some days i feel like i’m fräuline maria in the sound of music.
oh, there are those minor differences: she was in salzburg and i am pune; she wore a dirndl and i wear a salwar kameez; she had a guitar and i have a ukulele; she had a handsome sea captain, and i have a — hey, wait a minute!
anyway, the the joy in task is the same!!!
i now have 26 students in four different classes. they are all learning anthony raj’s “tu pyaar ka saagar”, which i’ve transposed into the key of c major so it’s easier to play. its a song they love, so they are willing to play it over and over. we start with chords and strumming and counting. we then add singing. and then we move into the c major scale — complete with naming the notes on the fretboard as they play, and from there they learn how to play the melody in fingerstyle.
here’s a 39 second video of batches 2 and 5 playing “tu pyaar ka saagar.” (i know these videos take a while to load, but if you watch this one to the end, you will be rewarded with a view of one of the dear kitchen girls hanging in there despite difficulties 🙂 )
one day toward the end of my batch 1 class, nandita* was struggling to keep up with the other girls in learning the c scale. soon there was a frown on her face as she complained in bangladshi about all the english letters in the c scale and how it was too difficult to learn. the next class i took her and another girl aside to give them special attention on the c scale. within minutes she had it. and what was so cool about her success was how eager she was to share with the other girl and teach her how to do it, too. she could hardly contain herself in her eagerness to help the other girl. yay!!
and here’s a 12 second video of yet another girl, anika, and her 3rd batch classmates working that c scale.
i wish you could see the smile of achievement and delight in her face as she finishes off with a flourish. they love learning ukulele!!
and here is alisha* who, along with laksha*, bravely learned how to change ukulele strings.
what would fräuline maria do? create contests and give prizes? i think she would!
here are the prizes from last week’s contests. the addition of little plastic rings and nail polish has upped the ante.
two happy winners in batch 3!
when you know the chords to play, you can play most an-y-thing.
recently one of the girls started jamming on her uke and singing, “give me some sunshine,” the catchy and yet poignant song from the much-loved bollywood movie 3 idiots, starring aamir khan.
the girls all chimed in on the song, and that evening when i looked up the chords and lyrics, it struck me how relevant the words of the song are to these girls.
here are some of the lyrics from “give me some sunshine” translated from hindi into english (adapted from: http://johnboednew.blogspot.in/2010/08/translation-give-me-some-sunshine-ost-3.html). the chorus is already in english.
we kept living
an incomplete life till now,
let us live fully for a moment now
we have lost our childhood
as well as youth
now let us live fully
for a moment
give me some sunshine
give me some rain
give me another chance
i wanna grow up once again
na na na-na…na na na-na….
i’m hoping that learning to play the ukulele will be part of the survivor girls’s chance to grow up once again.
*names have been changed