Lessons from a music maestro

Lessons from a music maestro
Indian composer A.R. Rahman holds up his Oscars for best original song and best original score for "Slumdog Millionaire" backstage at the 81st Academy Awards in Hollywood, California.

SINGAPORE - The auditorium at the Queenstown Campus of Global Indian International School (GIIS) was buzzing with excitement.

Some students were singing along to songs while others waited with bated breath. Occasionally a shriek would be heard when a car appeared at the school gates.

The students, from the school's three campuses, were gathered there to welcome renowned composer, singer and Oscar-winning music director A.R. Rahman.

Sporting a black jacket, Rahman walked into the auditorium to loud cheers.

He was visiting the Queenstown campus on April 29 for an interactive GIIS Leadership Lecture Series, where he not only interacted with the local students but also with students from across GIIS' South-east Asian campuses, including Kuala Lumpur, Noida, Pune and Hyderabad through a live video conference.

The musician was here for his Infinite Live concert on April 30.

He went on stage with his usual charm and was accompanied by four Grade 12 Queenstown students - Mayur Mohapatra, Shinil Raina, Swarnima Sircar and Utkarsh Dutta for the interactive session.

Rahman took questions from the students and spoke about his first compositions and his favourite musical instrument.

He said: "My fascination was not because of the instruments but it was due to the players. The players can transform the instrument."

Rahman's humility was reflected in his answers to questions on his humanitarian work, his experience in his live performances, the idea behind his latest album Infinite Love, his mantra Maa Tujhe Salaam (Salute To The Motherland) and his method of composing music on different cultures, where he has always tried to grasp the essence of the culture and added his own element to it.

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