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16 October 2014

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A Journey Through Music

By Dorothy Singh
June 2002, Llandybie
A digital story from Capture Wales
Dorothy Singh portrays how important music is to her family. Her story portrays their musical activities in Wales and abroad.

"Bobby and I settled in Wales after meeting in Vienna. We found the people in Wales natural and friendly. At first, the Welsh community didn't accept me as a music teacher but in time they joined in our musical activities. I taught Welsh children who couldn't speak English... they taught me Welsh.

Bobby's Indian background brings colour to our lives and he has taken our children back there for his family's celebrations.

Raki, Davi and Simi have all fallen in love with playing with music and taken up the violin. Before auditions in Cardiff, we used to take them to the ice rink to make the occasion special.

Through the Urdd Eisteddfod, we became involved in Welsh traditions and now feel completely accepted by the Welsh community.

We've helped many children on their way to music scholarships.

Raki and Davi had to go away to music school in England but they have both kept strong links with Wales... Raki won the Texaco Young Musician of Wales and plays regularly as a soloist with the South Wales Male Voice choir. Since winning in the Urdd Festival, Davi has played in the National Library of Wales and in Spain representing Wales.

Our youngest child - Simi - has stayed in Wales to study and very much belongs in Wales. When she was eleven she won the Urdd competition in the 12-15 age group.

We were thrilled when the associate leader of the BBC Orchestra in Wales came to our home recently, to give her and my pupils a masterclass.

Music has taken us on an incredible journey... once we were considered outsiders in Wales; now we are encouraged in keeping its traditional values and culture alive at home and abroad."

Dorothy Singh

What are you currently doing Dorothy?
I teach violin to local school children and play the piano as an accompanist, I also accompany my children from time to time. I was born in England, my husband Bobby was born in India and all our children were born in Wales.

How important was it for you to portray this in your digital story?
I enjoyed putting our experiences together into a story. As we are all really busy, I haven't had the time to sit down and reflect on our achievements as a family and this was a great way of documenting what we've achieved. It was really important for me to show our activities both in Wales and abroad and how music interlinks people from different cultures regardless of different languages.

Did you enjoy the Digital Storytelling workshop?
Yes, enormously. It was an experience I'll never forget. I've developed a lot more confidence in projecting my ideas, and it was a privilege to be a part of the workshop. It was really nice meeting people from all walks of life that lived close by. We were all quite nervous at the beginning but being in a similar situation united us and helped us through our journey. We all felt we were part of something special.

Your comments

"What a great story. It just goes to show the power that music, which to me is a truly international language, has in bringing people together. You should be very proud of yourself and your family for your achievements." Jeremy Hewitson, Chatham, Ontario, Canada.

"Wonderful! We knew Dorothy when we lived in west Wales many years ago. She was a brilliant performer and accompanist and it's good to know she's still inspiring others." Sally Spedding, Northampton, England.

"Wonderful story. How music, in a musical country - Wales - can bridge many things that separate us." David Hughes, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.

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