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Learning music RSL way
The tagline of Rockschool Ltd, popular as RSL, says ‘Awarding the Contemporary Arts’. A glance at its new syllabi for various disciplines validates RSL’s claim.
Shillong School of Music, which follows the RSL curriculum, organised an introductory event in the city recently where a resource person from London explained to music students how the changes in the syllabi are in tune with the dynamic contemporary music world.
The UK-based music school, which was formed in 1991 and now runs its courses and delivers examinations in around 45 countries, has courses in guitar (both acoustic and electric), drums, bass, piano and keys, vocals and ukulele. For every discipline, it has the industry’s top names — Grammy award winning guitar player Larry Carlton, author of six books on bass Stuart Clayton and metal musician Jason Bowld are some of the big names — as instructors.
The new syllabi give students the opportunity to have two free choice pieces which can serve as performance pieces for the exam. “The students will be guided by an expert in choosing the pieces,” Henriette Madsen, who was representing RSL, told Sunday Shillong.
Madsen informed that the RSL syllabi are followed by several music schools in Assam, Mizoram and Nagaland in the North East. Across India, there are over 300 schools which take RSL exams at close to 150 centres. She said while RSL does music productions online, all exams are conducted by examiners sent by the institute. RSL grades are regulated by all UK regulatory bodies with UCAS points awarded at grades 6,7 and 8. The certificates which students in India get are on par with the UK qualifications.
The institute also offers courses in music production, popular music theory, musical theatre, and jazz and street dances.
Madsen, who was on her maiden visit to the northeastern region, said music “is part of the culture in this part of the country and there are many talented youths in the region”.
Shillong School of Music has been following the RSL curriculum since 2012. Established in 1984 by Richard Nongrum, the music school has evolved to a more contemporary role. “The RSL exams expose students to the vast world of contemporary arts and give them the opportunity to follow an updated curriculum,” said the institute’s current proprietor Peter R Marbaniang.
He added that the institute also teaches Western classical music.
Talking about his father, who was an alumnus of Calcutta School of Music, and his dream to expand and improve the institute, Marbaniang said as several music schools are offering courses in Western classical, he wants his institute to be “the destination” in the region for those pursuing contemporary music.