First days at CECAM Music School in Tlahuitoltepec

So, I arrived in the small town of Tlahuitoltepec after three hours of climbing up an incredibly windy road out of Oaxaca city – away from most things up here on the top of a mountain. It’s a music school (called CECAM) with around 200 students and only six music teachers. No string teachers because it’s completely brass bandy; I’ve got tubas going past my classroom window almost every five minutes!

On my first day, I taught 30 little kids; really little, from five or six years old, to about ten!

It was AMAZING and so funny. It’s hard core trying to teach 30 kids the violin who have never held one before, when you’ve only got seven violins to go around; three of which don’t even have all their strings!! After TWO HOURS of that (!#**!) I taught what I was told, would be a ‘one- to-one‘ violin class, which actually turned out to be over 60 of the school students – between 15 and 19 years old – still with only the seven violins!  So I very quickly scraped that idea in the last second and gave a vocal improv workshop instead, which was one of the funniest things ever!  In the end the kids all got really close together and started a competition between the two groups I’d put them in.  One person doing something and the other group doing it back, then another doing something harder etc…we have a moonwalker in the school!

When that finished, a few students sat down and waited for a violin lesson – including some teachers and the Headmaster of the school.  So, I gave a violin lesson straight after, which was great. At the end of the class, the piano teacher, Vladimir, started playing the piano and we had an improv session, which went really well. I think, for the two more intermediate level violinists, I’m gonna get the kids to learn how to improvise on the violin with Nick or Vladimir playing guitar or piano to guide them…that’s the plan…

It’s pretty hard. I’m using up my musical resources fast! But this is an unbelievably excellent challenge.

We’re eating beans, chilli and tortilla for breakfast; beans, chilli and tortilla for lunch; and last night we had beans, chorizo and spaghetti for dinner; followed by chilli beans and tortilla for breakfast!  I wonder what we’ll have for lunch…hmm…

I just went into town for the first time today with another teacher showing me around, and got three giant avocados, a huge papaya, a little watermelon and lots of, apparently, delicious mangos, so I can get a little break from all the beans!

Anyway, there you go…can’t think of more ‘stuff’ right now…

It’s great here so far. I hope you are all doing well back home; I send you lots of

love and hope you are having good times where you are.

I love you all & lots of light and abundance,

Nava x x


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