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The world of performing arts is challenging and rewarding

Be behind the stage or on it, you can now choose a fairly lucrative path in the world of music and drama
Music and performing arts are not only for amusement but can also be a lucrative career if one chooses the right kind of training, writes professor Goutam Ghosh.

Goutam Ghosh   |     |   Published 29.10.20, 11:00 AM

There are few people on earth who don’t enjoy music. While some play an instrument and some sing, others just listen. In fact, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan had once said: “For us, as a family, music is like food. When you need it, you don’t have to explain why, because it is basic to life.” A lot of music lovers would agree to that right away.

While on that, I want to talk about a subject that has immense possibilities in modern society but is rarely encouraged or promoted. The old shloka says: “na cha vidya sangitat para.” It means – “no subject is above sangita”. Here, sangita, signifies singing, playing, and dance. And it’s closely related to theatre as well. All these together are called the performing arts.

Our university offers courses in each of the three main branches of performing arts —music, dance and drama. Here, you will be taught each of them in a scientific manner, through a series of processes. If you stick to the path, it’s not impossible to find success in the chosen field.

In fact, a lot of institutions, colleges and universities such as ours are offering music as part of their curriculum these days. Why, you ask? It’s because we believe that music is absolutely vital to the society. Old concepts of education are of the past, newer pedagogies are evolving and new ideas are being shaped in the field of performing arts education.

No longer do you have to believe in the fact that a good performer must be born with talent. Modern teaching methods can educate a person to follow an artistic path. And performing arts is no longer limited to just music and drama. You can learn dance, physical theatre, music theatre, sound design and digital productions — the options are many.

All you have to do is take a look at a course and see if it suits your interest. Now you may want to ask if there is any value attached to being part of the performing arts industry. And I would say “yes”.

Look at the modern world, things are changing rapidly. There are so many people in the field who have found success and financial gain from learning the right skills. Plus training programmes such as dedicated classrooms, workshops, performances only help hone your skills and make you ready for the industry. And all practical lessons are conducted by
renowned persons from across the country.

The benefits of music education:
  • It helps to significantly develop intellectual development and also sharpen imaginative skills. In fact, by the “functional magnetic resonance imaging" (FMRI) it has been detected that musical training can enhance brain function.
  • Music can help develop one’s personality and improve self-confidence.
  • It helps to build discipline.
  • It also improves emotional development, help to grow empathy towards other cultures.
  • It has been observed that while a student learns music, his or her aptitude in other subjects such as science and mathematics improved noticeably.
  • And, above all, it makes a person social and helps him or her to fight stress and anxiety.

In a nutshell, performing arts builds positivity. It is like medicine for the soul.

Where can a course in performing arts lead you:

You can be a singer, composer, film music director, music programmer, sound designer, choreographer, musical theatre performer, music therapist, theatre music director, screenwriter, music stage manager, broadcasting presenter, arts administrator, teacher/higher education lecturer and many more.

Placement opportunities:

Music Industry: The Indian music industry is the second-oldest organisation in the world and has been active since 1936.
Film and TV: There are above 200 top-class production houses in India, 892 TV channels, and not to mention the various advertisement companies that are constantly looking for performing arts professionals.

Like I said, the sky’s the limit when you decide to step into the world of performing arts. All you have to do is walk through the door.

Professor Goutam Ghosh is the director of the Department of Performing Arts at Sister Nivedita University. HE was the former head of the department of Instrumental Music and Director of JN Tagore Centre of Research at Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata and has served as a guest faculty at SRFT.

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