Children have incorporated varied interests in the early school days from dancing, singing, music, sports in their academic year. The schools have introduced this into their curriculum so that children develop all-round personality apart from their regular education.
I recently attended a children’s orchestra which left me quite impressed with the children’s performance. They performed as solo artists as well as with SOI (Symphony Orchestra of India) They have been coached under the special music training program.
The NCPA Special Music Training Programme was launched in 2012, to offer advanced instrument tuition to talented young children. The program offers a holistic music education that is inspired by the Russian Conservatoire method. Students receive substantial one-to-one tuition on their primary instrument, as well as second study piano lessons, group-singing teaching via the Solfeggio method, Music Theory classes and History of Music lectures. The Programme currently offers lessons on all orchestral string instruments (violin, viola, cello, double bass) and piano, as well as on select woodwind and brass instruments, with plans to considerably expand the instruments offered soon. The instructors of the NCPA Special Music Training Programme are all full-time members of the Symphony Orchestra of India. They are professional musicians from Eastern Europe and the United States and have a wealth of international teaching and performing experience between them.
The National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) is India’s premier cultural institution. It was inaugurated in 1969, a multi-venue, multi-genre, cultural center in South Asia. The center preserves and promotes rich and vibrant artistic heritage in the fields of music, dance, theater, film, literature, and photography.
The Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) based at the NCPA is India’s first and only professional orchestra, founded in 2006 by NCPA chairman Khushroo Santook and internationally renowned violin virtuoso Marat Bisengaliev who serves as Orchestra’s Music Director. SOI has performed internationally at the Hall of Columns, Moscow, the Royal Opera House, Muscat; and the Emirates Palace Auditorium, Abu Dhabi. They also have performed at Tonhalle, Zurich, Victoria Hall, Geneva and the Tonhalle, St. Galen in Switzerland.
About the young solo artists–
Maira Noor Singh joined the Special Music Training Programme in July 2013 to learn the violin. Over the years, she has become quite disciplined about her practice. Maira loves being part of the children’s orchestra and is proud of her dexterity with the violin. She has the privilege to perform as a soloist with SOI at NCPA, Prithvi Theatre and Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in Mumbai. Besides this training, she is also a budding ballerina and a tennis enthusiast.
Shreyansh Sen has been learning the flute since the age of seven, in this training program. He has been trained in Western Classical Music in the style followed by the Russian conservatory, that requires rigorous practice, dedication and training. He has performed at several concerts at the NCPA, Prithvi and Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. Apart from music, he loves watching cartoon films and his superheroes the Avengers.
Nisha Ramakrishnan auditioned for this Special Music Programme at the age of six and has studied with Aida Bissengalieva ever since. Nisha has played piano solos at concerts held at NCPA, Prithvi, the Bombay Gym and the Turf Club. She was chosen to play three movements of a concerto at the annual concert at the NCPA in June 2016. For her, music is a source of happiness and comfort. She can’t imagine a time without her piano, which has brought so much beauty and adventure into her life.
Aliza Jetha started playing the violin at the age of 5 years. She switched over to the viola three and half years ago. Aliza feels having a scheduled time to practice each day also keeps her organized for her school work. She says she feels very privileged to play for children’s orchestra. It is great when many musicians play together to make beautiful music.
Naima Ramakrishnan was six when she accompanied her sisters to the NCPA one day. She happened to spot a cello and went up to examine it. Margarita Gapparova, one of the school’s cello teachers noticed this and asked Naima to try playing the huge instrument. Naima experimented with it and loved the sound. Soo Margarita and Naima decided that she would play the cello- and there was no looking back. She has performed cello solos at concerts held at NCPA, Prithvi, and the Turf Club. For a child who loves stories and writing, music is another way to connect with people and to help her imagination grow.
Watch recent performances by the students here.