A gospel concert titled ‘Jesus, lover of my soul’ was organised to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Blue Ocean Waves, a music school. The concert featured gospel songs in various genres. Apart from performances by students, there were special performances by Sonia Shirsat, Johnny B Gud and the National Association for the Blind. Blue Ocean Waves is run by Maria Antonia Jolene Dias a physically challenged music educator. Jolene’s students comprise of children, adults and senior citizens. Speaking to NT BUZZ, she shares that even though she was a science student she used to find academics very stressful due to her disability. However, having been immersed in the field of music right from the age of five, she decided to pursue music and completed her grades. “Music came to me as a lifesaver. I was sent to music classes as a child and I was qualified. So I decided to open up something of my own. Later in 2015 I realised that like me, there must be many children with challenges who want to learn music but don’t have a music teacher to teach them or accept them. So I started teaching children with special needs too,” she informs.
Although she had started Blue Ocean Waves in 2009, teaching was never her cup of tea. Jolene says that she used to do various things like graphic designing, video editing and singing in various music industries. She adds: “As a singer, I realised the music industry demands glamour and rarely values talent. As a result I used to get depressed nearly every day. But as a teacher I felt so content and satisfied. While it is stressful, it is also very rewarding.”