Interview With Jason Zachariah (Nathaniel School of Music)

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Nathaniel School of MusicHeard about the Nathaniel Method of learning music? Here’s what its all about! Headbangers India catches up with Jason Zachariah, of Bhoomi and Extinct Reflections fame, and currently the Course Director at Nathaniel School of Music, to find out all about this music school that’s doing things a little differently from the rest.
HB: Give us a little information about Nathaniel School of Music. How would you say its different from other music schools?

Jason: Nathaniel School of Music is run by me and my mom, Lillian Zachariah. We have been running this school for around 3 years now. Both of us tried to bring in our own skills to the school. My mom is a classically sound composer and experienced teacher and I’m more of a self-trained musician having picked up different skills playing with bands across the city. That pretty much explains the way we go about our courses. We focus on Music Theory and Sight Reading but also on Ear Training, Performance, Composition and Technology. These are the things we put together in our course called “Music Method” which we run at 2 levels. Level 1 is for a complete beginner and Level 2 is for an individual who can already play an instrument but wants to get better!

One of the main aspects of our courses for me is that it is 10 weeks long. It is by no means a “Crash course”. It is just a more intense form of learning aimed at a fast-paced working professional or a tech-savvy kid of today who cannot ever sustain learning music for a long period of time. We also handle classes in a more regular way of once/twice a week for the lazy ones!! The classes are both classical and contemporary. We also train students for the Trinity and Royal school of music exams whenever they come along.

Our faculty are the driving force behind the school. All teachers are the best in the biz and have a long experience in teaching and performing. They come from active involvements in genres that span Western classical, church music, rock, jazz, funk, mainstream pop and even film music. All of them are experienced performers and have individual strengths across the many facets of music education, performance, recording, production, management and touring. Names like Tony Das, Ryan Colaco, Prakash KN are some of the folks I can boast of.

HB: What are the courses you have that are specific to rock and metal?

Jason: We don’t have courses specific to rock and metal but for an already capable musician the courses will cover rock, blues, country, funk, jazz and even METAL if the student is interested. The batch sizes are really small (Limited to 3-5 students per batch) so the rock & metal student can get a fair amount of personal attention to learn how to set thrashy guitar tones, double bass techniques, speed picking etc.. etc.. Sorry to all the growlers though. Can’t learn much of that stuff here!

HB: You are probably the first ones to give a special focus on rock and metal in a music school. What is the reason you came up with these specific courses?

Jason: I guess it came naturally to us. I for one, have been the keyboard player for Death metal, Prog Metal, Heavy Metal bands Extinct Reflections,Parousia, Black Earth and Bhoomi. There is a lot of metal in there and I have learned a lot from each band as a rhythm player and soloist.

HB: Nathaniel School also allows for bands to come together for rehearsals. Could you tell us a little more about that?

Jason: Our course is a performance based course which basically means, you will play in a band after the 10 week course. We organize rehearsals from the 7th week onwards and form all student bands based on skill levels and musical interests. Do make it for our workshop “Music mechanics” on the 20th of Feb. You will get to see 3 of our newly formed bands perform a mix of covers and originals.

HB: Tell us a little about the Music Mechanics workshop that’s coming up on February 20th.

We decided to use an entire day, and fill it with everything music at Music Mechanics which involves a series of music workshops all in one day from 9 am to 7 pm. Sessions including drums, guitars, keyboards, vocals, recording and DJ’ing, performance, songwriting and Business will all happen. A student would make the best of the event by coming in for the full day. The scheduling will accommodate atleast 6-7 workshops of your choice. Guys like Bruce Lee Mani and Rajeev Rajagopal from Thermal and a Quarter, Ryan Colaco from Kryptos, Chippy Gangjee, Gaurav Vaz from Raghu Dixit Project, Naveen Thomas from Galeej Gurus and Tony Das from Bhoomi are some of the teachers at the event. There is something for everyone whether or not you can play an instrument. For more details and to register please visit our website : www.nathanielschool.com

HB: The workshop will be bringing together different genres on a single day. Are you aiming at bringing a diverse audience together or will you have different sessions on the same day?

: We are actually aiming at both : Bringing in a diverse audience and we will have a bunch of sessions relating to almost every facet of music with no focus on genres.

HB: Any more workshops/ events that you have planned in the coming months?

Jason: Yeah. This is planned to be a monthly affair with more names from across the country and the globe!! Put this on your calendars!!

HB: As of now, you’re mainly based only in Bangalore. Any more branches coming up anywhere else in India?

We had a great response when we were present at IIT Chennai. Looking to branch there soon. Hope to branch to other cities as well in the coming months. Any suggestions are most welcome.

HB: Where can we get details of the courses, eligibility and fee structures?


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