When it comes to music, India is a uniquely blessed country. The land of guru-shishya parampara is full of distinct musical styles that vary from region to region. However, being an academically-driven country, India experiences laxity when it comes to people choosing music as a subject of studies. According to renowned Bollywood singer Ankit Tiwari, music education in India is still undergoing evolution.
Owing to the country’s rich musical heritage, most music schools in India offer instruction in two distinctly established styles of Indian classical music – Hindustani and Carnatic. One of the top-ranking universities in the country, Delhi University even has degrees from pre-bachelor to doctoral in both Hindustani and Carnatic musical forms. Other reputed universities, such as the Banaras Hindu University and the University of Madras also offer various programs in these two genres.
For years, a majority of Indian ears have been tuned to the sounds of the sitar or the beats of the tabla. However, with the growing Western influence on media and culture, western music has been making great strides and has found a special place in the heart of Indian music enthusiasts. Keeping that in mind, several educational institutions in India have also started offering courses in Western music.
For a country that has music embedded deep in its culture, India lags far behind when it comes to pursuing formal education in music. According to singer Ankit Tiwari, several people in our country are obsessed with their children’s academic achievements to such an extent that they do not even consider being a vocalist or musician as a career option. This is one of the chief reasons why the music programs offered by various Indian institutions have few takers.
Another reason behind the country’s reluctance towards opting for a career in music is the limited opportunities of making it big in the industry, and the struggle that follows. A successful career in music, be it a vocalist or an instrument player, requires a lot of time, hard work, and patience says singer Ankit Tiwari. Since most people dream of reaching to the top quickly, without having to go through the entire process, they end up believing that a career in music is unfeasible.
According to singer Ankit Tiwari, there is a need for an approach that addresses not just the basics of any musical genre but gives the students a more practical and holistic understanding of the art, encouraging them to explore beyond formal instruction in the classroom. Also, more opportunities need to be created within the music industry in order to provide stable employment to those who are pursuing courses in music.
Our country is revered across the globe for its rich musical heritage. It’s time we, as Indians, embrace it too and start perceiving music as not just a hobby, but an interesting career option. We have excelled in the fields of science, technology, literature, sports and what not. Why should the artistic world of music be left behind?