a new song

hello again! it's been a while. in case you were starting to forget what i look like with soft focus great lighting and sunglasses in an auto-rickshaw, here's a recent selfie: IMG_2436

seems every time i go to write a new blog post, i have no idea where to begin. and it gets even worse when i haven't posted anything in a while. how to account for all that unblogged about time?!! well, the last few weeks have been an absolute blur, with eleven of my students about to leave for their home country -- all on the same day --  and i wanted to send them off with their very own kala brand music makala dolphin ukulele. and to get that beautiful ukulele they had to earn it.

here's what they had to be able to play to earn their ukulele:

1) tu pyaar ka saagar -- chords and melody

2) kuch kuch hota hai -- chords only, but the timing is tricky!

3) survivor girl ukulele band song in hindi -- also tricky timing

4) c major scale -- forwards and backwards and be able to name all the notes

in addition:

5) each girl had to write an original song and perform it.

before we get any further with this post, here is one of the new songs:

[audio http://theworkingdraft.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/guitar-teacher-song.m4a]

and then we planned out a program to play for the home before they left, and they practiced and practiced!

but it wasn't all on the girls. on my end, i had to think about what materials to send with them so they could easily review and continue to work on their music. this whole project was an experiment, and i started from scratch. plus, i didn't have a printer. so for two months i had been teaching mainly with this one sheet of paper:


here's the other side. it got a lot of use!!


but then i finally sprung for a nice little printer. wheee!! and now we're working off sheets that look like this:

IMG_2466and believe me, these took hours and hours.

i also purchased some clear sleeves and some folders for the girls in which to keep their music and chord charts.

here's one more song, not to be missed:

[audio http://theworkingdraft.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/train-station-song-16may2013-2.m4a]

requiring the girls to write an original song turned out to be so amazing. many of these young women cannot read or write. one uses her thumbprint as her signature. and none of them had ever written a song before. but they are learning how to learn. more than that, they are creating and expressing themselves through music. the range of feelings and the ideas that come out in these songs -- well, i wish you could see and hear what i have witnessed in the past weeks. it is such an honor and privilege to be here with these dear sweet traumatized hurting intelligent loving and hopeful young women.

the survivor girl ukulele band project is truly impacting these girls' lives in a positive way. thank you, friends and family for your support and encouragement. you are part of this, too!