Zamalek's newest music school is all about being hands-on right from the get-go and having fun with an instrument in your hand, not reading sheet music and learning notes.
Learning music is a very difficult thing to do for most; it takes a lot of time and dedication to learn an instrument, let alone master it - add to that the fact that most music teachers are really, really boring. The case with most music teachers is that usually they are not practicing musicians, they don't perform regularly, and they teach music for a living. That alone turns learning music into something that is boring and routine instead of what it should be. Most of our experiences with music as kids include the really rekhem music teacher at school who made us hate the subject, writing and reading notes, learning to play really mundane things on boring instruments like the xylophone or recorder, and then having to sit for tests at the end of they year. All of this turned music into an obligation instead of a privilege, and that negates what music should be - fun and entertaining, that is.
Dom Tak Cairo Rhythm House, the newest music school to open up in the city, understands that most people trying to learn music as a hobby are not concerned with learning to play Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.3 or Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, hence why you won't be required to learn to play any such hard pieces. Actually, you won't be required to do anything like that at all. Darbuka player and founder of Dom Tak, Sabrine El Hossamy, aims to teach people how two have fun with music. "Most people don't know that they can play music; the first thing most people tell me is that they don't have a musical ear and will probably not be able to learn music. They are shocked at what they can do after the first class," she tells us. "One of the most important things that distinguish us is that we teach rhythm from the very first class, as opposed to most other music teachers that will try to teach you music theory first. We teach you how to play your instrument from the very first class, and most people are surprised by what they are able to play without ever having picked an instrument before," El Hossamy continues.
Sabrine El Hossamy is a darbuka player who has succeeded at her art, regularly performing her oriental take on Jazz at shows overseas. She claims that you don't need a musical ear to be able to play an instrument, and that learning to play an instrument should be fun and engaging. The idea behind the name of her music school is that it's fun; it represents drumming and also all percussion instruments, not just the darbuka. Her new school in Zamalek aims to make music accessible to people from all walks of life; "I have guys in suits coming in after work, and I have teenagers, mothers, and little kids who all enjoy it equally. The little kids ask their parents why can't they go to music school every day instead of real school!" El Hossamy shares.
At Dom Tak you can learn to play the cajon, djembe, drums, darbuka, piano, or guitar, or take lessons in singing, contemporary belly dancing, and contemporary African dance. You will be taught by practicing musicians, which means they bring a lot of real-life expertise to the table. The classes are also set to be group classes - something El Hossamy thinks adds to the fun. The school has its own soundproofed rooms, so you can meet your friends and jam when classes are not being taught. The dance lessons add to the school, as they aim to break the stereotype surrounding dancing in our society and also make Dom Tak more of a musical arts school than a music school. The fact that you get to play rhythm from the first class is very appealing to those of you looking for an entertaining activity and side hobby that you can jump right into from the start.
For more info visit Dom Tak's Facebook page here.
Images courtesy of Dom Tak.