Music to Experience
It was those days when India had just entered the world of television and internet was never heard of. Radio was the main source of music for listeners and I was no different. After accumulating some money, I purchased a pocket transistor and managed to hook on to All India Radio. The transistor was a true companion all day and night. My studies would be incomplete without the transistor emanating music in the background.
That was when I dreamt of playing a musical instrument one day. However I couldn’t muster courage to tell my parents that I wanted to learn music. The parental and peer pressure ensured I let my dream aborted but I did not allow it to die. I used to envy those who could sing or play music. I would lay my hands on a toy keyboard that had just one octave and would play some tunes. My ears and heart would rejoice even to hear sound bites coming from that toy keyboard.
It took me 20 years to realize the dream and I am glad I did finally manage. It is worth the wait and I always knew it is going to provide me an experience that cannot be matched by any other medium. In a highly demanding environment of corporate life it is like an oasis in a dessert. It is important for me to keep my senses in balance when there is every possibility of it drifting and become insane.
Chennai is mecca of music enthusiast and performing art. If one has time by the side and one likes any kind of music I would strongly recommend acquiring yourself some skill of playing any instrument. Believe me it makes so much difference to your music experience. It is one thing to listen to music but whole different experience to play it yourself and enjoy the frequency. Be aware sometimes it sounds interesting to try your hand at self-learning. As they say ultimately you need a teacher to show you the mirror and provide direction. It is easy to learn wrong way but hard to rectify it later.
To my advantage I could locate a Class within walking distance from my house where Srikanth Sir used to teach Keyboard. There was no excuse and nothing left to decide. I just joined knowing very well that I had to steal some time from my busy job that I do for living to fulfill my passion. It is a decision often gets procrastinated because obviously job comes first. But when you are busy earning livelihood for you and your family sometime you need to live for yourself and your passion. In these matters taking plunge is relatively easy but what is challenging is to sustain it. I have come across people enthusiastically joining classes just to terminate abruptly. The realization comes later when the passion keeps reminding perhaps you made wrong choice. I hope I will not be in that category of people.
The association with Srikanth Sir let me join The Academy of Western Music. It was again a no brainer since I didn’t want any excuse like distance to overpower the desire to learn. The learning environment that The Academy of Western Music provides is second to none with great facility and sophisticated instruments. What I like more here is the opportunity that is provided to students to perform while learning. Some of us have stage phobia and opportunities like SPOT enables in removing the phobia. It also assists in better preparing for the examinations.
I continued learning Keyboard but always fascinated with the elegance and grace of Piano. It is not to suggest in any manner that one is superior to another. In my view every instrument is a god gift to the mankind. In the past the only barrier could have been space and some investment but no more. Fortunately I could afford both. The choice was easy and I shifted to learning Piano.
These days my routine is adjusted to the time that is required for practicing Piano. I make it a point not to miss a class as much as I can. It is advisable to be regular in practice than erratic. The passion that started with listening to music has gone beyond listening. It is no more just music. It is now an experience that is for life.
Vice President, Business Services (globally renowned management consulting company)
Advanced Level Piano Student -Academy of Western Music