Bruce Lee Mani

We don’t have much formal music training in our regular schools, so a regular music school is a good school! Without exception, everybody likes music. And I would go so far as to say that studying music helps improve not just your appreciation of it, but also your math ability, your self-expression, your world-view, and even your spirituality! And when a bunch of dedicated, experienced folk (like the folks at Nathaniel) are trying to put together a school for music, they deserve every encouragement.

I never had much formal training myself; what little I had came from a man called Bhaskar Maben, a little-known but dedicated music teacher that life dealt several unkind cards to. He taught me how to read music, and he taught me to be systematic, to organize my thoughts and studies. That’s all I got for him before he left, but it was a good start. The rest I have picked up from all the wonderful musicians I have had the privilege of working with – in styles as diverse as Heavy Metal and Progressive Rock to Jazz, Hindustani and Carnatic. Picked up the hard way, making many many mistakes (and still making them, of course) along the way. With the guidance of a good teacher(s), I feel that I would have progressed much faster. The big-name schools in the West – Berklee, GIT – were always too far out of reach financially, even with a scholarship. So having a school like this one, close at hand, can only be a good thing.

It is very very important to get started off on your musical journey with the right first steps, and if possible with a teacher that inspires. For example, ear training – in our ‘Google’ era, so many people just learn songs by Googling them and reading the chords off a web page. Theory – many musicians find they need theory when they hit a ‘plateau’ and can’t seem to get ahead. Sight reading – a useful skil, but not everything; it can become easy to focus so much on this that self-expression and improvisation are all but forgotten. Ergo, a school that understands these things well is the one I would go with.

Jason is one of the young guns who has consistently delivered the goods on stage with TAAQ. For those that know us, perhaps we can say that it is no mean feat. I wish him and his family every success with the Nathaniel School of Music!