My school is shut at the fifth week of every month so I had the opportunities to visit Mumbai for a few days. From doing sightseeing during the day and meeting up with some friends and other WAMers during the evening, it has been an eye opener for me. The city has so much energy, youth, opportunities, as well as people and rubbish everywhere. Mumbai is so different than what I have experienced in Chennai and it was exciting to see all the similarities and differences between the two biggest coastal cities in India. It has also been great meeting and talking to people from Mumbai and hearing their insights about the city. I really had a great time in there and felt like I’ve learned a lot.
Also during my time in Mumbai, I went to Universal School from Furtados to do some classroom based teaching for the first time with Kerry. As much as I thought it would be relatively straight forward, I found it extremely difficult to engage with a large group of small children and making them sit and listen to what I’m teaching. I’m also assuming that some of them find it really difficult to understand me too which is not helping. Either way, I’m glad that I have stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something different than the one to one teaching that I’m used to. But nevertheless, it’s really nice to be back at Musee Musical and seeing all these lovely students once again.
Now, coming back to Chennai with a month remaining to teach in Musee Musical, I have a lot of work to get on and I have to pull myself together. It has been a lazy July for me and I felt like I haven’t done too much yet. This month, besides from the regular teaching hours, I have to start writing a report about the school in general which needs to be handed in when I leave. In addition to that, I would have to complete a small booklet that talks about the common problems that the students have in here so it will keep me busy for a while.
Just yesterday, I have met a visiting student in Musee Musical who has just completed his ATCL exam recently. We were sharing our piano experiences and it has been really encouraging to hear that he’s planning onto studying music at aboard after his mechanical engineering degree. He showed me a piece that he’s planning on playing for his Berkeley interview and I was amazed by his skills and techniques. Despite not being able to give him much feedback on his playing, we had a good chat and shared our piano experiences and stories with each other. By hearing his piano learning experiences in Oman, we were discussing ways to incorporate better music teaching here at Chennai and it has given me something to think about and we promised to meet again.