Our Cello project gets wings

One of India’s biggest problems in the classical music scene is the lack of lower strings. There are very few home-grown cellists here and even fewer, competent teachers. In Goa, we have a couple of young, school-going cellists who are part of the Camerata Child’s Play. There are, however, no teachers who can raise a new generation of cellists.

So what do you do when there’s nobody local? You welcome visiting cellists with open arms.

In July this year, Anya Hirdamani, a young Indian-origin Sri-Lankan cellist visited Goa and spent some time at Hamara School. Anya’s enthusiasm for teaching was evident and she managed to revive interest in the instrument. By the time she left to go back to school in the UK, we had three young children (the youngest, Poorba, is only 6) learning the instrument.

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Here’s a short video from Week 2 of our fledgling cello project. Here, the kids are playing the first line of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ a mere week after classes have begun.

Our junior cellists are an enthusiastic bunch and we are really lucky to have two young German volunteers – Lukas and Frederich – who will be with Child’s Play for a whole year.  Lukas plays cello and piano while Frederich plays the flute. The cello lessons have continued with gusto and we now have nine children learning the cello!

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Our Project Director Dr Luis Dias hands over this tiny 1/8 cello to our little 6-year old cellist Poorba. Thanks to Carla (via the University of Seville) for donating this instrument and flagging off our project.

We are actively looking for funding to be able to pay a cello teacher and to buy new instruments. Did you know that a cello costs around Rs. 25,000($410/£250/320eur)? If you would like to help with this project, please email us at info@childsplayindia.org. We have several donation options including legacy funding where you can contribute to a project in the name of a family member.

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