Sunday, August 19, 2012

Knowledge Building VS Money Minded

Learning music in india is an area marked by high levels of competence and expectations, mainly because recognition is got only when there is some sort of qualified certification from the various high level organizations. But when we take the case of music abroad, the scene is different. There is a great level of commitment among classical music learners, who are settled in abroad. Urged by a need to ensure that their children are not spoilt by unnecessary distractions and to retain their native identity, there is a quest amongst them to learn Carnatic Music. Such training is also a great advantage as an extracurricular activity when these youngsters study in the University. Unfortunately, these innocent seekers of music are often taken for a ride. Many of the great artistes visit these foreign places and take classes there for such children. But, except for a few, many are more concerned about the monetary returns of such teaching rather than the progress of their pupil. In such a quest, they hasten to organize festivals, feature their students in them. Even if the student is mediocre, he is praised to the skies, thus giving him and his doting parents a false if flattering opinion of himself. In a span of say, couple of years with just a few monthly visits thrown in, the gure is in a great hurry to witness the arangetram of the pupil, in a field where traditionally the parents rush for such a day.

The arangetram abroad is often treated as a social event. But the role of a guru should be much more. He should create a thirst for knowledge to his student, so much so that the disciple should pester him for more and more , rather than worry about his performance. If this present trent goes on, there will be serious repercussions for the quality of music in general. Innocent parents, ignorant of the mediocre standard of their children, on getting concerts for their children in Chennai (easily done through money power in many a venue), feel that their child has reached star status already!

The first blame for this sad and unhealthy trend falls squarely on the unscrupulous guru's who consider that teach such a foreign based community is a sound money making venture, rather than a sacred relationship between teacher and taught. When the unwitting seekers of music abroad come to know about the true motives of these unethical teachers, it will be a black mark for Carnatic music and musicians in general.

Ofcourse, let us not forget that in the middle of such opportunists, there is a large section of genuinely committed teachers of music who have their disciples interest first and foremost in their heart. May their tribe increase. May the glow of our great fine art spread to every corner of the glove in all its splendour.