A Bit About Our Foundation, From Our Primary Donor
Growing up in India, I did not have the have the necessary support or the means to pay for lessons to explore musical instruments or singing. After coming to the USA in my twenties for my graduate studies, I saw opportunities to learn and started piano lessons. Fortunately, I learned music theory through one of my piano teachers who was a jazz pianist. For the next twenty years I was engaged in work related activities that absorbed my time and energies and I lost touch with the music that I had wanted to pursue. In my mid-forties, coinciding with my moving to Seattle, there was a big crisis in my personal life. Celtic music and Indian folk music, especially haunting flute sounds, came to my rescue. I wanted to learn to play the flute music that I loved and that’s when I came across Sandy.
In Sandy, I found an inspiring teacher working with students of varying skills and ages, including adults. She expressed admirable patience and dedication with little or no recognition. She helped me achieve goals that I thought were impossible. I even did recitals though I had no interest in performing when I started! I adopted many of her teaching methods which I use for my own work as a Software Architect for Microsoft to facilitate my interaction with, and mentoring of, several engineers.
It is her dedication that inspired me to set up an endowment fund in 2012 with a Seattle non-profit to support private teachers like her for decades to come.
Modern western flute has been around for about 200 years and its predecessors for about 1000 years. Earliest flutes date to more than 30,000 years ago. I am humbled when I pick up a flute and play. There is so much history in the sound it makes. The hard work of many people including composers, artists, teachers, inventors, entrepreneurs and factory workers are part of each flute’s beauty and sound. I get to enjoy the benefits of their hard work – not to mention the energy put in by Sandy to help me access it personally. I am unable to express in words my joy when playing the flute! Nor can I convey the appreciation I have for Sandy for teaching me how to play.
Over the last year, it dawned on me that Sandy has far more insight into what can be done to help preserve, support and grow this richly traditional art. So I contacted her with an offer to set up an endowment fund as seed money to help grow this musical art in the Pacific Northwest.
I asked if she was interested in giving her energy to it. Thankfully she agreed. I came to know later that she and Rose, another teacher in the local area dedicating herself to helping students find expression through flute, have already been doing non-profit activities in this area. Our ideas are perfectly complementary and I am happy that we can work together.
There is so much beauty around us. We just need to slow down and observe life to see this. Our modern technology provides us with many options to undermine slowing down and focusing our attention. For most of my life, left-brained activities have dominated. Something beautiful started to happen when I learned from Sandy how to play the flute. I now know how important it is for me to balance right-brained and left-brained activities. Music, yoga and the natural outdoor worlds have helped me to experience peace and calm like never before.
I am confident that Silver Flight Ensembles will touch many people’s lives in a meaningful way. My sincere thanks to Sandy and Rose. And my gratitude extends to all of the volunteers and contributors to Silver Flight Ensembles.