Talat Aziz: I form a bond with my students, and it goes beyond music
The pandemic-induced lockdown last year affected artistes across the board. Everyone, including Bollywood celebrities and musicians, was forced to be homebound. While some found the experience suffocating and monotonous, veteran ghazal singer Talat Aziz utilised it constructively. The Zindagi Jab Bhi Teri Bazm Mein singer turned teacher with an aim to help budding musicians hone their skills.
“I started teaching in May, last year. My wife, Bina, motivated me. She had been encouraging me to start imparting my knowledge for a long time. When the lockdown started, I was approached by an NGO, Rithwik Foundation, which promotes fine arts. They wanted me teach pure ghazal online,” says the singer.”
Aziz has a total of 52 students across eight batches. While two comprise one-on-one sessions, the other six batches have between five to 10 students each. “I have students between the ages of 13 and 55. I teach each class personally. Teaching to me is something that is really precious. I form a bond with my students, and it goes beyond music. We become like one family. I know each one of my students, their temperaments, vocal capabilities and personalities,” says the 64-year-old.
While most artistes expressed displeasure over the restrictions that the lockdown brought along, Aziz is content that he managed to utilise the time positively. Ask him if teaching virtually caused any limitations, and the singer, who dedicates a couple of hours for the classes every day, shares, “Actually, virtual teaching made it easier. I can teach students from all over the world in real time. It’s like they are in the class with me in person. It wouldn’t have been possible to have so many students from all over the world, including the US and Canada, if the classes weren’t happening virtually. I’m busy teaching most of the week and busiest on weekends.”
Talking about a mantra that he wants all his students to follow, Aziz says, “I call it my three P’s: passion, practice and persistence. One cannot really learn music, especially the art of ghazal, without them.”