Q Life Magazine Issue 10 - Page 21

The Changemaking Generation

Music as a Means of Cultural Preservation

George Oro is a percussion teacher at Qatar Foundation ’ s Qatar Music Academy , working with children from 6- to 16-years-old to nurture their interest and skill in music . One of his students is 13-year-old Ali Al-Naama , who has been studying Arabic percussion for two years .
“ I was initially interested in Western percussion , but ended up discovering and deciding to study Arabic percussion . It links me to my culture , and I liked the sound of the darbuka ”, Ali recalls . “ I ’ ve been practicing for two years now , and have recently taken on the oud as a second instrument ”.
Qatar Music Academy opened its doors in January 2011 , with an ambition to further musical excellence in Qatar and the wider region . George is proud of the various projects run by the academy – which comes under the umbrella of Qatar Foundation ’ s Pre-University Education – including the ‘ Music for All ’ programme which is open to all ages .
“ After ten years , we have had many students that graduated from our academy and went on to complete their music education at leading international universities . I expect Qatar Music Academy will be one of the global music study destinations in the future ”.
George notes that music has an integral role as a “ bridge connecting different generations ”, and musical heritage is “ an integral part of building a society ”, particularly in a country like Qatar ; “ the Qatari musical heritage is rich with unique rhythms and melodies ”.
Ali is equally passionate about the heritage of music in Qatar , and when asked to reflect on his future plans , notes that he hopes to develop both his instrumental skills and his Arabic music history .
Ali ’ s advice for other young aspiring musicians is to “ always practice , even when you ’ re not feeling motivated ”. He fondly notes that , “ I find that once I start , I remember how much I enjoy it ”.