Students helping students – why one student donated to Musicopia
April 2019…Saniya Vaidya is a multi-talented musician who plays the piano, violin, clarinet, guitar, ukulele, and soprano saxophone. She also teaches piano lessons to children aged 5-8. She is also only a high school sophomore! Saniya, who has been playing piano since age 4, says that out of all of the instruments she plays, piano is her favorite. “I find it really relaxing to play, and it’s something fun that I can do,” said Saniya. “Teaching is also really fun because I get to interact with younger kids and share my love of music with them, and hopefully make them want to play more instruments in the future and encourage them to do more with music.”
Saniya, who also plays violin in the Chester County Youth Orchestra, originally learned about Musicopia when the orchestra chose Musicopia as its charitable beneficiary for its Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 concerts. In lieu of tickets, concert attendees were asked to bring either a financial or musical instrument donation. The orchestra and its community of performers and audience were very generous, both with instruments and financial support.
When Saniya started teaching piano lessons a year ago she knew that she wanted to donate the proceeds of her lessons to a worthy music-related cause. “I knew about Musicopia from the Chester County Youth Orchestra benefit concert. I did additional research when I was trying to figure out where to donate the money, and it seemed really interesting to me.” Saniya donated her proceeds from 9 months’ worth of lessons to Musicopia. “I realize that I am really fortunate that my parents are able to give me all these opportunities to learn music, and I felt that since I was also trying to give others the opportunity by teaching lessons, I might as well extend that even further by donating my proceeds to give even more students the opportunity.”
Saniya has recruited her students by sending out flyers to her local elementary school and by enlisting her elementary school music teacher to help her find students. She currently teaches 5 students at her studio she calls “Crescendo Studios,” and implements a wide-range of teaching methods. “I do a lot of things that I was taught, so we play a lot of games. My piano teacher also does a lot of ear-training activities, which really helps me, so I do those activities as well,” said Saniya. Her young students typically arrive to her not knowing how to read music, so they work on that too. She also has plans to expand her teaching practice, and envisions recruiting other high school students to teach a range of instruments and create a music tutoring program.
Saniya also wanted to donate to Musicopia because of the impact that in-school music programming has had on her. “I’m very lucky because at my school they put a lot of emphasis on music and have a lot of programs,” Saniya said. “I realized that participating in music in school gives you a great community and friends, and it gives you a sense of belonging in a school, which I think is really important. And you learn a lot about yourself and how to work with other people, because the music programs are often an ensemble setting.”
Saniya plans to keep on donating her lesson proceeds to other worthy organizations. “It’s been a really great experience to work with all of the kids that I teach, and I hope they’ve been enjoying it too.” We’re sure that they do. Thank you, Saniya!
By Talia Yellin Fisher