This year, the Bhavan is looking forward to producing the first batch of graduates who have been studying the Bachelor of Music degree in Indian Classical Music. The concept is a ground-breaking one and is one of a kind in the UK. While the degree department and the students prepare to enter this very exciting, dynamic industry as professionals, we at the Bhavan would like to welcome new and budding students to follow in their footsteps.
For this reason, an open day for prospective students wanting to study this unique degree was organised on the 14th April 2010. This was a chance for those who had expressed an interest in doing the course, to speak to the degree co-ordinators and get an in-depth insight into exactly what the course is all about.
In her introduction, the Course Manager Jameela Siddiqi explained to prospective students,the role of performance in the degree and emphasised the importance of riyaaz. Riyaaz merges the idea of practise, sacrifice, devotion and struggle. She said this is considered the lifeblood of Indian musical training.
She also highlighted the uniqueness of the course, which aside from one-to-one in a chosen principal study be it vocal or instrumental, covers topics like Musicianship, theory of Raga and Tala, history of Indian music. She said, “Music theory is instinctive to great musicians and maestros. However, the job of the degree is to make it tangible and understandable for everyone. This is what makes this degree unique.”
Also present at the open day was Dharambir Singh, the Course Adviser and well established Sitar player. He said the aim of the course was to prepare students for a portfolio career, so not only performing but teaching, organising events or working in the Arts industry.
“This Honours degree in Indian Music is the complete package. We have three visions for each student. By the end of the course you must be able to sing, play an instrument and be proficient in a percussion instrument or be fluent in speaking the words (or bols) assigned to the rhythm.”
He also said teaching and learning methods have had to be changed and adapted. Comparing his own training, he remembers how he literally stayed with his guru, the great maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan to hone his art. Dharambir Singh, however, admits that a traditional discipleship is no longer a practical option, particularly in the western world, but feels that the Degree offers a feasible half-way house.
The degree is run in collaboration with Trinity College of Music (Trinity Laban) and is validated by City University and we are still enrolling for September 2010 and also for 2011. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7381 3086/4608