Thursday, 2 July 2009

Buying a fiddle

A number of years ago - Dr. Joseph Samuel - a dear friend of ours was visiting us. We had just moved to Thane. Asha was about 3 years old.

Among Joseph's many talents is his beloved violin playing. He had brought his violin along and Asha was enthralled. She even 'played' a little bit on it. Joseph told us that we must start her on the violin as soon as possible.

Mum and Dad came back from a trip to the UK later that year with the sweetest little violin imaginable - a 1/4 size baby.

Our baby was ready. The violin was on hand. Now the challenge of getting a teacher. None were found who were willing to take Asha on at that age.

And so it was till last year when we were blessed with an amazing teacher. Elaine Thomas heads up the Jeevan Asha Balwadi of the Covenant Blessings Church and is the wife of Pastor Benny. Growing up in a musical family (which included her brother - Pastor Basil DeSouza) Elaine loves the violin and signing. Sadly, arthritis in her fingers had kept her from playing and teaching for many years. But just over a year ago she reported that her hands were better and that she was willing to take Asha on.

A year has gone by. A year in which Asha has thoroughly enjoyed learning music. Besides the violin Elaine teaches her theory and how to sing. The pupil adores her teacher - and it looks like it is mutual. Elaine has told us that what she wants most from Asha is that she will use her music to praise God. The first steps are well on the way. Asha has a wonderful ear for music and should soon be playing her first simple songs with us in our house fellowship.

Today we took a big step for her. Her 1/4 size violin had become far too small. It is time for something bigger. A 3/4 sized violin was decided on.

And so the long train ride from Thane to CST station. A short taxi ride to the venerable Furtados music store opposite Metro Cinema - a place I had passed everyday as a school boy going to Cathedral school. Then into the store filled with the most amazing collection of musical instruments. Not only instruments, but also musicians - jamming away on the keys and electric guitars - filling the place with sound.

We were there for 3 items. The violin. A stand. A music book. The first two were straight forward. There was only one company that supplied the 3/4 size. A Chinese company called Granada. We chose one. Gulped at the price, but pressed on and took it. Same for the stand. A beautiful powder coated black number. Same gulp at the price. We left the store clutching these two precious pieces and walked around to the sister store around the corner.

This store was devoted to pianos. Steinways. Bluethners. Others. A man was tickling the keys of a Steinway. Playing an amazing repretoire of warm music. Rows of music books. We got ours. Eta Cohen's Violin Method- Student Book 2. Paid (gulp again). Out of the store and into the street. Got a taxi back to CST. A slow train that ended in Thane. Rickshaw home.

Then music lesson time. Asha was thrilled. Elaine was thrilled. We have ourselves a fiddle!

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