Moulding musicians the right way

Moulding musicians the right way

Moulding musicians the right way

It’s a competitive world for musicians these days; there’s no dearth of hidden talent emerging and the shy ones have started finding the courage to step out of their bathrooms and on to the stage. 

There is no doubt that choirs have their part to play in this transition, given that several members of Bangalore-based choirs are making it big as professional musicians. 

Michael Dias, frontman of alternative rock band ‘Mad Orange Fireworks’, admits that the choir ‘Wishbone Factory’, of which he was a member, played a big part in shaping him musically. 

“As a child, I was part of my church choir for 10 years, which helped me open up to singing. ‘Wishbone Factory’, which was put together by Roshni Stanley, helped me a lot.

We met twice a week and practised for an hour or two. It gave me a strict routine to follow and disciplined me. Besides, it was very challenging since we did acapella,” explains Michael. 

On a more personal note, he adds, “With choirs, it’s just like any other music class you take — it always helps! I’ve always hidden behind the guitar and sung. But the choir got me to sing without it. I still do exercises that I learnt there for band practices.”

Another believer in the life lessons learnt from choirs is Jason Zachariah, who runs Nathaniel School of Music (NSM), with his mother Lillian and also plays keyboards for several City-based bands. 

“I’ve been a part of acapella groups and choirs like ‘Rhythm and Groove’, where I mainly played the piano and sang occasionally. The main advantage of being in a choir is the discipline — you learn about music in a focussed way and it’s an experience you never forget. You learn co-ordination, team work and handling pressure. Moreover, if you can create chemistry with an entire choir, you’ll always be good at dealing with people, which is needed by music producers and bands alike,” shares Jason.

“When you’re following the choir conductor, it develops a sense of timing and creates a foundation for ear-training. NSM has choir training too, where the basics of music like theory and harmony are taught alongside vocal training. I feel that everyone should be a part of a choir if you’re looking to be a musician,” he emphasises.

Singer Jude Lazaro, who has been a part of ‘Glorious’ choir, also acknowledges the contribution the choir has had. 

“It’s like going to school and learning the basics. Being in a choir makes you see how your voice fits into an ensemble and shows you your relevance in the bigger picture. A lot of people take up singing frivolously but a choir makes you serious because there’s an authoritative figure guiding you,” says Jude.

He made his transition from choral to non-choral music doing musicals, experimenting with gospel music and performing live with guitarist Robin Colaco. But he doesn’t feel that being in a choir made the transition easy. 

“It may not have been harder but I probably would not have been as good,” he admits.