What is your USP for success, the courses offered or the nuances of your curriculum?
We have just scratched the surface. Fundamentally, if there is any secret, it is about the need to find that peace and calm in our personal space with music, as most of ‘learning music’ is about listening to music and practicing over and over again. It is said that a couple of hours of performing brings about more than 10-12 years of listening, honing and practicing music. Our fundamental premise is to have our traditional classical music presented better to newer generations with the tools available. In fact, the radio, the microphone, ability to record and archive music and the television started the technological revolution about 75 years ago. We are just exploring the possibilities of the Internet in furthering this revolution.
“The fact that we would be able to get better technical leaders in Bangalore made it an obvious choice. With MNCs mushrooming, we could not have chosen a better city for the Academy.”
Your pedagogy is also in promoting creativity while encouraging students to create small compositions. The old school perhaps encouraged students to learn for a larger part from the available sea of compositions?
While promoting creativity may sound unique to the Academy, it is all around us. Can we ever think of all the movies having the same songs? Music is all about creativity. So, why would we not want the younger generations to create? In our curricula, we have adopted creative techniques where students are encouraged to compose music from day one. We often use the example of a child with a paint brush with colours and the child chooses to scribble, splash and just have fun. So be it classical or any form of music, we allow children to think of their ‘voice as the paint brush’ and allow them to ‘paint’ and explore!
What about the oneon- one music learning that yesteryear vidwans believed in for better bond, versus, learning in the virtual world?
We are creating multiple environments for teachers and students to interact offline as well as not miss out on ‘simple personal interactions’ with our ‘Blended Learning’ classes. SANGAM for one, is the annual “connect” platform and we plan to have SANGAMs across the world. We also have MILAN360 – an online recital between two cities or regions (for example, the Bay Area region and Bangalore or the TriState area around New York and Mumbai) where local students and teachers come to a physical location to interact and at the same time connect online with peers across the world. But I would like to add that online one-on-one interactions are many a times more effective than an offline class.
Online classes reduce the tutor-student ratio as we have no more than 3 students in a batch and in fact most students opt for a one-on-one batch with their teachers. Our model of teaching provides our teachers with a “Teach Kit” that lets them adapt the lesson to a particular student. Our entire curriculum is available in the form of an OM book or Online Music book. While a regular textbook gives you lyrics and notation, OM lets you see and hear the songs through our audio and video recordings of the compositions.