television!! Abraham is involved in a local Christian worship program and has been asked to record a show that we will be involved in, in a couple of weeks time which will be super exciting!!
More updates coming soon!!