Wisdom Stories Ep.23: Ms. Usha Srivastava


Cultural expectations surrounding the elderly are being challenged today, and with good reason!

While it was the norm to slow down and retreat into a quieter life post-retirement, more men and women are finding purpose and joy in doing the opposite.

WisdomCircle honours such men and women by shining light on their journey through an inspiring series called “Wisdom Stories”. These people have successfully smashed stereotypes, and their stories remind us that life should be lived to the fullest, no matter what age or stage.

“I studied Music Education and Teaching Methods in the USA. Apart from Piano teaching, in which I hold a Licentiate degree in Piano Performance and theory from Trinity College London, I also hold a degree in French Literature from Bombay University.

I decided to go back to the piano after a long gap of twenty years, which changed my life’s direction. On completion of my music courses, I joined the American Embassy School as a Music Teacher. I stayed on for 15 years before moving to the French Embassy School. I am presently engaged at the German Embassy School.

I am a founder member of Delhi’s Capital City Minstrels Choir for Western choral music and have also previously sung with the Delhi Chamber Choir (classical choir), Neemrana Opera Foundation (opera choir) & the Lyric Ensemble of Delhi (jazz choir). I am Founder and Choir Director of Children’s Xmas Choir of Delhi. This is the only children’s choir (4-12 years) that has performed regularly during the Christmas season of holidays.

I have been deeply influenced by my parents, who were determined to have their 3 children learn the piano, an opportunity they never got. They went to great lengths to acquire a piano for us so that we could learn the instrument. I am indebted to my music teachers – the late Miss Norma Gasper in Mumbai and the late Mrs Zohra Shaw in Delhi, who spared no effort in teaching and training me and passing on their love of classical music.

I have taken every opportunity that comes along because I firmly believe one opportunity leads to another. A piece of advice I would give my younger self is ‘slow but steady wins the race’.

I stay driven by my love for music. So many avenues are open for me – teaching piano, singing in Choirs, composition, attending concerts, and performing at Choir music festivals in India and Europe/UK. Keeping engaged and loving what one does is one of the best routes to find one’s joy and happiness.”

Usha Srivastava

Interview Credits: Saonli Sen Choudhury of WisdomCircle

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