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     Volume 8 Issue 69 | May 15, 2009 |

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School for Music

Elita Karim

Sunil Das playing the violin with his students.

Music education, in the last few years, has gained a lot of acceptance both amongst children and parents. In fact, several schools in the city offer lessons in both vocal and instruments alongside regular studies. However, there are also schools and institutions exclusively dedicated to teaching and learning music education in Dhaka today. It is also a fact that too many of such schools are springing up in every other neighbourhood in the capital today, that it becomes difficult to actually keep up with them. The complaints turn out to be the same the teachers are not efficient enough or the school closes down after a few months because of problems related to the managements, funding etc.

There are a few music schools that have survived and become popular amongst students and Music Planet happens to be one of them. Located in Gulshan 2 in Taher Tower, this school has been teaching music to young people for the last year and a half. The school made a grand announcement of their existence through a function at the Spectra Convention Centre in April 2008.

More than 120 students children between the ages of 10 17, university students and also working professionals are seen attending their weekly classes at Music Planet. They are taught instruments both in the eastern and western styles the guitar, drums, violin, bass guitar, piano, keyboard, tabla and vocal training.

Recently, the Music Planet school authorities decided to formally introduce degree programmes in music at Music Planet. “However, it is not as easy as we think it is,” says director of Music Planet School Saifuddin Saki. “After we discussed this proposition with the concerned authorities, we decided to introduce diploma programmes for the time being.”

Over the last three years, the school's vision has grown bigger and today, it not only has classes in musical instruments and vocal training, but also in sound and audio engineering live sound, studio and broadcasting, radio jockeying, creative writing and art. A recent change in the management of the school has led to such changes and the Music Planet authorities plan to make many changes for the better. “We plan to eventually turn Music Planet into an institution dedicated to arts and music,” adds Saki. Classes in both eastern classical dances and Salsa have also attracted many students to the school.

Labu Rahman instructing the students in his guitar class.

The students at Music Planet, especially the youngsters are fascinated by the famous and accomplished musicians that the school boasts in the faculty the legendary Sunil Das (violin), Labu Rahman from the band Feedback (guitar and bass guitar), Funty (drums), Titu Ali from the band Chime (keyboard), famous sound engineers Charu, who currently works in Desh TV and Shameem from Live Sound. The curriculum for each subject is outlined and organised by the teachers themselves and discussed with the Music Planet authorities.

Many students say that not only does Music Planet follow a disciplined manner of teaching the arts, the school is also popular amongst the youngsters because of the flexibility it shows towards its teachers, many of who are also regular stage performers in and around the country. “It is an honour for us that famous personalities like Sunil Das is a full time faculty member in our school,” says Saki. “But there are times when our teachers themselves have performances and are unable to attend classes. That is why, all our teachers have been instructed to let us know beforehand in case they miss a class. We immediately arrange for make-up classes.”

Music Planet has a long way to go, but even then, the school has proved its accomplishments and holds promises to take music education to another level.

(For more information on the school, call 01678029843 or 01720564950)

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