I remember when I was maybe around 13 or 14 years old, Music was extremely important to me. At that time I just wanted to sing my little heart out. Music was the glue that joined all us friends together and as such we were all part of the Western Music Choir in school. I had tried and given up on the Indian Classical music already by this time, but singing is innate to me. I can thank mummy for that. Today when I was listening to Adele’s All I Ask, I noticed how she changes the scale towards the end of the song. Now, this is a feature that used to show up very often in songs of old but in the latest pop songs, I don’t see it happen too often. While singing the song and realizing that the scale change isn’t really hard for me, I thought of my wonderful Western Music teacher in School, Sir Silas.
Words cannot describe the respect that all of us had for him and the way he taught us, with all his heart and soul. He was much more than just a music teacher. In our confusing adolescent years, when all emotions are heightened and stupid things seem more important than they are, he was a teacher that kept us grounded in reality and listened to our rants about our studies, other teachers and also our friendships.
He would always tell me that I had a skill that I should be proud of and in the very little time that I had with him, he tried to train me as much as he could. One hot afternoon, He sat in the open hall of the junior section, strumming on his guitar as a bunch of us sat on the ground near his feet. We were singing Edelweiss from The Sound of Music, suddenly he changed the scale and told me to try to start singing from there. I would sing a line and he would change the scale again. High, low… every which way his scale went. He would change it and I would listen intently, try to match it with my voice. This little piece of learning stayed in my mind without me even realizing it. Today, I may not be the most skilled singer but because of Sir Silas I can proudly say that I can successfully change the scale in the middle of a song.
He left us too soon and I couldn’t meet him one last time because I kept thinking that I would someday in the future but I lost that chance when he passed away.
Thank you Sir Silas. You are missed terribly and this one is dedicated to you.