Felicia Albert’s 10-year-old daughter Zara has been taking private piano lessons for the past five years, where the tutor teaches her a musical piece each week and prepares her for UK-based competitive exams.
Her younger daughter, five-year-old Chiara, started piano lessons in July at a new school with a different approach: at Malabar Hill’s Furtados School of Music (FSM), she plays on an electronic piano with a computer mounted on it, is taught about high and low keys by an animated Mr Beethoven, and dances hand-in-hand with her teachers and classmates as she learns about musical rhythm.
The five-month-old school, founded by music company Furtados and two former bankers, teaches Western classical piano through interactive software that they bought from Canada-based company Adventis. Designed in the form of a structured curriculum, the software comprises several age-appropriate options for students.
Last week, FSM inaugurated its second branch in Bandra (W), where it will soon begin classes for guitar and drums, along with the piano.
“The school’s structured syllabus appealed to me,” said Felicia Albert, a Malabar Hill resident, who signed Chiara up for the classes as soon as she heard of the school’s launch.
Dharini Upadhayaya and Tanuja Gomes, the two banker-entrepreneurs heading FSM, decided to launch the school for Furtados after researching music teaching methods.
“We realised that in order to bring consistency and quality in music education, new technology needs to aid and facilitate the teaching process,” said Upadhyaya, 33, emphasising that the software does not replace the role of the teacher in laying foundations and honing technique.
“I have designed an integrated syllabus in which the drums and guitar students will be learning the same songs, and be equipped to play in bands,” said Rowan Parker, a Scottish musician, who has designed the drums and guitar curriculum and is in city to train FSM’s teachers.