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.

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