My tryst with classical music began when I was almost an infant. Maybe it was the classical background that my family always had, that automatically put any child who just started uttering their first words into classical training classes.
Now mind you, things were very, very different back then. Everyday, after school, I had to cycle back home without wasting any time gossiping with my classmates in the school parking lot, just to come home, change into a pavadai and sattai, pick up my sruthi petti, and rush to my music class to steal myself a seating space in the front row. I would spend at least 20 minutes before every class, humming to myself, the song that I learnt in my previous class, and make small talk with all the ammas and paatis who accompanied my other batchmates to the class. The smell of Filter kaapi would waft in, and we would hear repeated whistles of the cooker, and try to match the pitch of the whistle while humming to ourselves.
Now while both demand and supply expanded, there was one issue- connect. While there are a ton of options to choose from, people lack the knowledge about HOW to choose a teacher or an institution that provides them basic training. Everyone teaching music online does seem to have knowledge, but it is difficult to decipher whether the teacher is an expert or just another person interested in teaching the little bit that they have learnt over the years.
Further, a ton of people signing up for music classes has made them overcrowded, and because it is in the virtual medium, there is no chance for a lot of people to have interactive sessions with their music teachers, thus rendering personal connection negligible. So very often, it feels like just another zoom call where the learner is on the listening end, without ever getting an opportunity to speak, ask for clarifications, or just.. participate.
This brings up a serious question- do music lessons now need to be revamped, into courses that are relatable to the learners’ perspectives these days? If you asked my guru to teach you your favourite song, twenty years ago, that question would earn you two things- a long, hard glare followed by a very angry meltdown about how the rules of classical music cannot be bent for you alone.
However, customisation is the need of the hour- whether it is in the culinary world, or music. There is a fluidity that must be applicable to all things music- choice of songs, pitches, the tune, et al. To each their own, they say, and why not in the field of classical music itself?
Truly new-age learning, you say? We think so too.
Singer | Designer | Writer
I have multiple interests but music is a common thread that connects all of them. I'm an avid vinyl collector with varied music choices.