With every TV channel worth its salt is kicking off a musical talent hunt, parents are desperately seeking out music teachers and academies to give their children a solid foundation in classical music. Reason: the realisation that to sing light music well, you need to master the seven swaras first.
At Suresh Wadkar’s Ajivasan Music Academy in Santacruz, it’s not just eager parents of tiny tots who inquire about the courses, but also failed aspirants of reality shows. Abhishek Kumar of Jharkhand took a nine-month break from engineering studies to fight it out at Indian Idol 3. Losing out after reaching the top eight, he now wants to master classical music so that he can take his singing career to new heights.
While agreeing that music shows have helped spread awareness about classical music, Wadkar warns that instant fame can be a hurdle in the path of budding musicians. Rajan Panchikar, a music teacher in Borivli, agrees: “Today’s children are very bright, but they lack dedication and patience.”
Rimi Sinha, who teaches at Mumbai Music Academy in Goregaon, finds it strange that “everyone wants to be a singer”. “I find this excessive because good singers get pushed out. The industry doesn’t have work for so many,” she says. She has a word of advice for the reality shows too: “Why don’t they have a contest with thumri, dadra and tarana rounds instead of making the contestants sing the same songs over and over again? In fact, I am talking to some channels and production houses to evolve such a show.”