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In-focus: Guitar Tutor as a Career Option

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Kishore CS:

Most of the present working population would agree with me when I say that they’re in a job line that has no connection to what their interests are. This situation arises because of many reasons. Either they’re getting paid really well, and the incoming wealth is driving them on, or that the passion they have for a particular thing has no scope for a career in their economic society. However, off late, there has been a marginal increase in the number of people taking alternative career paths. One such profession that seems to be rising especially in Tier-I cities of India, is guitar tutoring. The main cause for the rise in the number of guitarists in India is globalisation. Our country has been exposed to rock music. Youngsters over the years have taken to rock music and some even want to make some music. So, they form bands in colleges, and this is where their musical career actually starts off. There are currently more than 200 active bands recognized by the Rock Street Journal. This clearly shows a promising future for guitar tutors around, in terms of demand for guitar classes.

Music is the essence of life, and what better way to earn your bread, than by passing on your musical knowledge to aspiring musicians. Being a guitar tutor myself, I can certainly say that it’s a fulfilling job.

There are so many good aspects involved in guitar tutoring. Firstly, by making up your own methods of teaching them and actually teaching students, you get to learn more about the instrument. It completes you, as a musician. It covers the loopholes that you’ve faced when you were learning the guitar. It gives you a sense of organisation and order about the music you play. When you play the guitar as a hobby, you would make sure you get the basics right, so that the songs you reproduce sound good. Your satisfaction ends here. But when you’re teaching the art of guitar playing, you really learn how you have been playing all the different chords and notes, and it brings out the theoretical principles involved in playing the instrument, Therefore, I would say, guitar tutoring involves self-learning too.

My second reason for all you guitarists to take up this profession would be the job satisfaction. Now, honestly, could you have a better deal than doing what you love, to earn money? The years of experience you’ve gained so far by playing at home, playing at shows and other places carries so many vital aspects of being a musician, and it is such a great feeling to guide budding guitar enthusiasts with the knowledge that you possess. So, its not only your theoretical knowledge, but your situational knowledge too. You know what to tell them, where to concentration more. You know at what stages they will find it hard to progress, as you have gone through exactly the same situations. When they are in such difficult positions, it is your motivation that will drive them to become a better guitarist.

Thirdly, when you teach, you need to use the right side of your brain in order to come up with creative exercises. You need to make sure that the exercises you design are most effective but at the same time do not come out looking too intimidating for the student. So, this profession clearly keeps your mind at work. There is no sense of monotony involved here.

Teaching an instrument makes you a better musician. When you really have the passion for something, you will surely excel in it, You will face no sense of uncertainty as to whether you can live up to it. We all have been put into situations where the job we do, has nothing really to do with either what we have studied, or what we like to do as a hobby. In these times, we crumble under pressure, and this, in turn affects our performance. Hence, when you follow your passion, you will be the best you can.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind if you want to take up tutoring. Make sure you know your basic theory right. You must make sure you cover all the basic elements of the guitar; else it would be difficult for your student to progress. You should also keep in mind that the students need to practice a lot in order to learn a particular lesson. So, be patient, be descriptive, and realistic when it comes to the homework that you give. You must be open to new kinds of music, as the guitar is played in different styles, and having knowledge of all these techniques would give you a broader customer demand.

Popular music schools in Mumbai are Pro Guitar Academy – Chembur, Guitar Hall Academy – Santacruz, Guitar Hall – Guitar Academy & Boutique. Bangalorean’s can join the following popular music institutes if they want to start learning the guitar. JB Musicals, The Bangalore School of Music, Urban raga school of Music, Mepong Guitar Classes. Guitarists who want to teach should certainly apply to these institutes, as they pay an average Rs.20, 000 or more depending on experience.

However, in a country where western music is not a viable option, one would hesitate to take up tutoring as their main bread-earning scheme. Nevertheless, guitar tutors are slowly being recognized. More full-time tutoring schools and individuals are emerging in cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, and also other part timers are taking guitar classes when they can find time. All I can say is, teaching an instrument is a dignified job. It keeps you content, and helps spread music to all the interested youngsters around you, and makes life sound like a happy melody.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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