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More Music Residency with Kousic Sen

Posted by Darren Leadsom on 09 March 2023

More Music welcomed acclaimed tabla player Kousic Sen for a residency from 1 to 3 March 2023, funded by Lancashire Music Hub. The residency with Kousic meant that we could bring a world class musician into schools to share Indian music and rhythms with pupils and also provide schools music teachers, freelance music tutors and our own team with inspiring training opportunities.

As a performer, Kousic Sen is a tabla player whose intense and energetic performances add a new dimension to the traditional concert experience. His rhythmic mastery has become known around the globe through his performances with leading musicians in many of the world’s most famous venues. He is also artist in residence at Milap, an Indian arts and culture company based in Liverpool.

During the first two days of the residency, Kousic delivered a number of workshops in secondary schools, accompanied by Ben McCabe from More Music. The workshops involved a demonstration of Kousic’s tabla mastery followed by an introduction to Indian music and rhythms, with dholaks for the pupils to play.

Ben said:

“Kousic introduced us to a new musical world, showing us how to use syllables representing the different Tabla and Dholak sounds to build additive rhythms as a compositional tool and also to learn and perform some Taals (rhythmic cycles).”

“The most common question from the young people was, ‘How long did it take you to get that good?’ and Kousic’s response was always generous and encouraging pointing out that he’s still learning and practicing every day and that music is never a finished product. Every time he plays with another musician or teaches a group he learns new things.”

On Wednesday, they visited Moor Park High School in Preston and worked with five groups across the day. He went to Our Ladies Catholic College and Central Lancaster High School on Thursday, followed by a visit to More Music’s Stages youth music session in the evening.

Pupils at Moor Park High School and 6th Form said:

“The workshop was so amazing. Kousic is so talented, how can he play that fast? I was fascinated to see and hear the rhythms and it made me want to try and play the rhythms that fast also. He was truly inspirational. Thank you for a great workshop.”

Rhian Spence, Head of Music at Central Lancaster High School said:

“It was a fantastic workshop, thank you so much to Kousic for coming to our school and sharing his music with us.  The pupils enjoyed it and learnt new skills.”

Jake Pinnington, Head of Music at Our Ladies Catholic College, said:

“It was really good for our pupils to meet a musician with a completely different style and tradition to what they are used to.”

Friday was an opportunity for More Music staff and freelancers to spend some time with Kousic and learn from him, which they all found very inspiring, challenging and informative. In the evening, More Music hosted a CPD session with Kousic, sharing his skills and knowledge with school music teachers and freelancer music tutors.

Kousic said:

“I was really honoured to be asked to work in residence with More Music following our numerous years of partnership work together on various projects. I found the students willing, engaged and to be really excited about learning Indian music. They were open and keen to learn as much as possible about the Tabla and the Indian music system. I want to say a special thanks to More Music, Ben McCabe and Darren Leadsom in particular, for organising all the wonderful workshops, training sessions and for their hospitality. I look forward to working with you all soon.”

More Music would also like to thank Kousic for being in residence with us and sharing his knowledge and skills. We’d also like to thank Pravinder Singh at Milap for helping us to organise the residency.

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