June 20, 2013
Reflections on The True School of Music
D Wood, Associate Dean, Foundation School, TSM, says that a well-conceived, systematically delivered music curriculum is essential to the learning process.
India is increasingly becoming one of the world’s great music destinations. Ever since the 1960’s, when Indian music pioneers like Ali Akbar Khan, Ravi Shankar, Allah Rakha and Chatur Lal began their forays abroad, growing legions of listeners and musicians alike have been captivated by the sounds emanating from the Sub-continent.
The Classical, Folk and Popular musical traditions of India have now become part of the global cultural mindscape – and creative musicians from all corners of the globe are drawing both inspiration and practical tools from this rich domain.
The Classical music of India arguably boasts of the most sophisticated system of rhythm in existence – with its unique language of percussion. Its ingenious strategies for improvisation keep musicians engaged in spontaneous music making for hours on end – while its endless range of compositions, instrumental and vocal techniques are simply dazzling.
These elements, considered through the lens of a profound spiritual and cosmological context, make this music irresistible to many musicians on the path of artistic expression.
For decades, coming to India to study music has been a hit or miss proposition for so many foreigners keen to learn but with limited time to do so.
Finding an open-minded teacher has been the biggest challenge for most. Someone who understands the needs of musicians who might already be accomplished and require specific insights and tools to get underway – without the endless hours of unproductive practices often prescribed by well meaning teachers.
A well-conceived, systematically delivered curriculum has been another rare but essential component in the learning process. Too many students have become confused and overwhelmed by materials delivered in no particular order – determined more by whim than design. A coherent roadmap from which a learner can understand his co ordinates, from point of departure to specific milestones on the journey, is of immense psychological value and highly motivating.
A supportive community is another essential element in the process of learning music. So much is imbibed from exchanging ideas and practicing with peers – sharing the long and winding road with like minded companions makes this often difficult journey seem well worth the effort.
The wheel of time inevitably turns. We are finally seeing new forces in music education coming into play here in India. The latest and brightest light on this horizon is The True School of Music (TSM), now taking shape in central Mumbai and launching in August 2013.
What excites me about TSM is that Indian classical music will now be taught at the highest level – alongside Western instrumental and vocal music, composition and production, DJ-ing and sound engineering.
This big new house, where these diverse yet tightly knit musical disciplines will live under one roof, is a true reflection of the present era in which we live at this unique time in history.
TSM is envisioned as a community where individuals explore their musical interests without boundaries. Where talent is channeled into the wildly growing media and entertainment industry. Where a wide range of traditions meet and give birth to the music of the future.
TSM is all about community, dedicated teachers, a brilliant step-by-step curriculum, and an encouraging, inspiring learning environment. This venture is certain to produce the next generation of creative talent that will proudly take its place on the world stage.
We invite you to come be a part of this. All are welcome!