WWI School of Music’s inaugural Music Marathon strikes chord

Filmmaker and WWI Founder Subhash Ghai and composer Salim Merchant pose for a selfie with students at the Music Marathon. Photo: id* Media Solutions

Whistling Woods International (WWI) has announced the successful completion of its inaugural edition of Music Marathon – The World Behind Music in association with the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS). This prestigious event, organized by the WWI School of Music, brought together accomplished musicians, composers, songwriters and music industry experts to share their knowledge and insights with aspiring musicians and music students.

Over the course of three days, Music Marathon featured an impressive lineup of esteemed industry professionals. The festival’s opening day commenced with an enlightening Masterclass by Rumpa Banerjee, Head – Marketing Communication & Member Relations, IPRS, who emphasized upon the significance of music copyright and how to manage rights as a content creator.

She also highlighted the pivotal role that organizations like IPRS play in safeguarding musicians’ copyrights and interests. Ashar Khan of Sifar Productions shared his journey from his childhood in small-town Amravati to having his music featured on the screens of Times Square. He underscored the growing prominence of independent music in the industry. The final guest of the day, Raju Singh, film score composer and musician, shared his journey from being an instrumentalist to becoming a seasoned producer, highlighting how this transition enriched his contributions to background scores and composition.

The second day of Music Marathon witnessed Muneet Sharma from Zee Music imparting valuable industry insights about the importance of focusing on release timelines over release date, a common mistake made by many budding artistes. Priya Saraiya, playback singer and lyricist, discussed about the challenges faced by songwriters and how she overcame them. She stated, “The biggest challenge in songwriting is the fight within yourself.”

Salim Merchant (of Salim-Sulaiman), music director and composer, infused excitement into the audience as he shared not only his journey and experiences but also shed light on various facets of music composition, from the virtue of instrumentation to the importance of in-person music sitting sessions. Salim walked the attendees through the process behind some of his timeless songs, including Aashayein from Iqbal and the title-track of Chak De! India. He left the students with a valuable piece of advice: “Bring technology to your soul, never give soul to the technology.”

The final day commenced with pianist Jesus Lepe from Mexico treating the audience to mesmerizing symphonic performances. Following this, Merlin D’Souza, composer, music producer and pianist, addressed the students alongside Nidhi Wagle, an alumna of the WWI School of Music. She encouraged them to “Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artiste.”

Concluding the festival, composer Mithoon Sharma and Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI, engaged in a candid conversation with the students, delving into the essence of being an artiste. Subhash Ghai remarked, “One has to be a student until the end of life. The hunger in you will help you reach excellence and grow in life.”

Mandar Deshpande, Head of the Department of Music, expressed, “Whistling Woods International has always been at the forefront of providing world-class education and mentorship in various creative disciplines. With the inaugural edition of Music Marathon, it is just the beginning of what we hope will become a longstanding tradition of musical excellence at WWI.”

Music Marathon: The World Behind Music stands as a unique initiative by the WWI School of Music and Indian Performing Right Society Limited, underlining WWI’s and IPRS’s unwavering commitment to nurturing talent and fostering creativity in the music industry.

WWI is a premier institute for Film, Communication & Creative Arts, located in Mumbai, India. It was founded in 2006 by Subhash Ghai, a leading filmmaker in India. The institute is promoted by Mukta Arts and Film City Mumbai and has a diverse student community from all over the world.

The institution currently has a network of over 3,500 alumni, who have successfully established themselves in the media and entertainment industry.  WWI’s faculty consists of renowned industry professionals. The institution also has the privilege of providing students with guest-lectures from industry leaders in the domestic and global film, communication and creative arts sectors.



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