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Laurie Niles

Violin program in India needs strings

January 24, 2008 at 5:04 AM

The first Suzuki Violin School in India needs strings and other violin parts and accessories; can we help them out?

That was the request I received from Violinist.com member Peter Buettner, whose daughter I wrote about several years ago here on Violinist.com. It seems that one of my favorite mentors, U.K. Suzuki pioneer Helen Brunner, recently visited Pune, India, to see this program, and she discovered them in dire need of equipment. This is what she wrote about the experience.

Helen discovered the program when its director, Rama Chobhe, came to study Suzuki pedagogy with her at the Colorado Suzuki Institute last summer.

"Helen introduced me to Rama at the Colorado Suzuki Institute in the Summer of 2007," Peter said. "Rama played Ragas for a very interested audience one evening, and afterward she talked about her school and the program she started with the desire to bridge Indian and Western music. I thought this was very fascinating and exciting. When I mentioned to Rama that I would be in India for business soon she invited me to come and see the school."

Helen visited Pune in late 2007 to see Rama's program and to teach for a week.

"From her experience it was clear that they sorely needed new strings and other supplies, as they are in short demand in India and extremely expensive for the students' families," Peter said. "Since I'm going in February, I'm trying to get the ball rolling, raising awareness ans support to get the school the necessary supplies. I will only be at the school for a weekend and will help fitting new strings and making small repairs to the kids' violins."

Helen plans to go back to teach in Pune again in 2008.

Peter's website with information about the program and about donating is: http://www.punesuzuki.org/.

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