The third of our international mentored residencies in Mumbai, funded by Creative Scotland, also got underway at the start of the year. Orkney-born musician Jennifer Austin is currently out in India for three months, leading workshops, teaching, performing and learning. Jen is working with five different partner organisations to bring live music to street and slum kids, as well as a range of children with special needs, including in cancer rehabilitation. She has also teamed up with the first residency holder, fiddle player, Laura Grime, who now lives and works in Mumbai, for informal performances in unexpected places from railway carriages to the beach!
Jennifer is blogging regularly about her trip here, and below she talks us through some photos of her experiences so far.
“Above is Rimi Chopra. Rimi is the music teacher I work with at Gateway school for special needs and she is the psychologist at St Judes childcare centre for underprivileged children suffering from cancer. She suggested we work at St Judes, as the centre no longer has a music therapist and there are a huge number of music resources – ukuleles, drums and percussion at the centre. In the photo above I am helping Rimi learn the ukulele and come up with some activities for the kids that involve the instruments so she can continue to use them when LMN residency is over.”
“These are music teachers from seven different Muktangan schools. I meet with them once a week to go over musical activities, songs and rhythm games. This week they brought in home-cooked food and shared it with me.”
“These are kids from Dharavi slum where I helped lead a workshop organised by BlueFROG. The workshop used music and art to teach the kids about a 'Swaach Bharat' (a clean India). The same workshop is to take place in other slum areas too.”
“This is Ramesh at his school, Aashansh. He has done a wonderful job of getting the kids to come regularly by visiting the family homes of the area and talking about the importance of education. I lead a session here once a week. The kids are so lovely and good fun.”
We'll leave you with a lovely little video of Jennifer Austin and Laura Grime at Land's End, Bandra.