Victoria Bell was my student. He has been involved in piano activities around our country and has participated in numerous master classes, competitions, concerts and ensembles. I remember a rehearsal where the conductor of the piano ensemble asked all the students to introduce themselves and tell me what school they went to. We heard, “I’m Mary and I’m going to Washington High School,” “I’m Joe, and I’m a junior at Verde View High,” and so on across the room. Victoria was the last. “Er,” he said. – Actually, I’m still in high school.
Victoria went to a prestigious university where she did not major in music. But, as piano teachers know, the fruits of piano learning are not measured by whether someone is graduating in this field. Nor do they measure how many races he placed. You never know when and how what you taught will flourish. Victoria found that all her talents came together at once and in a completely unexpected way. Please enjoy your post.
When I first visited the music department at Kabul University, it felt a bit like I was coming home. Although the characters in the scene were unfamiliar to me, everything else I had known since I was: A small group of girls carrying violins greeted me with shy Salaams as they set off for class. Someone played a Bach Menuett in the hallway as a replay. A few moments later, I take part in a choral rehearsal and warm up with young men and women who have lived very different lives from me all the way to the moment of shared experience.
I had arrived in Kabul a few months before, and adapting to life in Afghanistan had caused a lot of excitement and distraction for my curious mind. But what was tiring and stifling as a lifelong musician was that he didn’t have a musical appearance in the first few months. Assisting in the music department has become an important, life-giving part of my time in a beautiful but war-torn country.
Afghans have a rich tradition in ethnic music. Local buses and taxis explode beautiful Afghan melodies on the radio; in many homes, television is always on the music channel; and Afghan weddings are known for their long hours of eating and dancing with family and friends.
Despite their obvious cultural connections to music, their relationship to music is generally more complex. For historical, social, and especially religious reasons, the enjoyment of music, especially its study and performance, remains a highly controversial topic in Afghanistan than in many other Islamic countries. Islamic scholars have been debating for centuries whether music is allowed and whether there is no uniform agreement between them.
During the five years that the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, music and dance were strictly forbidden. While most children in America have the opportunity to discover music at a young age at school, in Afghanistan even now, these opportunities are not available to most children either in or out of the classroom.
For all these reasons, it is quite amazing that the music department at Afghanistan’s most prestigious university is growing. The majority of music students at the University of Kabul did not receive any music education before attending university. As a result, many first-year music majors learn from the beginning and first learn how to read music and tune their instrument. However, the department is growing and many higher education degrees have now been employed as teachers.
My days in the music department included teaching, but I spent most of my time in the choir, where I played piano accompaniment for the four movements of Carmina Burana. The choir is a compulsory course for Western music students within the department, but due to the norm of delays and absences within the culture, there was never 100% attendance during my time in Kabul. This endlessly bothered Ms. June, the foreign teacher and conductor, but as real proof of her commitment to teaching, she never let her despair hinder class progress. – Where’s Ahmed? he asked and ordered some students to look for him.
Each class explained in a scolding yet loving tone how essential it was to appear in class before guiding students through the Latin texts, as well as the importance of dynamics at different stages of the play. His rigor bore fruit and I saw the students noticed and respected their teachers for their devotion. I will never forget the appearance of excitement after O Fortuna’s particularly excellent run-through, when everyone felt the driving force and drama of the piece. The atmosphere was full of admiration. “That was really cool, wasn’t it?” Mrs. June asked, and everyone nodded, a hidden smile on her face.