First Impressions

Dear Friends and Family,
A few months ago I was hired by the Global Music Institute (GMI) in New Delhi, India to teach piano lessons, ensembles, music theory and ear training during their summer 2014 semester. After much anticipation I am finally here. I will be posting a weekly blog discussing my travels and my work at GMI.

I was met at Indira Gandhi Airport by Tarun Balani and Pattie Gonsalves, the school's artistic and managing directors. These inspiring, dedicated and warm individuals have given me a fantastic introduction to the city. The culture shock I experienced was jarring but Tarun and Pattie have made the transition as smooth as possible. My roommate and fellow Torontonian Hayden Farrar arrived a few days ago. It's been a pleasure to get to know him and travel with him around the city.

The biggest leap of faith I have taken was my first ride in an auto rickshaw, the Indian version of a cab. This thing is essentially a box on three wheels. There are no seat-belts. No doors. The driver uses handlebars that resemble an arcade ski-doo game. To cap it all off, the concept of lanes is foreign to Indian drivers. It's every man, woman and child for themselves. With entire families (no exaggeration) riding on motorcycles and cars fighting for position, the roads of New Delhi are a cross between Mario Kart and Red Bull Crashed Ice.

I've seen some great touristy spots. The detail and precision in the work at the National Crafts Museum was eye-opening. I also enjoyed the historic structures at Lodhi Gardens and the vibrancy of the various markets around town. 

Finally, on Saturday I got to meet, hear and perform for the students at GMI. I am thrilled to be working with such enthusiastic musicians. The student's performances showed me that I will be learning from these kids too.

Thanks for checking in. This is sure to be an unforgettable experience that I look forward to sharing with you. Look for a new blog every Sunday.

Cheers,

Jacob