Thursday, 8 August 2013

All singing, all dancing at Avalon. Becky

All is crazy here at Avalon as most classes are off timetable and preparing for the huge school production next Saturday! This gives me licence to walk into any class of unoccupied children and run music workshops which is fantastic fun! Crowds singing and dancing along, making up their own rhythms, learning to listen to each other, competitively clapping notated rhythms and smiling a lot. One class of girls requested a song about friendship day, luckily I remembered an appropriate song one and we sang it round their teacher when she came in. Friendship day seems to be a big occasion here which means both Anna ma'am and I have so many ribbons, rings and child-sized bands put on our hands that it is surely a risk to circulation!

My Grade One classes are in the final stages of rehearsing their Jack and the Bean stalk presentations which is exciting - I have been haunted by those same songs for nearly a month now! I am very proud of what they have achieved: learning a lot of songs, singing in a round, playing percussion at appropriate moments (and sometimes they don't play in the inappropriate moments which is the real achievement!), writing their own lyrics and even creating their own backdrops.

The school production also means I have been drafted in to play guitar - a nice challenge for me! These songs are not the standard four-chord-wonders-in-easy-keys that are the staple for English school productions. They use raga and tabla with tunes I cannot predict and harmonies foreign to me - very exciting! Much practice needed.

Outside of school cultural exchange continues. We are learning a heart-throbbingly beautiful hindi song from the girls we live with and teaching them some keyboard to accompany it.

I am really keen to put on a concert to fund raise for local charity but finding a venue is proving more difficult than expected! Unlike other parts of Mumbai, there is not a western-music-concert-audience in Vashi, or so we have been told. We are continuing to try and our lovely friend Wilfred is calling on local contacts so hopefully it will happen! 

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