Jeffrey learns the magic of music
When you ask Jeffrey Passi about music, his face lights up.
The shy 12-year-old has taught himself to read music, practises five to seven hours a week and says his second-hand violin is his greatest treasure.
‘‘It’s an amazing instrument. I like how good it sounds and how amazing it is to play,’’ the Tawa Intermediate pupil said. ‘‘It gets easier every time I practise.’’
Two years ago, being a musician was an impossible dream.
Music lessons and instruments are expensive, and for the lowincome Cannons Creek family impossible to fund.
But an opportunity arose for Jeffrey to be part of Virtuoso Strings Orchestra, a music programme set up in 2013 by Liz Sneyd and husband Craig Utting for Porirua decile 1 schools.
Pupils are given free music tuition, free string instruments and a chance to be a part of the orchestra.
It was a life-changing opportunity for Jeffrey, who has set his sights set on joining an international orchestra one day. His mother, Anina, is proud. ‘‘I feel like I want to cry every time I hear him. It’s a feeling of happiness,’’ she said.
‘‘When he started he was so quick in picking up the notes. I was really surprised. I couldn’t believe there was this talent within him that was so hidden.’’
It was a sentiment shared by his teacher and Virtuoso Strings Orchestra coorganiser Liz Sneyd.
‘‘He is just one very talented, hard-working individual,’’ Sneyd said.
Classical sound: Jeffrey Passi, 12, has found a talent for music.