Jamshedpur School of Music

Over 55 years ago the seed was sown for the birth of Western classical music in Jamshedpur. The present owner, Ronald D’Costa, and his sister were students of the renowned Professor Innocencey Franz under whose guidance they learned to play the violin and the piano.  Prof Franz was not only a musician but also a composer. He composed the song ‘The Dove’.  He had earlier played in an orchestra that recorded music for Hindi films in Bombay.  He retired and settled in this city. Thanks to him, Ronald completed the VI grade exam in 1960 from Trinity school of Music, London. Ronald’s sister, Celine, went on to complete the eighth grade. Prof. Franz left Jamshedpur in the seventies. Since then, there has been no one in Jamshedpur who taught or learned Western classical music for the Exams.

More than five decades later, Ronald decided to revive the playing of the piano in Jamshedpur. In 2007, Sr. Flavian, who was the principal of Carmel Junior College at that time, was largely instrumental in the success of this venture. She very generously provided a digital piano and allowed the classes to be held in her school. For three years, there were piano classes being held in Carmel Junior College. Starting with three students in 2007, the number of students steadily grew.  The teacher used to come from Kolkata once a week as there were no teachers of Western classical music in Jamshedpur. The music school was asked to move out and The Boulevard Hotel found space for them.

After working with several teachers, we finally found the most dedicated, patient and talented piano teacher Claude Perris from Kolkata in 2010. Claude has been associated with several popular bands, including Shiva and used to play regularly in Kolkata as well as in other parts of the country. He comes to Jamshedpur every weekend for classes. He gave up playing on weekends to dedicate himself to his young students.

The Boulevard Hotel is now the official venue for the music classes conducted by the Jamshedpur School of Music which is now running for the eighth successive year since 2011.

Theo Fernandes, an expert pianist and violinist, who came to Jamshedpur from Goa as a young boy, and whose family has been associated with music for generations, very kindly and willing agreed to assist us. With his inherent talent and leaning towards music, his patience and his expert guidance, he and Claude formed the perfect team. We also had the advantage of having an excellent violin teacher. Since 2012, after Theo’s having joined JSM, we introduced classes in violin playing. Fifty students from seven to seventy years come regularly.

Priyabrato Sarkar, another violin teacher, comes every weekend from Kolkata to teach our students. The students are taught Western Classical music on the piano and the violin. They also learn the theory of music. The students are trained for the exams of ‘The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music’ (ABRSM), London, which is the leading authority on musical assessment, was founded in 1889. It was ABRSM’s desire to promote high standards of musical education and assessment.

Thousands of people in over 90 countries take their exams every year in various Graded music practical and theory exams and Diplomas. Since 2013, Jamshedpur has been a centre for the exams in both – practical as well as theory. For the practical exams, the examiner from the U.K. comes to India. The certificates are also awarded by the ABRSM.

We are happy that we have revived pianoforte and violin playing which is the basis that opens up many career opportunities in music for the youth.