Jun / 04
COURTESY : Loudest.in
WRITTEN BY : Gayathri Natarajan
Immerse Yourself In One World College Of Music Experience!
When one walks into One World College of Music, one cannot help but feel that it is an Oasis in the midst of noisy and claustrophobic Gurgaon City. Once you get past the facade of the white-washed unassuming building with bamboo fencing, you take a stroll through hallways adorned with framed pictures of musicians, student performances, and projects and fun graffitied staircases that lead to a network of professionally designed classrooms and studios. Walk in at lunch time, and you will see the dining lounge filled with musicians, teachers, students and parents alike, sharing all their food with you and they will help you wash it down with some great conversation and freshly brewed coffee.
An Interactive Learning Experience At One World College Of Music!
Conceptualized by Adhiraj Mustafi, the consummate musician and Nidhi Kothari, the driving force, One World College of Music provides an interactive and experiential learning. The core focus of their programs is to provide students with a customized and enjoyable learning methodology that encourages students of all skill levels to perform.
I am on a mission to find out what makes One World tick and speaks to Adhiraj, in the comfort of the Studio room at One World College of Music. While habitually strumming his guitar, Adhiraj goes on to express the reason behind One world as a concept.
I had been working in the area of education for a long time, and a few things became glaringly obvious. First is that our music education systems were overly centered around the examination system and that on its own is a bag full of tragedies. Because the focus then, in most situations, becomes about a student learning enough to pass an examination. It’s more dangerous than it seems because when teachers start working, that becomes their objective too. Instead of inculcating musicality in their students, even the best of teachers end up working towards making sure that the students prepare for the exam – which is purely technique based. You’ve got all these kids who pass exams, but in terms of having skills that they can effectively utilize, they’re totally short – The ability to improvise, the ability to hear something and sing it back, very basic stuff right?
I wanted to fix this. The idea was to cultivate an education system that would allow for someone to access their inherent musicality.The other thing was that nobody was thinking about performance and about playing music. We all want to learn music because we want to play it.
It is through all this that I decided to set up a school of my own, with an agenda that was not linked to the exams but was really linked to encouraging creativity, which was also linked to learning about yourself through music, and to demystify this monster.
So, if you are setting up an educational or an activity oriented institute, you want to set one place up that acknowledges all this and not being purely in the business of saying, Hey, you come for X number of classes, and get a certificate or a degree. That is the fundamental concept behind One World. The fact that no one else was doing it, and it needed to be done, and could be done made the project really, really exciting.”
For Nidhi Kothari, It all started with being a full time parent and sharing the enchantment and fascination of the world her children were discovering. Amidst their myriad ballet, music, drumming and theatre lessons, She saw her children blossom and feel empowered with a new energy and confidence. But soon she sensed that most of the facilities for art education were slaves to commercial intent, and somewhere the true essence of studying art was getting lost. Her encounter with Adhiraj who she had approached for Drum lessons for her daughter was the missing piece to the puzzle. She found an instant connect and the rest, like they say, is history..
Adhiraj shared with Gayathri, the mechanics of how space was established at One World College Of Music
“Over the course of time I started teaching Nidhi’s daughter Riya, got to know Nidhi, started talking to her about some of these Ideas, and at one point, she said she needs to go home and talk to her family about it. The next thing I knew she said “Okay, lets do this!” and that was it, really. Nidhi took on the onus of setting up the hardware and the infrastructure. We got really lucky with this place. She found this place as a shell, the benefit being that she could have it constructed the way she wanted it. We sat and worked out the designs – how many rooms, the size of each room the inner cladding, the sound proofing etc. We didnt have luxurious budgets for sure, but we made the most of what we could! – Said Adhiraj in an exclusive interview with Loudest.in
The College is housed in an independent building in Sushant Lok that covers 3000 square feet of space and is available 24/7 to performers to practice, rehearse and record. For the musicians and voice-over artists, the college offers a fully equipped recording studio patched over three floors to facilitate multi-instrument recording. For actors and live performers, there is a Performance Room with seating for 40 people, fully equipped.
The College sees various in-house performances, recitals, collaborations and projects, both at the premises and beyond. In fact, music venues in the city like The Pianoman Jazz Club and People and Co. have played host to the variety of content and musical experiences that the College produces. The college sees an average of 150 – 200 students and around 20 teachers, all a part of the music Industry. Popular musicians and bands from various genres are part of the One World Ecosystem as teachers and advisors. Nidhi has also held the strong belief that she intends the College to be a support system and a safe place for performing musicians who love giving back to the community.
The Way Of Life For A Student At One World College For Music
“The normal way of looking at the whole student break up would be beginner vs. advanced. For us, it is not as simple as that. We look at how much time they’re spending with us and what is practically achievable by a person who is engaging in the activity.
If you, Gayathri, for example wanted to come and study music, you have to consider if you have a day job, or whether you can afford it, or whether you can make it 4 hours or 2 hours a week. So we try and make sure that the students spend as much time with us as possible, and have designed our programs and program mechanics to make sure that it is fully customizable.
The student can either come in and learn an instrument, where they work purely on the technicalities of their craft or then, go for a lot of other classes that we’ve got to develop overall musicianship – like ear training, musical concepts, rhythm training, different musical styles, music appreciation, composition, arrangement, harmony, group singing, etc.“
Quality Performances Is The Ultimate Objective!
Adhiraj Says, There are a different kind of performances, there’s live, there’s studio, etc. Some people do not want to perform music in the traditional sense, but they want to learn to create and compose. To that extent we are maybe looking at creating this culture of singer-songwriter-producer artists. Compose. Craft. Collaborate. Ultimately what we hope for people who are at the output level, the career level, is that when they finish, they go right to the stage, or to the studio, or into a songwriting, lyric-writing career. This is when the education becomes functional. Otherwise it’s just a piece of paper, and you’ve been studying a hobby for many years.”
This article was written by Gayathri Natarajan, for Loudest.in.