In 1976 Jhabvala made the important decision to leave India to live in New York for most of the year, a result of which was a new documentary, Sweet Sounds, conceived and directed by Richard Robbins, and sponsored by Merchant Ivory Productions. Jhabvala entered her youngest daughter Firoza, an aspiring pianist, in the Mannes College of Music, then on Manhattan's Upper East Side, and there met Robbins, Firoza's piano teacher and the acting director of the college's preparatory school. Before long Jhabvala introduced him to Merchant and Ivory, a meeting that proved fateful, since, beginning with The Europeans in 1978, Robbins has provided the musical scores for nearly all of Merchant Ivory's films. Robbins had an idea for a short film showing some of the small children at the school being initiated into the practice of music, a conception that Merchant and Ivory found engaging. In July 1976, at a cost of $25,000, the 29-minute film was shot at the school; and in the autumn it was shown at the New York and London film festivals, as well as on PBS television.