ICOM alum­nus gives back

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - HIGHER EDUCATION -

ICOM alum­nus Ali Ai­man, who is a pro­ducer, song­writer and per­form­ing artist ed­u­ca­tor shared his ex­pe­ri­ence in ca­reer de­vel­op­ment:

“My learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence at the In­ter­na­tional Col­lege of Mu­sic ( ICOM) was mem­o­rable, sim­ply be­cause of the di­ver­sity that I en­coun­tered there.

Di­ver­sity not only in terms of the dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties of my fel­low class­mates, but also with re­gard to the mu­si­cal in­flu­ences and tal­ent that they brought with them to the class­room.

It was lit­er­ally like a melt­ing pot of mu­sic cul­ture.

One of my fond­est mem­o­ries dur­ing my time as a stu­dent of ICOM was per­form­ing for the Earth, Wind and Fire Trib­ute Con­cert, which was at­tended by the band it­self.

It was a good hands- on ex­pe­ri­ence of what was to be ex­pected as a pro­fes­sional mu­si­cian in the in­dus­try.

I will al­ways be grate­ful to the lec­tur­ers who moulded and pushed me to re­alise my po­ten­tial and for help­ing me be­come the mu­si­cian I am to­day.

ICOM pro­vided me the op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther my stud­ies at Berklee Col­lege of Mu­sic through its Berklee Trans­fer Pro­gramme ( BTP).

The vast ar­ray of classes that were of­fered at Berklee played a huge part in equip­ping me with the nec­es­sary knowl­edge and skills to sur­vive in this chal­leng­ing in­dus­try.

I grad­u­ated Summa Cum Laude with a BMus in Con­tem­po­rary Writ­ing and Pro­duc­tion. Upon grad­u­at­ing, I stayed in Bos­ton for an­other three years, work­ing as a mu­sic di­rec­tor for a chil­dren’s theatre com­pany.

I also worked as a record­ing en­gi­neer and took on many free­lance jobs as a com­poser, pro­ducer and ar­ranger.

Af­ter six years of study­ing and work­ing abroad, I de­cided to re­turn home.

Get­ting started wasn’t easy but I am a firm be­liever that if you push hard enough, your ef­forts may come to fruition sooner or later.

My education, train­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence pro­vided me with skill sets that en­abled me to wear mul­ti­ple “hats”. Since then, I’ve per­formed reg­u­larly as a ses­sion­ist, ar­ranged and pro­duced mu­sic for lo­cal acts and writ­ten jin­gles and mu­sic for vis­ual me­dia.

I am also a mu­sic pro­ducer, singer- song­writer and per­form­ing artiste.

I have had the op­por­tu­nity to per­form ex­ten­sively not only at prom­i­nent venues around KL, but also at mu­sic fes­ti­vals.

I have re­leased an EP, Over­ture, and I am in the midst of com­plet­ing a se­cond one.

Thank­fully, my songs have been played con­sis­tently on lo­cal ra­dio sta­tions and on­line stream­ing plat­forms.

The urge to share what I have learnt and ex­pe­ri­enced prompted me to re­turn to my alma mater, ICOM, and to ex­plore how I can be an in­flu­ence to a new gen­er­a­tion of mu­si­cians.

Fol­low­ing the foot­steps of my lec­tur­ers in ed­u­cat­ing the younger gen­er­a­tion of bud­ding mu­si­cians, I now teach a com­bi­na­tion of the­ory and pro­duc­tion classes both in the Foun­da­tion year and the BMus ( Hon) pro­gramme.

I feel that mu­sic education is im­por­tant be­cause it pro­vides mu­sic stu­dents with the nec­es­sary skills to en­ter any as­pect of the mu­sic in­dus­try.

It’s fair to say that my teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence has been an en­light­en­ing one so far, es­pe­cially be­cause of the stu­dents that I’ve had the op­por­tu­nity to teach.

I think cur­rent and prospec­tive stu­dents can take heart in the fact that ICOM alumni have done and are con­tin­u­ing to do well in their mu­sic ca­reer paths.

My ad­vice for bud­ding mu­si­cians would be to keep push­ing for what you be­lieve in.

If you’re se­ri­ous about hav­ing a ca­reer in mu­sic, don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the im­por­tance of hav­ing a proper mu­sic education.

If you want an all- rounded mu­sic education, ICOM is the place to be.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, look out for the ad­ver­tise­ment in this StarSpe­cial.

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