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Neil believes that teaching is one of the best ways to learn and has done it throughout. While teaching music, he tries to expose students to both Western and subcontinental music traditions. Music consists of three primary elements: rhythm, melody and harmony. Studies of all the three are imperative for a holistic musical education. Studies of harmony are extant in the Western musical traditions; however, rhythmic and melodic literature exist universally. Specifically, in the subcontinental traditions melodic and rhythmic sophistications are high. While teaching, Neil tries to expose his students to both traditions and explores each of these three musical elements with examples from jazz, rock, Western and Indian Classical. Neil taught students in Kolkata. In Chennai he taught students who became noteworthy professionals. At present, he teaches in Mumbai.

Pedagogy

B/W picture of Neil playing his guitar.

PC: Tathagata Mukherjee

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Teaching Philosophy

Neil’s teaching philosophy is guided by the following principles:

 

  1. Music happens through practice; talent is the smallest determinant.

  2. Musical education is a mode of personal connection between the teacher and the student.

  3. The best teacher is a mentor.

  4. Fostering a nurturing environment is more conducive to learning than competition.

  5. Concentrating on personalized, student oriented communication achieves better results than music focused lectures.

  6. Listening skills among students have to be constantly nurtured. 

  7. It is important to search for independent voice and expression in a musical journey rather than limiting oneself within popular comfort zones.

  8. Music teachers have a role in supporting students in their personal development as human beings, beyond professional expertise as musicians.

Student Testimonials

Siddharth Srinivasan: “Over the years I’ve come to understand that my time learning from Neil has had a huge impact on my professional career as a musician. Our sessions consisted of guitar, philosophy and tea. He taught by example, the subtlety of which can easily escape you unless carefully observed. I learned more than just guitar, I learned what it meant to be a musician, to live the life of an artist. I saw firsthand the discipline, unwavering dedication and commitment to his craft. Needless to say, this translates into a magical journey that Neil’s music takes one on. As a student and a fan, I’m excited to see what fantastic music Neil brings us in the future!”

About Siddharth Srinivasan:

https://keepingthebluesalive.org/and-the-keeping-the-blues-alive-musicians-institute-scholarship-winner-is/

Vishnu Ramprasad: “I am eternally grateful to Neil Mukherjee for sowing the seeds of inspiration and passion that have enabled me to pursue guitar and music as my profession.Ahead of his time, he is a pioneer in instrument innovation and adapting Indian Classical and Western music on his signature 8-string guitar. His thorough technical training and deep, out-of-the-box thinking have shaped me as a musician and person, and I am proud to call myself his student.”

About Vishnu Ramprasad:

https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/vishnu-ram-prasad/article27898463.ece

Vishnu R's performs Neil's composition Shoodooreyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQVm9ARR8rc

Karun Ramani: “Neil is an amazing guitarist, friend and mentor. I was incredibly fortunate to begin my study on the guitar under his guidance back in 2009. From listening to my first Aerosmith albums, to learning to solo and comp over a 12-bar blues, to being gifted my first electric guitar and even understanding the nuances of Indian musical concepts on the guitar, it was truly an enriching experience. He made the time and took the effort to help a young music-obsessed kid find his confidence and voice on the guitar.

Aside from the lessons and the teachings, Neil inspired me to double down on my passion for music and forge a career for myself in the field. Having successfully navigated the ever-progressing Indian music landscape, he continues to be a great example of the dedication, hard-work and grit required to function at the highest level. I’m thrilled that he’s been releasing more original music over the last couple of years and l eagerly look forward to what’s next!”

About Karun Ramani:

https://soundbetter.com/profiles/160302-karun-ramani

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