“When I moved to Lahore, I wanted to do something different and what would be better than doing what you are best at? As luck would have it, it was around that time when Ali Azmat, my husband, discussed this idea of buying The Guitar School from Hamza Jafferi who was moving to Karachi, but only if I would want to run it. As such, it didn’t take me more than a second to decide.
I have put all my energy in getting this school to make a difference which made me realise the potential of being an entrepreneur is much more than what a corporate job entails.
Music has always been a constant in my life. When you work in a field for more than 15 years, you come to know the weaknesses and strengths of that field, are able to play with the opportunities and deal with threats in a smart way. For more than 18 years, I have worked in the music and entertainment industry as a freelance director to a channel head to producing ground-breaking productions and be a part of first music channel of Pakistan like Indus and Aag.
When it comes to gauging music as a business, I see a huge potential in young kids and older adults whose dreams were never fulfilled and providing them a platform that fulfills their dream gives me a sense of happiness. However, none of this would have been possible without the support of my husband, Ali Azmat.
The Guitar School is a creative arts institute that was inaugurated in June 2009. The school is run by a team of fervent musicians and artists dedicated to helping students learn the means of expression through music. We fine tune our students’ potential, elevate their passion to new heights along with building a general interest in the performing arts. So far, the school has inspired more than 1,500 young artists.
Currently, we are trying to get our education system to incorporate music education in the syllabus. I learned that being a good musician does not necessarily mean that you can be a good teacher so there is a need to train musicians to become teachers and that’s what we are working on this year. Sometimes, we all have to work for a bigger cause and even though, teacher training is not lucrative at the moment, I believe that it is going to change the future of music in our country.
The Guitar School is a breaking ground for budding musicians which is why I believe that we should be a part of the bigger picture and should be able to provide knowledge and livelihood to artists. Ali and I both view the school as a way of serving our country by training musicians and making them stand on their feet.
I remember a friend telling me that ‘teaching music is like swimming against the current’. At that time, I took it as a challenge but today, it’s become a flowing stream that is unstoppable. You cannot hold it back forever because it will break through.”
Fariha Ali CEO The Guitar School — with Ali Azmat and The Guitar School.