STRIKE THE RIGHT CHORD
Independent thinking and innovative teaching methods make music school an unforgettable experience for students
Having played the piano since the age of eight, Prithvi Chandrasekar, 29, was sure he was meant to pursue a career in the music industry. However, he wasn’t ready to start work as a fresher. “Many enter the industry without any formal teaching or qualification in music. As important as talent maybe, there is certain musical knowledge and discipline that can be gained through professional coaching or attending courses at music school. It opens up new avenues and changes the way you think and perform as an artist,” explains Chandrasekar, who is currenty a music producer based in Chennai and runs his own recording studio, Krimson Avenue Studios.
But when it was time to apply to a music school, Chandrasekar found himself looking towards the West. “Back in 2003, the way music was taught in India was very restricted. I felt the diversity and freedom of thought was greater abroad,” says Chandrasekar, who went on to complete a dual degree in music and film scoring from the Berklee School of Music in Boston.
“The sheer concentration of music at Berklee was mindblowing. From jingle writing to music royalties to musical pitch and harmony to sound production and musical business management, the school afforded an environment dedicated solely to discovering music. I learned not only about new genres but also their history and the technicalities of every instrument. For example you are taught how to differentiate between a Chicago or New Orleans style of piano playing. This detailed and thorough style of learning really improves you both as a person and as a musician,” adds Chandrasekar.
However, for those not looking to go abroad to study music, there are plenty of opportunities available in India as well. A. R Rahman’s KM College of Music and Technology and the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music are two popular options. From workshops in sound production and recorded to special piano studios, both schools have plenty to offer budding musicians. The diplomas here are also internationally recognised with KM College offering two programmes in partnership with Middlesex University in the UK. “Today it is possible to receive the same level of international exposure and training right here in India itself. Music schools have many international partnerships that facilitate the exchange of faculty, resources and students. As the price for studying abroad increases, more and more candidates are opting for courses in India,” explains Binisha Deb, a higher education advisor from Mumbai.
Chandrasekar who currently heads the electronic music production course at KM College says that the learning atmosphere and access to quality faculty have improved in leaps and bounds over the years. “I have a drummer, pianist and violinist in my class at the moment. It’s great to see the synergy between them. This interactive style of learning also helps bring new perspectives and ideas to classroom discussions. Students at KM College also have the chance to meet and network with some of the best minds in the music business today. This is a great starting point for a newcomer,” adds Chandrasekar.
Be it film, classical or independent music that you are interested in, there’s plenty of specialised training available to choose from at music schools today.
Students practising their music at
Whistling Woods International