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Sumith Ramachandran and Usha Uthup. Picture: Pabitra Das

Jordy was only four-and-a-half when his song Dur dur d’etre bebe! (It’s Tough to Be A Baby) became a number one hit in France and stayed on top of the charts for 15 weeks in the early 1990s. Kids in Calcutta can now take a shot at emulating that feat!

For, “India’s biggest Roland Music School of Japan” has come to town with its karaoke system and two acoustic rooms where students can record their albums.

“Roland is ready to rock ’’ roll,” said chief guest Usha Uthup at the inauguration of the music school (housed at Happy Hours Studio, 9 Chakraberia Road (North), behind Nepal Sweets) on Wednesday. Spread across 2,000sq ft, the school has nine rooms for different instruments (like the piano, keyboard, drums, guitar...) and an in-house retail shop, called Roland Planet Express, for students.

Classes start December 1 (11am to 8pm). “For the first time we are going to teach a fusion of Western and Indian classical music. Seeing the cultural scene here, Roland Japan has made instruments especially for India,” said Jyoti Bansal, director, Roland Music School.

Teachers: “We have a young and dynamic faculty trained in different instruments. We follow the syllabus of Berklee College of Music in Boston for vocals,” said Raunak Agarwal, director of RMS.

Cal connect: “Calcutta is the cultural hub of India, and we are inspired by the musical instincts of chief minister Mamata Banerjee. So we thought this is a very good place to start off,” said Bansal.

Thumbs up: “I have never been to a music school. The students now are really lucky that they get to play on such quality instruments. I urge young students to come and learn and make use of the opportunity,” said guitarist Sumith Ramachandran.

Have pedal, will play

Roland connect: I am a Roland user for a long time. I started using a Roland distortion pedal in the early 1980s. My band was based around that pedal in my town in Kerala. We pulled in money and got a few colourful pedals. In the late 1970s, a distortion pedal would cost around Rs 1,500, which was huge money. No one could afford that. It was a dream to get a pedal like that. It’s all about how you get the best out of these pedals. Later, the band broke up and I came to Cal with one pedal. Ask any guitar player about his first pedal, and he would say it’s a Roland —
Sumith Ramachandran,


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