TAIF: Nahawand, a new music center in Taif which opened recently and offers a range of music lessons and services with the aim of discovering and developing new local talent, already intends to expand to six other Saudi cities.
The center, named after a type of Arabic melody known as a maqam that is often used in Saudi songs and odes, offers lessons on a mix of Eastern and Western instruments.
Anas bin Hussein, its founder, told Arab News that maqam is a romantic and passionate type of music popular with many Saudi singers, including Mohammed Abdu, Talal Maddah and Abadi Al-Jawhar.
“It is also an ode that can be performed on Western musical instruments,” he said. “This represents the approach of the center, which seeks to combine training on eastern and western instruments.
He added that a number of Taif’s students are already taking classes at the center, which aims to serve as a scout for emerging musical talent who may one day perform on the world stage.
“We are looking forward to creating a Saudi orchestra to participate in international music events,” bin Hussein said. “The basis of the centre’s classes is to teach young people how to read and write music using a scientific approach, and to train them in the skills of musical rhythm.”
This more formal and technical approach moves away from the common local practice of “learning by ear” of listening to music and recreating it. Interns at the center learn to read music and play international tunes on instruments such as piano, violin and guitar.
They also learn to play the oud, an Arabic instrument, but again through a formal teaching process based on an accredited curriculum. The center also aims to popularize a number of other instruments in the country.
“We are currently motivating talents to learn new instruments such as clarinet, French horn and saxophone,” bin Hussein said.
The basis of the centre’s classes is to teach young people how to read and write music using a scientific approach, and to train them in musical rhythmic skills.
Anas bin Hussein, founder of Nahawand
Trainees will eventually have the chance to take certified tests established by the UK APRSM Institute, the Royal Schools of Music Examination Board, which offers a curriculum that includes Western music theories, music theory, instrumental practice and l appreciation of music.
Bin Hussein said that so many people registered at the center in its first month of operation, that he was forced to increase the number of teachers. He added that this response “demonstrated the willingness of the people of Taif to train in sound skills such as music theory, vocalization and choir, prompting us to add new services suited to the size and requirements of the market” .
Although the services provided by the center are currently limited to the Taif region, bin Hussein said there are plans to expand over the next two months and open centers in six cities in the Kingdom, including Riyadh. , Jeddah and Dammam.
Majid Al-Abboud, who is learning to play the violin at the center, said Nahawand’s training is already getting remarkable results among trainees.
“This allows them to practice on various instruments to develop their skills after acquiring the basics of playing instruments, allowing them to correct their mistakes themselves and quickly promote their experience and musical knowledge,” he said. declared.
He revealed that after mastering the violin, he hopes to one day compose classical music and spread music culture in its classical form.
“In my opinion, society needs such efforts to fill the void of high-end music production, which has unfortunately become rare these days,” Al-Abboud added.
He said he didn’t encounter any unexpected difficulties during his lessons, but learning something new is a challenge, especially when the previous experience of learning music for many people often involved informal attempts. to learn by playing by ear.
“But I am convinced that these difficulties can be overcome thanks to the academic supervision provided by the academy and its trainers”, he concluded.