Youth Work !
My heart is see young people develop their gifts and talents.
I discovered that many want to express themselves through music! The Arts require discipline, self-expression and the development of a host of important life skills.
In 2009 (right), I founded the Saira Arts Academy for young people wanting to learn the performing arts. Anyone who learns to sing or perform will learn much about themselves and that is a great discovery. It is a most important foundation - it will serve them for their whole life.
I myself perform in youth gatherings around the city and encourage those I meet. I have sung with celebrity artists from Pakistan and some have participated in the youth activities.
Some want to play an instrument, others want to sing. Still others want to learn about recording and then there's stage management, composition and performance skills. All these things keep everyone busy, help develop confidence and is great fun too!
I soon learnt that I am being copied! Within days of my debut performance at the ladies' conference, two teenage sisters, who had recorded one of my songs during the performances, had worked so hard together that they could sing, 'A Song', track2 of my CD, First Stone, a composition based on Psalm 33. They even recruited their six year old brother to play the drums for them as accompaniment. They then performed for me at one of my youth events, you can see it in my photogallery. They were quite amazing! It just shows what young people can do with their own gifts and talents once they have inspiring role models and supportive parents behind them.
In 2010 I held the first Saira Arts Fest, a four day gathering for young people. I invited international performers and trainers from several continents, including Europe, South Asia and North America.There were classes in vocal skills, drama and dance. The Fest opened with a celebrity concert and closed with performances developed by the different youth groups that participated. Now people understand the value of the arts, there are more people to train than we could possibly enroll!