Interviews

‘I go into a trance while playing the flute’

The melodious music of the flute also helps boost memory, says budding flautist Rik Roychowdhury, a class 9 student of Apeejay Panchsheel Park, who recently secured 3rd position in the state-level Kala Utsav competition.

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Rik, who has been studying in Apeejay since Nursery, brought laurels to his school by giving an excellent performance in the state-level Kala Utsav 2021 competition in the category ‘Instrumental Music Traditional Folk’. The event promotes arts in education by nurturing and showcasing the artistic talent of school students. Rik’s mother Sheuli Chowdhury is Associate Professor, Department of English, Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi, while his father Jaideep Roy Chowdhury is Director, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. In an informal chat, the 14-year-old talks about his fascination for music, how his teachers helped him conquer stage fright and how playing the flute helped him academically. Edited excerpts:

What fascinates you about the flute?

I instantly fell in love with the Bansuri or flute when I was first introduced to it in class 2. The flute is inherently rooted in the Indian ethos. The bansuri is revered as Lord Krishna’s divine instrument. Even if we play a single note, it sounds so melodious on the flute.  Also, crafting a bansuri requires a lot of patience and a deep musical knowledge. The bamboo itself needs to be selected with care and must be seasoned correctly before being crafted into a flute.

Tell us about the support you have received from your teachers.

All my music teachers at school have supported me through thick and thin. I am forever grateful to Naval Sir and Rishi Sir, my current music teachers, and Rajesh Sir and Rekha ma’am, who taught me when I was in primary school. Initially, I was quite reserved and didn’t have the confidence to perform in front of others. My teachers encouraged me to perform at Annual Functions as a member of orchestras. That way the spotlight wasn’t solely on me. Gradually, I gained confidence and now I can perform on the stage without any hitch.

What goes in your mind when you are playing the flute?

I go into a trance. The melodious flute music provides calming stimulation for the mind. It’s difficult to express my emotions in words. I am at peace, relaxed and calm playing raagas like Yaman and Bihag.

How do you balance your studies and the passion to master the flute?

It’s pretty easy. I devote only 30-45 minutes every day to practising the flute. I would also like to point out that contrary to popular perception, learning a musical instrument helps you concentrate on your studies.  It’s been widely studied and proven that learning a musical instrument improves memory and rejuvenates you. It helps you attempt a task with a fresh mind.

What are your future plans?

I don’t have any plans as of now, my focus now is to participate in as many competitions as I can and hone my skills.

Dheeraj Sharma is Asst. Editor (Newsroom). He covers events, webinars, conducts interviews and brings you exciting news snippets. He has over 10 years' of experience in prominent media organizations. He takes pleasure in the small things in life and believes a healthy work-life balance is key to happiness. You can reach him at [email protected]

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