Jun 22, 2012

Music Education in India

In recent years, there has been a heightened awareness and interest taken in the music industry. For those who believe that being 'in the industry' means being a performer or a sound engineer, they are blissfully unaware. The industry opens up a plethora of career opportunities ranging from being an artist/band manager to a music journalist; from a songwriter and composer to a music therapist! The scope is vast and there is no dearth of career possibilities, with even unheard of professions like musicologists to be taken up.

In India, especially, the music scene has considerably changed its face over the last decade. The well known bands are no longer only Kolkata's Cactus or Delhi's Indian Ocean, a few among the entrepreneurs in the independent music scene in the country. "Younger people are finally willing to take the plunge and try out other stuff with their lives," says Amit Kilam, the drummer of Indian Ocean. "The avenues have opened up like never before and the Indian youth is willing to leave the tried and tested behind and find a newer type of living."

Today, people still appreciate the music of the bands and artists that have been around for a while. But the list of new kids on the block is too long to start naming. With the social media revolution and the emergence of MySpace, Facebook Pages, Twitter, and other phenomena, the platform for upcoming artists who need an audience comes readymade.

The youth culture has also changed, and while struggling to strike that perfect balance between career and education, they choose to follow their passions and let the rest figure itself out. "I've decided to go all out and try to be a performing artist full time," says Tejas Menon, a young Pune-based singer-songwriter. "If that doesnt work out, I just want to be involved with music-whether it is working in radio or events. Just being a part of that community will be satisfying enough for me. Academically, I have finished my Bachelors in Economics, and next is a Post Graduation in Media." Contrary to public belief, a musician does not forget the value of a degree and Tejas is one such example of that!

Varun Murali, the guitarist of Bangalore-based folk rock band, Swarathma adds "I started playing guitar when I was studying my Pre-University and everything that mattered to me was living my dream and making things work rather than worrying about the downside of it. No matter what, follow your dreams and don't let go of it." Who said music is all about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll?

(This article remained unpublished during my internship with Indian Express, Kolkata in May, 2011.)

2 comments:

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Anonymous said...

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