For most budding musicians, maintaining timing while playing in a small group is hard enough. Now, imagine performing in a team of over 200 violinists. But that’s exactly what the NCPA is presenting to commemorate the 10th season of the Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) that will take place between February 14 and 26.
The headlining event will see 238 children from city schools, trained under the Japanese Suzuki method, perform on stage. “Started by the late Shinichi Suzuki, this method uses music as the primary vehicle for educating and instilling discipline in a child,” mentions Dr Cawas Bilimoria, manager of the Suzuki violin outreach programme, NCPA. “Music is a powerful force, which, at an early age, provides a rich base to build all disciplines on. The Suzuki method is aimed mainly at children between 4 and 7. Because this is the age where children absorb everything intuitively rather than by analysis,” he says.
The children will play several pieces in arrangements depending on their skill. Some selections are from the Suzuki repertoire. “These are just fun pieces so that the kids are able to enjoy themselves. The purpose is not to make them concert violinists, but to make them enjoy playing,” says Bilimoria.
Tutored by 13 teachers including six from Japan, the performance is pyramid-based — the show will start with two performing a duet. More children will join the stage in smaller groups until everyone is on stage. “To please Indian audiences, there will even be a rendition of Mera joota hain japani” mentions Yuka Honda, head teacher of the programme.