ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation
The Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music keeps alive the vision of the late great royal patron
The Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music, founded two years ago in honour of the late royal patron of the arts, is accepting applications for its two upcoming courses until January 13 and March 16, with scholarships available for both.
The institute was conceived in 2007 to commemorate the 84th birthday of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana, sister of His Majesty the King. When she died on January 2, 2008, efforts continued with an eye to bringing new audiences to classical music and raising more Thai musicians to international standards.
“The institute is the first such academy in Thailand offering only music studies in a four-year, full-time course leading to a bach?elor of music degree,” says Associate Professor Khunying Wongchan Phinainitisatra, president of the facility and a close aide to the late princess for 37 years.
“Princess Galyani had a great passion for music ever since she was very young. She used to listen to the radio while doing her homework in Switzerland. When she grew up she became a true connoisseur and understood all kinds of music, though the classics were always her favourite. She liked to attend performances, and these were not limited to classical music.
“The Princess could play the piano a little, but her busy royal duties prevented her from pursuing it. She had a long-time wish to improve music studies in Thailand, though. She thought young people should be sup?ported and be exposed to music studies, as well as getting the opportunities to perform, just like in any sport programme.”
Wongchan says the institute has embraced the Princess’ philosophy “Musique de la vie et de la terre” (“Music of life, music of the land”) – which in part alludes to Princess Galyani’s family surname Mahidol, meaning “land”.
As well as offering a degree, the institute maintains a Youth Orchestra and Community Choir and runs the projects Education Populaire and Audience Development. Students and professional musicians are welcome to participate and even members of the public who are just fans of music can find ways to learn and con?tribute.
Already 40 musicians have earned schol?arships, including the renowned Tasana Nagavajara and Jamorn Supapol and the institute’s acting dean, Komsun Silokkunanant.
The Princess customarily interviewed applicants personally, often with their par?ents present, since studies involved consid?erable cost. She saw to it that talented young?sters didn’t have to worry about money. A generous patron of musical organisations and activities, she tapped various sources of money, such as her Fund for Classical Music Promotion. Even while hospitalised in 2007, she attended a show presented by her school’s inaugural scholarship winners at the Thailand Cultural Centre.
“Without Her Royal Highness’ mercy and dedication to supporting the students, and without the funding she raised, we wouldn’t have seen classical-music studies become as popular among young people as they are today,” says Komsun.
“Music is part of our culture. Many musi?cians who studied and worked overseas have come back to support the development of music in their homeland, and now you see the number of orchestras increasing. I received my scholarship from the Princess in 2006 and performed many times while she was present.”
The result of all this, Komsun says, is that the future is brighter and more varied for musical careers.
“At first you focus first being a good musi?cian and playing your best, but with more and more graduates, there should not only be more job available – composers, conductors and teachers – but also creative work, since music is all about communication. The insti?tute gives full support to its students’ future, whether they’ll be working at home or abroad. What we offer is a good starting point.”
The bachelor programme lays the foun?dation for lifetime development. Its goal is to produce graduates with distinctive quality who have a profound understanding of the art of making music and are able to apply that knowledge for the good of society.
Approved by the Office of Higher Education, the course requires a minimum of 132 credits over four years for a passing grade. There are four modules.
“Core” enhances performance with a cur?riculum including Major Skills, Chamber Music, Practice Lab and Performing Musicianship. “Contextual” emphasises research and project-based activities. “Electives” are theoretical subjects that can be applied to practice. And “General” is designed for the conservatory style of stud?ies.
In 2014 the institute admitted 13 stu?dents. Last year there were 19. All of them received full scholarships. They need some musical skill at the outset, and not necessari?ly in Western genres. The aim is to teach the students how to perform their best, so they are constantly challenged, but in a creative environment of understanding and sharing.
“What I’ve found to be a distinct quality of all the scholarship students – what impresses me most – is that they’re all very kind-heart?ed and down to earth, just like the Princess was,” says Wongchan.
Write to the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music at 2010 Arun Amarin 36, Bang Yi Khan, Bang Phlat, Bangkok, Thailand 10700.