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Paul McCartney’s desi talent hunt

Performing arts institute co-founded by the 62-year-old former Beatle hosts a panel discussion today with local artistes in the city.

art and culture Updated: Apr 01, 2011 14:31 IST
Megha Mahindru

Paul McCartney, a self-taught musician, bassist and vocalist of The Beatles, is now a true convert advocating formal education in music. The 62-year-old co-founded The Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts, in the UK in 1995 with Mark Featherstone-Witty. Today, the institute is organising a daylong workshop with IndoGenius, a foreign education facilitator, to initiate a dialogue with some of the city’s well-known musicians and performers.

“Performing arts courses like the ones offered by LIPA aren’t available in India. The country is rich in talent but musicians and actors rely immensely on mentors and YouTube. These are poor alternatives to the professionalism that a formal course helps to develop,” says Nick Booker of IndoGenius, who, along with Featherstone-Witty and a 12-member panel including comedian-actor Cyrus Sahukar, musicians Sidd Coutto, Ankur Tewari and DJs Hermit Sethi, Pearl and Nikhil Chinapa, will address a discussion on the subject, ‘How to achieve your potential as a performer’.

Need for education
Tough On Tobacco’s 31-year-old frontman, Coutto, another self-taught musician who doesn’t favour formal education, is not sure of the outcome: “A good performer is one who entertains, communicates with the audience and has fun. But these ideas cannot be taught or learnt,” he insists. “I’m interested in sharing the local scene with the panellist, and talk about our limitations here.” Not a supporter of formal training, the 31-year-old frontman adds, “Now it’s a bit late. For someone who’s already written eight novels, it’s a bit difficult to start learning the basics of writings.”

Featherstone-Witty seconds this thought, saying, “Some of the best musicians are self-taught. I don’t think training is necessary, but we can help people speed up their careers by making sure that they don’t make the same mistakes.”

The highlight of the curriculum, holding its first auditions in India, is that the attendees have a masterclass with McCartney. “Last year, we welcomed our first Indian national. We’d like to help youngsters who aspire to performing arts, but haven’t got directions yet,” observes Featherstone-Witty.

Liverpool Institute Of Performing Arts’ workshop will be conducted at Olive, Bandra, 12.30 pm. To register, email