The shift in focus from practical training to theory led to the decline in quality of learning at the R. L.V. College of Music and Fine Arts, said Thiruvizha Jayasankar, noted Nadaswaram exponent and alumni of the college.
A batch-mate (1957) of noted singer K. J. Yesudas, Thiruvizha Jayasankar recalled that they used to approach their gurus requesting them to teach a particular raga or kirtan. “That was our enthusiasm and our teachers were always ready to impart the lessons. The training was rigorous but we knew that our teachers wanted to mould us in the right way,” he said. Explaining that the academic standards fell especially after the college got affiliated to the university system, Thiruvizha Jayasankar said that “it was not possible to mould artistes by focussing on theory”.
“As a student, you must learn about the various aspects related to music and only practical training will help you evolve as an artiste. The atmosphere in our college days was also different, with a major chunk of the learning process devoted to practical training,” he said.
Thiruvizha Jayasankar said that the rigorous practical classes combined with the experience gathered from participating in live stage shows right from the college days helped him immensely. “Its not the marks that you score in the examination but the quality of the music you deliver that matters at the end,” he said.
The renowned Nadaswaram artiste recommended the re-structuring of the programmes on the campus by giving priority on how to improve the innate skills of students. “Otherwise, RLV would not be able to regain its prestige,” he said.