Why music is pursued as a passion and not as a career

Lack of awareness, less opportunities in the music industry is still a barrier for music aspirants to consider it as a career option.

India has a rich heritage of music, but it is absent from the wish list of students passionate of music. Most of those pursuing an undergraduate or PG degrees in music end up being a teacher or starting a small musical venture of their own.

Lack of awareness and limited opportunities discourage students to pick Music as a full-time profession.

Jyotishka Dasgupta, president, Calcutta School of Music, says, “Government has not given due recognition to music. is not a part of school curriculum and it is always seen as an extra-circular activity. Parents still give importance to traditional academics and they don‘t find pride in being a musician.”

He adds, “Unlike foreign universities and colleges, students who pursue music courses from various music schools in India are not given additional points during college enrolment. Things will change only when musicians start getting the respect and money they deserve.”

Parents still see it as hobby

The idea of music as a career has still not found validity, believes Geeta Uppal, executive director, Delhi School of Music.

She says, “Though enrolment in western classical music has gone up in the last few years, parents still see it as a hobby.”

Uppal adds, “We are making efforts to promote music by conducting workshops, open house and even counselling session for parents.”

Use of technology is must

Mathew Joy, founder, Jam Music Conservatory, Kerala says, “Trend keeps changing ever year. Evolving technology has a big role to play in changing the perception of the youth. But, natural dynamic music and genres has its own ethnic values and quality. It‘s about how the new generation gets a balance on applying both with having enough knowledge and creativity.”

“Creative subjects and career in music or arts has always faced challenging. Forming a music band or composing music has become relatively easy for music students, owing to changing technology. What matters is how good and convincing they are. Having creative control on technology is always ideal than becoming a slave of technology.”

Music boosts confidence

Suneera Kasliwal, head and dean, Faculty of Music and Fine Arts, Delhi University, “Music should be part of school curriculum as it develops one‘s personality and boosts confidence.”

She adds, “We are depriving our students of rich musical heritage of our country. It is disappointing to note that music is restricted to numbers.”

Kasliwal has introduced several courses that a relevant in the musical world. “We have started short-term courses such as Sangeet Shiromani and Sound Engineering. Sangeet Shiromani is a bridge course and a student from any field is eligible to pursue this course.” Sangeet Shiromani includes detail study of Hindustani Music along with Vocal and Instrumental knowledge whereas in Sound Engineering students are taught how to edit, adjusting sound tracks using equalization and audio effects, mixing, reproduction, and reinforcement of sound.

A sitarist herself, Kasliwal says, “Students have different aspiration and they think just by pursuing a degree they will become popular but music is demanding.”

Alum Voice

Subir Malik, founder member, and keyboard player, Parikrama band, says, “To be a successful musician, a degree rarely matters. Having a guru or teacher gives an edge to a student. Students these days pursue short-term courses from various music schools. But, music is an inborn talent and guidance is all that is required.”

He adds, “Indian music industry has been in a bad shape over the last 10 years and musicians are underselling their talent. People who want be into this industry should look for an alternate career to have economic stability.”

A third-year student of at DU, Sahitya Rajagopal, says, “I have been learning music from a very young age. I pursued music because I wanted to preserve the richness of Indian classical music. It‘s not only my passion but also my responsibility to appreciate and learn various forms of music.”

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