Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Josh in Mumbai 4

It’s been a while since my last blog. I’d like to blame it on a busier-than-normal schedule, but it’s not really changed in the 5 weeks that I’ve been here.

I’m still enjoying the MMMF, but other than the piano teaching (that both teachers and students enjoy), I find the idea of suggesting new approaches rather difficult.  I’m surprised by the defensiveness of some staff when I question a process or suggest a different way of doing something.  Probably, again, because the MMMF prides itself on excellent facilities and good teachers. 
To mention just a few topics e.g; Outreach Work in Aseema (a state-run school in Bandra), the ‘need’ and layout of the practice diaries, parents’ attendance in lessons, theory class syllabus’, extra choir rehearsals and odd points in individual piano lessons. Every suggestion has been shot down or sneakily twisted into a “that’s good, but that’s not what we’re aiming to do right now” quote.

It’s also the same story when I teach an adult the piano. I’ve realized the routine now is; introduce yourself, sit down, and listen to the students’ personal record of achievements for the following 10 minutes - Something that I find remarkably self-protective and I find counter-intuitive to the lessons.

The Listeners’ Concert has been delayed a week due to a religious New Year so it’s now going to be on the 21st. I also wonder if the Foundation will appreciate my playing, as so far everyone that I’ve heard play has fully concentrated on correct notes within a piece, often sounding clinical and mechanical.  Whereas one of the (now obvious) main things I learnt though my music college was that correct notes aren’t the be-all and end-all of a performance.  I'll keep you all posted.

Rant over.

String Ensemble Rehearsal 8am-10:30 Sunday Mornings

I'm very much enjoying accompanying the choirs, and helping the string ensemble (pictured) as the rehearsal pianist.  We're currently learning the Toy Symphony for the Sept. 11th Concert.

I traveled to Lonavala by myself on Sunday the 4th, it was a great experience and I saw loads of tourisity spots before travelling back on the Monday evening, I saw (and got photos of); Karla Caves, Bushi Dam, Lonavala lake, and the ‘Points’ of Rajamachi, Lions, Sunset (Khanadala), Echo, Sunset (Ambavane)- and also Reywood Park.  The Wax museum was particularly.. hilarious.

Me in Lonavala.

I also went to a spa the other evening (which was particularly traumatising).  The massage was Ok but it was slightly overshadowed by the fact I’d had a heated debate with two of the male staff.  They produced what can only be described as a paper thong to be worn instead of underwear.  You could call it stubbornness; I prefer to class it as just being typically British, but I defended my current attire.  But that’s another story…  And no, I’m not going to say whether I wore it or not…

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