First music institute in Riyadh now open for students

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Music enthusiasts finally welcomed Saudi Arabia’s first music institute in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The institute will specialize in providing violin music classes for the meantime, but also houses a recording studio available for artists and students alike to record their music, with some classes specifically assigned for female students.

The launch witnessed the attendance of famous Egyptian violinist, Mahmoud Srour, who will also hold the role of lead music instructor at the institute.

Srour, who has refrained from teaching for a while and concentrated on performing professionally in orchestras and with artists back home, took on teaching again with an open heart when this chance came along.

Wanting to be part of the new cultural and artistic scene rising in Saudi, Srour hopes that with his experience, he will be able to help “train 50 Saudi violinists who can eventually be part of an independent Saudi orchestra.”

So far, the institute has received more than a 1000 applications, however, the enrollment opportunity will currently only be available to 250 students.

The institute’s launch comes right after Taif University announced making music courses available as extracurricular activities for students, earlier this month.

The courses were set to be offered in the Academy of Arabic Poetry at the university, which includes multiple tracks, like poetry writing, poetry reading, and most recently, music.

The university’s new music track will focus on teaching students all about sound structures, solfege, and singing, in addition to playing instruments under the supervision of musical experts and teachers.

According to Srour, the academy and institute will simultaneously work together in collaboration, and might even allow in the future students of both foundations to be part of the same “graduation” program.

In a previous interview with MBC, Taif university spokesperson, Saleh Al Thubaiti, said that the course hopes to allow students to explore the world of music and instruments, with the idea of “further allowing them to organize regular concerts and artistic evenings.”

While those extracurricular courses are not yet enforced on students, Al Thubaiti says that a huge part of what students learn during their university education, is based on what they learn outside their classrooms, stressing that extracurricular activities are “a fundamental element for any student’s education.”

According to Al Thubaiti, the Music course could potentially be turned in the near future to an academic course, depending on its success and outcome.