Friday, July 18, 2014

Mungeli, India Mission Trip, Working at the Rambo Memorial School

Today, I attended the morning chapel at 7:30 and then the nurse’s rounds. After breakfast, I wandered around a bit and headed over to the Rambo MemorialSchool. There are 750 students at the school in grades 1-12 and it is an English Medium School. After meeting with principal Avanash, I went with him and Prashanta to a classroom where they had gathered two classes together or fourth and fifth graders. I taught them a song: “Jubilate Deo” (attr. Michael Praetorius), hoping to get to where we could do it in a canon and then began telling them about the differences between head voice and chest voice and what bel canto singing style is. I talked to them about the differences between some kinds of folk music and what classical styles of music included. Then, I started teaching them some basics about music and notes. I showed them various kinds of notes, the staff, and lines and spaces.

They were SO EXCITED! After this, we sang Jubilate Deoagain and I went on to another classroom with two classes combined. After the same lesson, I helped one of the teachers with some phonetics and followed that with another class period of combined classes and then another! Whew! It was super fun, but intense. I wanted to make sure that I was not going too quickly for them as I was teaching in English. There were several teachers there in each class in case anything needed to be explained in Hindi. I thought about it in the third and fourth classes and had them take a fun selfie with me! There is one above and here is the other! 

After 7:30 chapel, followed by morning rounds with the nurses and doctors, I will be teaching three classes per day at the school and then will have sometimes have free time in the afternoons. In the evenings, I will work with the nurses and nursing students. I hope to give them some “new” songs, teach them a bit about reading music so that they can have the tools to continue learning on their own if they wish, and to have them learn the differences between singing chest / throat singing and using the head voice more. This is a huge HUGE concept to practice. In the midst of all this, I want them to laugh and have some fun :-) They are fantastic students!!

The school itself is partially new and there are construction plans ongoing. As far as I know, they do not have any instruments including a drum or a keyboard. Music is not a normal part of the curriculum either and everything I am teaching them is brand new for them. During the year, I am planning to try and get some people together to send some instruments that they can use and some basic music instruction books. If you would like to help me, please let me know at

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