Success in the music Industry comes from leading change, not following it.
Despite being industry leaders in the music and performing arts education space, at the Australian Institute of Music we don’t pretend to know everything because there is a wealth of yet undiscovered knowledge, skills and experience out there that is just waiting to be tapped into.
That’s why AIM has sent four of its academics to various locations across Asia to give back to the community by facilitating masterclasses to budding musicians as well as to observe and learn from local musicians and industries in order to bring these learnings back to Australia and to AIM.
In May 2019 we sent Melbourne-based program leader Mitch Catterall on a whirlwind tour of Southern India, stopping by at various music schools and colleges to give a series of masterclasses plus attend a few education expos.
Here’s what he had to say about his trip to India;
What have you been up to?
Over the past week I have conducted several workshops/masterclasses, and attended a two education expos. One example of a workshop that I ran was at the Allegro Music School in Surat where we looked at Vocal Production and Processing, and; DAW Time Trials. Both workshops were attended by approximately twenty very enthusiastic Indian musicians of all ages and levels of experience, and I conducted the workshops with this diversity in mind.
Has anything stood out to you in terms of the music culture in India?
Music - and Creative Arts - is very highly regarded in India as an integral part of life, as well as education. It is not seen so much as a “hobby” but seen as an important part of a person in general.
This translates very well to prospective students and those thinking of education and careers in music production, as they are generally well-supported by their family and friends.
The music industry is huge in India, with a large connection to traditional weddings (usually an entire day of the 3-day wedding will be dedicated to music and dancing), the film industry (Bollywood as well as new regional styles which are becoming very popular), and the traditional recording industry. While - in general - India’s recording studio industry is not yet fully developed, this is currently changing due to easier access to professional-level technology and equipment.
We visited one recording studio (Studio 54) which was equipped with professional-level equipment usually only found in the highest level of studios in Australia - with a highly proficient engineer at the helm. This is very encouraging to see, as it means that locally within India musicians can begin to produce professional-grade music.
I have been very impressed with the engagement and enthusiasm that many Indians have exhibited, and I have definitely learnt a thing or two myself from from the trip.
What were the students like to work with?
Common across all attendees was a distinct keenest to learn and a strong sense of engagement. There was also a strong sense of curiosity coupled with a very powerful work ethic, meaning that many of the attendees were already planning businesses and work around music.
Anything else you can tell us?
Sidenote: Surat is an interesting city as it is the diamond polishing capital of the world - diamonds are sent from all over the world to be cut and polished in Surat before heading back to their owners for creation as jewellery. This means the city is quite affluent, and has a very exciting atmosphere - very different to New Delhi.
Mitch Catterall is a young award-winning composer, performer, and lecturer of music.
Based in Melbourne, Mitch is currently studying his PhD in Interactive Composition at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, where his studies focus on the interactive nature of physicality and spontaneity within electronic music creation - manifested as the creative output of the artist moniker “Bribery”.
He was awarded the Adolphe Spivakovsky Scholarship for Composition of Music for his piece “Waster” in December 2018, as well being placed 2nd in the International Compfest Award for “Bodies on Everest”. Mitch’s performance and recording history includes touring Australia (including venues such as the Melbourne Recital Centre) and the United States with various experimental, electronic, and electro-acoustic music groups. He has worked collaboratively with domestic and international artists such as ARIA-award winner Mr Trials (of A.B. Originals), Jeswon (of Thundamentals), Shirt (NYC), Basy Gasy (Madagascar), and many more.
As a music teacher of 15 years and lecturer of more than 6 years, Mitch is a current Program Leader and academic lecturer at the Australian Institute of Music, as well as a sessional lecturer in composition and audio recording at the University of Melbourne.