Dance, music schools see surge in online users amid nationwide lockdown

NEW DELHI/BENGALURU: Courtesy the lockdown, online classes are becoming a new revenue stream for dance and music schools run by Shiamak Davar, Ashley Lobo and Shankar Mahadevan. In the last three weeks, these players have shifted classes to online platforms completely and have seen a multi-fold increase in new users. Even the Furtados and Calcutta schools of music are seeing a surge in online users.

“The lockdown has helped online platform tremendously. Earlier, both parents and teachers were not very receptive to online platforms and now they are migrating and adapting at a very fast pace,” said Shiamak Davar, choreographer and artistic director who has centres across the world.

In just three weeks, Furtados was able to enrol 800 students for online learning using Zoom platform. “We are building a strong vertical to enable online learning across arts subjects, and have received a total of 4.5 rating out of 5 for our online classes. It will be a new revenue stream for us in future,” said Tanuja Gomes, co-founder Furtados School of Music. Many new users are enrolling across all these classes as they are finding more time due to lockdown.

The Danceworx Academy of Performing Arts also recently started TDX Online which include Instagram tutorials. “Despite things seeming like they’re going downhill, we see the bright side to this in that making the shift to the virtual world allows us to reach students from all over the country,” said Ashley Lobo, founder and artistic director of the Danceworx Academy of Performing Arts.

As a result Danceworx is now exploring to shift online. “It’s definitely a long drawn discussion and will take time in shaping up, but right now we look forward to the idea,” said Lobo.

“Currently we are not treating online as a revenue generation tool. We’re using it instead to make sure that during such times we stay connected with the students and keep their passion for dance alive. For now these online tutorials are a means to continue and further the vision of helping people build themselves especially in the current scenario. The classes are free as of now,” he said.

Though Shankar Mahadevan already has online classes but in the past month, the student count doubled. “We had Shankar Mahadevan conduct a few Vidyaarambh “initiation” classes for nearly 100 students in the past week,” said Sridhar Ranganathan, CEO at Shankar Mahadevan Academy.

But some teachers/students do not have the facility and the device to take the online classes. “The school has not made it compulsory to take online classes. Certain teachers are giving the lessons online to those who can adapt to this system,” said Chaitali Ganguly, head – western music and performing arts section, The Calcutta School of Music.

Teachers of the school are using Whatsapp videos, Messenger video, Skype to hold these classes.

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