Musically quarantined: How musicians are turning to online classes to teach their trade – art and culture

Drummer Gino Banks, son of noted composer, Louis Banks, who has been holding online lessons to teach drums, says music lessons have been going on virtually for many years. “I have never really liked it, though. I have always liked the feeling of being present in the same room as my students. If you have the right setup, it can be very constructive,” he says.

Many are signing up for online sessions to learn new skills during the lockdown. And so, a series of workshops called Lowdown in Lockdown has been organised, where six different artists elaborate on their individual instruments. The sessions began on May 11, and the artists who are part of it are Banks (drums), Rakesh Chaurasia (flute), Sheldon D’Silva (bass guitar), Ojas Adhiya (tabla), Purbayan Chatterjee (sitar) and Sangeet Haldipur (keyboard).  

Speaking about it, Chaurasia says, “Some might want to know about fusion music while others might want to learn classical music. Playing the flute is difficult, and during our times, we couldn’t imagine getting an opportunity like this.”

Banks, who has been teaching the drums for many years now, says, “The instrument kind of depends on heavy coordination. So, I am going to deal with the coordination aspect of it and showcase some exercises. I will also talk about some rhythmic concepts that I use.”

Although scheduled for a week, the sessions might get extended. Banks says, “It all depends on the response we get out of it.”

Reflecting on the importance of the Internet, Chaurasia adds, “While sitting face to face, I can see how exactly they are playing, which is not possible in online sessions. But if one is already acquainted with the instrument, and is already a student of music, it will be easier for them. They can also ask me questions directly.”

Flautist Rakesh Chaurasia says online music classes are easier for students of music who are familiar with the instruments

Flautist Rakesh Chaurasia says online music classes are easier for students of music who are familiar with the instruments

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