During our visit to India, Mr Huish and myself have been invited to visit the Mathieson Music Trust in Kolkata. It was established by the brother in law of Mrs Philomena Mondol who visited us during July 2014.
The trust provides vital education for some of the deprived children of Kolkata and hopes to offer them a chance better their life chances.
We are privileged to be representing St. Joseph’s School on this visit. The children are going to perform a concert for us.
Mathieson Music Trust
Musical training not only furnishes the children with a way of expressing themselves, but offers them the possibility of securing life-long employment; the flourishing Indian film industry, military establishments, hotel and entertainment sectors are in need of Indians literate in Western music, and a trained musician has an earning potential two or three times that of the average Indian school leaver.
The school provides the children with all their physical needs - nourishing meals, uniforms, clean dormitories, sanitary plumbing - as well as recreational and educational needs: tuition in all subjects prescribed by the Indian Government curriculum, as well as instruction in both Western and Indian classical music: instrumental lessons, singing, and traditional dancing.
Apart from their normal school activities, the children practise performance skills, giving daily music and dancing concerts in preparation for the public performances they frequently give in Calcutta and abroad.
Instruction is in the English language. The regular teaching staff is augmented from time to time by qualified teachers from the UK who go out at their own expense to donate their varied skills, and by British gap year students who volunteer to help with the teaching and musical instruction. This East/West dimension gives the Mathieson pupils educational benefits unavailable in other Indian schools and is a valuable contribution to the children’s development.