Jan / 24
The concept of musicalities is one that is unique to One World. It is a group class that aims to expose students to different aspects of music, with the objective of teaching them skills that cannot be learned in an individual class and to discover their musical inclinations as a group as well as individually. According to Deepak Castellino who looks after this program, “the idea is, when you go to this musicality session that’s your exposure to all the other aspects of it [music].”
One World’s vision of giving its students the freedom to express themselves could not be fulfilled until a drummer got to sing and a pianist got to play the guitar, which is why the musicality came into play, giving both students and teachers the chance to work with certain information and share knowledge. A group may be introduced to singing, in which case everyone does activities and exercises in relation, or may be taught the theory behind rhythm. As a result, people discover parts of themselves they never knew existed, solely by being exposed to these different areas. Through this, we create students who are well rounded in every aspect of music as opposed to just specializing in their interests.
The best thing about a musicality is that no two groups will ever be the same, or learn the same things. Each musicality is molded according to the dynamics and age of the group and at any point, the teacher is flexible to change his/her approach. A certain musicality may be learning to compose their own songs, while another may be listening to different genres to train their ear. As a foundation, students learn basic music theory, knowledge of instruments such as guitar, piano and drums and practical applications of music through activities, listening and playing. Not only does the musicality teach its students techniques and knowledge regarding music, it helps inculcate skills like collaboration and teamwork, thus rounding off each individual as a musician as well as a person.
Songwriting at One World is a wonderful experience of expression and creation. It is a program tailored each student’s strengths and weaknesses and therefore has no standard structure to it. “While dealing with song, one finds that a lot of students have limitations. Some of them are specific to lyrics, some specific to how harmony works, some of them get stuck with various other issues. So I don’t have a formula that I run.” Says the facilitator, who takes the songwriting sessions at One World. This flexibility allows the students to express themselves in various ways and helps them learn important skills in the manner that suits them.
Aspects like arrangement, production, lyrics, and composition that a crucial to songwriting are learnt through activities as opposed to lectures since one cannot be taught to write a song, or express themselves a certain way. Skills like these are best learnt by doing, which is why songwriting gives immense importance to activity oriented learning and exercises. For instance, the different layers of an Afro-Cuban rhythm were taught by dividing the beat into four parts and asking each student to play it at the same time, while multitasking with another action. Not only did it ingrain the groove in everyone, it taught them how to listen and collaborate with others to make a whole. In addition to these exercises, the class focuses on points like how to think, how to expand on ideas and how to develop stories, amalgamating both musical and non musical work so that students learn the depth of music and what it has to offer.
To write songs, students work on two kinds of projects: solo and collaborative. Working on a solo project entails that each student is “given either themes or parameters, or their own material which they complete and bring back”. This is then developed in class. Collaborative projects are those where the group composes songs as a class assignment and produces them. Through these projects, students learn to use their skills and create music that allows them to express themselves without restrains.