Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daily Life in Bhutan, Part II: Kilu Bhutan Music School

Of course, how can I write about my daily life over the past year here without writing about the most constant aspect of my life here and the opportunity that brought me to this amazing place. I am nearing the end of my one year appointment as a music teacher at Kilu Music School and it’s been a fantastic year.

The Department of Youth and Sports complex, where Kilu is located...

Kilu is located on the second floor of this building

Decorations on our building...

There certainly have been many highlights for our school during my time here, and I’m very proud of the efforts we all made to facilitate the success of these events. Some of these events include our wonderful annual student recital in December followed by our intensive winter program in January; our students performing in a BBS TV special in celebration of His Majesty’s Birthday in February; A wonderful week long workshop conducted by guest music teacher from California Janet Greene in March; Cellist Frances-Marie Uitti’s visit and performance with our students in June and of course most recently the remarkable honor of performing in front of His Majesty just last week. It seems one more highlight is coming up later this month as several of our students will be featured on BBS’ special music program “Spotlight”.

Of course, these highlights as wonderful as they are, are only the surface (and a wonderful surface at that) of the work and fun that we’ve had this past year at Kilu. The daily work of teaching children is no easy task, and has had its challenges for me. But I feel my students are my teachers. Every day teaching I learned about myself, about music, about patience, about children and about how to be a better teacher.

A new addition to the interior of Kilu. Framed photos of our students and guest performers from recent concerts.

The view from outside our school...Changankha Lhakang up above.

I’ve grown so fond and attached to my students, and I care deeply about them. What I have enjoyed so much during my time with them is that even when they have been disruptive in class, or misbehaved there is a kindness and a joyfulness about these children that is moving. They struck me right away, as such incredibly talented, intelligent and kind-hearted kids.

I would be remiss if I didn’t write a few words of appreciation about one very important person, who plays a crucial role in Kilu’s continued existence and success as a school. I’m talking of course about Rinchen Lhamo, Kilu’s administrator. Rinchen is one of the most wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting here in Bhutan. She was there that very first morning to pick me up at the airport, and has been a great friend and colleague ever since. Her generosity, sense of humor, supportive and compassionate upbeat nature have helped make my life here in Bhutan, at Kilu and beyond, a joy. I can’t imagine where Kilu would be without Rinchen’s diligent, can do, easy going, committed and efficient work as the single person who runs all the logistic and administrative matters relating to our school. Having her as a companion through this journey at school has been a real gift. Thanks, Rinchen!

And thank you to all of my students for a great year of learning!!! I’m going to miss all of you!



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