I’m now nearly 4 weeks into this trip, having arrived here a week later than the other WAMers. I’m still thoroughly enjoying it, and everyone at the Foundation is accustomed to me barging into a lesson and giving, what I hope is, a helpful opinion!
Work is continuing steadily, I probably have around 12 personal piano students a week, while I take an active role in about 30 other piano lessons, run by both Tanusree and Wyomia, the two main piano teachers. I can only really credit their ability as both pianists and teachers. I have brought a few practice techniques to the table already, but they were already off to a brilliant start. I can see why the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation takes pride in its high standards of teachers.
There is already structure within the Foundation, with theory classes and practice booklets a requirement for the students. I have just started taking the intermediate theory classes, which are currently no more than Grade 2 ABRSM. I think the long-term goal though is that the ‘intermediate’ level be Grades 3-4 and the ‘higher’ from Grades 5+.
I’m accompanying all 4 choirs, and will be performing with them in the Annual concert on the 11th September (performing in front of the Indian-born, world famous Zubin Mehta), before I fly back to the UK on the 13th.
I sometimes wonder whether a small syllabus could be put in place for the outreach work in Aseema (located in Bandra). This is something I am going to discuss with the staff in due course. I have also been talking about allowing certain parents into piano lessons (provided they are quiet) as there is currently an aura of ‘fearing and avoiding the parents’, while an obvious miscommunication occurs between student’s objectives and parents expectations.
I’ve also been added to the new MMMF prospectus. I might be grabbing one before I leave!
Other than that, there’s not so much news really. My first Listeners’ Club concert is going to be on the 14th, and I also met with the other Mumbai WAM lot (plus honorary Mumbai-for-4-days Adrian) the other day. It was quite nice to see some friendly faces. I’ve heard that since 2008, tourism has dropped by more than 35%, (and considering it isn’t even tourist season at the moment) it would partly go to explaining why whenever I walk anywhere lots of Indians come up to me and talk to me. Most of them being polite… but that's another story.