Monday, January 12, 2015

Music Lessons in Gurgaon: Lorraine Music Academy

It all started with my dad's impulse purchase of a keyboard when he retired a few years ago. He decided he would learn to play now that he would have all this time on his hands. How hard could it be and so what if there's not a musical bone in his body? My mother rightly predicted that his interest in music would be short lived. The keyboard soon moved from it's pride of place in the living room, to the guest bedroom, to under the guest room bed, wrapped up in layers of bubble wrap. That's where it stayed till 2 years ago, when my husband decided it was time for our son to learn to play it. He was almost 6 at the time. This time I protested, predicting that the keyboard would just lie bulkily in our house, our son wouldn't be interested and after all, don't I clean enough around the house without now having to dust an unused keyboard everyday?

I know my husband well, and he's nothing if not quietly and sweetly obstinate. So, the keyboard came. In protest, I washed my hands off the whole thing and left it up to him to find a teacher and make it all happen.

That's where Lorraine came in. My husband heard about her from a friend and took our son to visit her. He's been learning to play the piano from her academy for the last two years. My daughter joined a few months ago as well. We could not be happier with how it's going. Located in Nirvana and Phase IV, the academy accepts students for piano, guitar, violin, drums, dance, and singing. The thing that struck me the most when our son started going was how serious they are about music. This is not just a hobby class that you would send your kids to over the summer or when you just needed to occupy them for a few hours a week. This is where you'd send your kid if you really believed that instruction in music would help him or her in life and you wanted to invest yours and your child's time in it. They teach mostly western classical music, and kids start learning to read music from the beginning. For piano at least (I know more about that because that's what the kids are learning), they follow the Trinity Guildhall syllabus and have examiners come in to take music exams regularly.

The other thing I love about the academy is the environment - it's quite unstructured and as a first time visitor, one wonders how it will all come together - there are kids doing their own thing all over the place - playing their instruments, reading their notes, sometimes playing the fool, and generally having a good time. Somehow though, they end up getting individual attention from their assigned teachers and it starts to show in their music. Thanks to frequent musical events that the academy hosts, mostly at Epicenter, Gurgaon, parents get an opportunity to watch their kids perform at times too. This is fun and, as we found, has really helped the kids' get over any stage fright as well.

As with any activity your child pursues, your attention and time and the occasional push is naturally a key ingredient to success. We have been providing that in good measure, and the kids are good about practicing. But that's all we do. We have Lorraine and her staff to thank for the foundation they're providing and more importantly, the love for music they're developing in our kids.

If you're considering music lessons for your kids, or even for yourself, do contact them and see what you think. As always, I welcome your comments and opinions, experiences and recommendations.

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