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In photos: Making of the next A R Rahman

January 06, 2017 06:45 IST

On Oscar and Grammy-winning composer A R Rahman's 50th birthday, Monali Sarkar takes you inside his dream music school -- the K M Music Conservatory.AR

KMMC

The KM Music Conservatory is located on a state-of-the-art campus in the heart of Chennai's film and music industry.
The conservatory was founded by Rahman in 2008 as a way to give back to music: 'The more you give, the more you get,' he had said in announcing the launch of the conservatory.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Sreerag Veeraraghavan via K M Music Conservatory/Facebook

When A R Rahman launched the KM Music Conservatory

KMMC

The conservatory extends a cheerful welcome.

Photographs: Kind courtesy K M Music Conservatory/Facebook

KMMC

While Rahman serves as the Head Principal, the faculty here -- specialising in musical performance, musical theory and analysis, music history and music technology -- is drawn from around the world.

Photograph: K M Music Conservatory/Facebook

WATCH: Rahman's dream for the K M Music conservatory

KMMC

Clockwise from top, snapshots of the Hindustani classroom, the audio tech lab, the approach to the practice rooms and the staffroom.

'There are 1.4 billion people in India and thousands of musicians, but there is no symphony orchestra with our very own musicians while even smaller countries have their own orchestra,' Rahman had said during the launch of the conservatory.
'So, the reason to start the K M Conservatory is simple... It is important to raise awareness about different kinds of music.'

Photographs: Kind courtesy K M Music Conservatory/Facebook

KMMC

The lounge for the recording studios, left, and the vocal and Hindustani performance studios, right.

Photograph: Kind courtesy K M Music Conservatory/Facebook

KMMC

Eclectic wall art and splashes of colours on pipes and blinds speak of a rare attention to detail.

Photographs: Kind courtesy K M Music Conservatory/Facebook

KMMC

Making way for a new class of musicians on orientation day.

The K M Music Conservatory offers a range of part-time and full time courses to suit all ages and abilities.
The conservatory is also open to differently abled students and offers support to those who might face physical difficulty, sensory impairment, mental health problems or a specific learning difficulty like dyslexia.

Photograph: Kind courtesy K M Music Conservatory/Facebook

The variety and intensity of training that KM Music Conservatory offers.

Violinist Dr L Subramaniam, who was on the advisory board, when the conservatory was launched, had said, 'This music school is one of the best things that can happen in India. It is a great venture. When we grew up, we didn't have this kind of an opportunity.'

Photographs: Kind courtesy K M Music Conservatory/Facebook

KMMC

Not only do the budding composers get to hear their compositions played by professionals, final assessments involve students recording their own compositions.

Photograph: Kind courtesy K M Music Conservatory/Facebook

KMMC

And as important as the final assessment is the annual day, which is typically graced by Rahman.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Sreerag Veeraraghavan via K M Music Conservatory/Facebook

KMMC

To those graduating, the K M Music Conservatory offers two, internationally recognised higher education qualifications in collaborative partnership with Middlesex University in the UK.
Both combine the Hindustani and Western classical music traditions and provide students with a range of solo and ensemble performance opportunities.

Photograph: Kind courtesy K M Music Conservatory/Facebook

When A R Rahman earned a degree from Berklee College of Music

Life lessons from A R Rahman

Monali Sarkar / Rediff.com