Yesterday there was a recital by the Guitar department at the William Joseph Music Academy where Aanish and Ayaana take guitar and piano lessons respectively. The 2-hour program reminded me how much music education has changed in India in the last 20 years. I remember taking guitar lessons over 25 years ago in a small room in the house of an instructor two times a week. The William Joseph academy is also in a house but it occupies the entire house. But this represents a fundamental change in music education. More and more children seem to be interested in learning music. Parents are making a greater effort to support the interests of their children. The education infrastructure appears to have removed a lot.
There were nearly 25 children who performed in the recital. Children ranging in ages from 6-7 to about 20 performed in the program. There was also an older student in his 40s. The program was well attended. Despite the small space and limited seating, the audience enjoyed the program which also included a multi-media presentation by one of the instructors on the history of guitar and some music theory. The students were amazing - talented and self-confident. Dressed in formal white shirts and black pants (boys) or black skirts (girls), each played their piece with confidence. The recital ended with an ensemble piece by the instructors. And for good measure, it ended with a group of instructors and a couple of visitors playing a Blues number.
Aanish played his piece with poise and elegance and clearly (this is without any parental bias) was the best performer of the evening!