Music ignites all areas of child development and skills for school readiness, including intellectual, social-emotional, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and the mind work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression.
Nahla Ramsingh, known for her zealous confidence and passion for performance, wants to become a professional musician and learn how to manage an orchestra. “I dream of studying ballet in Paris. I wish all children had the opportunity to do music and dance at school just like mathematics and all the other subjects.”
Enraptured by the cello
This 11-year-old cellist recalls the awe she felt, the first time she saw her elder sister performing at a concert in Queen’s Hall. “The performance awakened something in me. I fell in love with the orchestra. It was the cementing of something that had started when I first attended my sister’s rehearsals. Vividly she describes her first encounter with an instrument, she now plays every day. “I initially laid my eyes on this wonderful instrument and immediately became enraptured and amazed by the sight and sound of the cello.”
Started at age 6
Cello was not her first musical encounter, Nahla started playing piano at age 6, “my mom encouraged me to learn the piano, but it did not hold my interest and I was not progressing at the piano. That got my mom’s attention and eventually was the catalyst that led her to seriously explore cello classes for me.”
“My first cello was smaller than average and was of wonderful quality. As I received it, the varnished wood against my fingertips made me feel like I was in heaven and playing for the first time was spectacular. I’ll never forget the first time I walked across the stage at NAPA. I felt like this is exactly where I belong, what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Cello is my life. I was so small back then that Mr. Listhrop, the musical director of the Trinidad and Tobago Youth Philharmonic (TTYP) had to get a special stool for me to sit on, as the chairs used by the other students were too big for me.”
“I had a tinge of stage fright at the beginning but I soon learned that playing on stage was the opportunity to show Trinidad and Tobago and if possible the world, who I really am and what I was made of. Eventually, I became more and more confident and out-spoken, accepted myself as being unique and I began to trust myself and the decisions I made in the musical spectrum.”
Balancing music and academics
Nahla radiates exuberance as she shared, “I have an unwavering fascination and love for the arts.” However, she believed there were several challenging circumstances when it came to studying and finding motivation. “If I’m being honest, I had to dig deep within myself to get the motivation to actually study. I wanted to play the cello, every waking moment I had.”
“However, after supportive conversations with my parents and elder sister, I recognized the importance in creating that balance. With renewed vigour, I worked towards getting into the school of my dreams – St. Augustine Girls’ High School (SAGHS). For the SEA preparations, I had to shift my priorities and my academics got more attention, however music was my escape from the demanding preparations. It was all worth it, as on the results day, I was filled with delighted when I saw I passed for SAGHS. This is the next step, I take in September.”
“My elder sister, Alyssa Frost is my role model. She’s the person I look up to, the person I can confide in, and we share many experiences together. My parents, wonderful sister and friends are the perfect circle of support, motivation, strength, and inspiration. With them at my side, I know I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.”
The Trinidad and Tobago Youth Philharmonic (TTYP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to music education and performance excellence among the youth of Trinidad & Tobago. TTYP is the only youth symphony orchestra in Trinidad and Tobago, and the largest in the English-speaking Caribbean with over 150 children and youth from ages 4-29. “Throughout the last two decades we have nurtured, mentored, hundreds of our nation’s children to become life-long learners in the God-given gift of making music” shared musical director Kenneth Listhrop.
Today, August 14th, the concert Seeds-Seasons-New Beginnings features the musical work of Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi and celebrates the first performance since March 13, 2020. Featured are violinists/Soloists Danicia Morris, and Carissa Subar. All proceeds will go toward the dream off attaining the TTYP Music Academy for our nation’s children and youth. TTYP’s vision is to be the Caribbean’s premier center, providing a safe learning environment and positive learning experiences to combat juvenile delinquency, while preparing students for tertiary level studies and careers in the performing arts.
Persons can support us after the concert by becoming patrons, donating an instrument/s, donating to our “Building TTYP” account
RBL 870801692001, or visit ttyp.org