“My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require.” – Edward Elgar
Sir Edward Elgar was right on the money with those words, and decades later, they still ring true. Music has always has a great contribution in society, in culture and of course, in our lives. While music has the power to touch lives and ease pain, the lives of professional musicians have never been as easy-going. However, things are taking a turn for the better.
With the musical scene seeing a rapid shift in recent years, India has seen the emergence of a new crop of indie bands with an ever growing number of live gigs, music festivals and opportunities. A rising number of musicians are turning their passion into their profession. Indie artists are no longer limited to gigs; they are being hired to give music for ad commercials, TV serials and even movies. So music is no longer a hobby, but a full time profession and a means of self employment. With Indian artists marking a new beginning in the world of music and finally starting to see music as a career—and a practical one at that—what do those who are helping these dreams come true have to say about it?
Buxsa got in touch with one such pioneer – The True School of Music (TSM)
An institute founded in 2013 with the aim of providing a technical base to career-oriented musicians, The True School of Music is India’s 1st comprehensive academy of contemporary music. This institute is the brainchild of Ashutosh Phatak, co-founder of blueFROG and a music composer, and Nitin Chandy, a renowned sound engineer. Imparting music education and shaping careers, TSM is open to all budding musicians as well as professional artists who are passionate about pursuing a career in music. TSM provides training to beginners as well as professional musicians in a variety of fields such as drums, guitar, keyboards, vocals, engineering, music production and DJing.
This multiple genre school was set up in partnership with New York’s Manhattan School of Music. Most of the faculty members at TSM are alumni from Academy of Contemporary Music in the UK. Courses for musical instruments for rock and jazz have been drawn up by the Manhattan School of Music. Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Pradhan have designed TSM’s Indian Music course. Meanwhile, the DJ course has been designed by DJ Uri and DJ Reji. The Western music course has been drawn on the lines of the Trinity School of Music’s Rock and Pop program.
So what does TSM think of music as a career?
If you think music is a profession reserved for a limited few, think again. The recent boom in the entertainment and media industry has paved a way for music professionals, generating demand for game changing and passionate artists who are driven to deliver tunes that rock.
With a current net worth of a whopping $150 million, India’s Recorded Music industry stands tall, making India one of the biggest breeding grounds for indie and alternative music. With an ever expanding number of music fests and gigs each year, and more and more ads and films being created, the demand for music professionals is higher than ever. What’s even better is that the industry is starting to gain some structure, making it all the more viable for artists to enter the professional scene.
Deconstructing the thought behind starting TSM
The absence of any institute in the country that instructs aspiring musicians with a view to making them technically sound is particularly disturbing, feels TSM co-founder Ashutosh. TSM, with its industry experience & top notch faculty, gives its students industry exposure while they’re still at the institute, learning. And with international musicians visiting the school to conduct workshops from time to time, the students are able to better appreciate international music standards and trends.
Getting acquainted with TSM and the thought behind it serves to highlight the state of play in which the country stands in great need of changing its mindset vis-à-vis music as a profession, not to mention the need to create opportunities for budding artists to receive a strong technical foundation in music. TSM works to pave the way for musicians as full-time professionals in a bid to help artists and revolutionize the face of the Indian music industry.