• Friday, June 21, 2024
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My mother disowned me when I opted to study music – Alebiowu, MUSON Graduand

My mother disowned me when I opted to study music – Alebiowu, MUSON Graduand

The partnership between MTN Foundation and the MUSON School of Music has produced music scholars across the different genre of music. Similarly, the Foundation also sponsored six critically acclaimed arts performances as part of its arts and culture initiative.

The MTN Foundation MUSON scholarship programme over the years have touched on the importance of projecting confidence while singing before an audience through a series of singing techniques and patterns of voice modulations during stage performances.

But, to further underscore the contribution of the MTN Foundation and MUSON scholarship programme to the growth of music, especially classical music; we highlighted the success journey of Ayomide Oluwatobiloba Alebiowu, one of the recent graduands of the MUSON School of Music two-year diploma course in music.

She shared her story on the journey towards becoming a Muson graduand, disclosing that she opted to study music and that her parents could not understand why she would give up a viable opportunity to study Accounting at the Ekiti State University to study music at MUSON. And, for this, she said, “People called me possessed.”

Out of a total of about 1.4 million candidates that sat the UTME and obtained the direct entry forms in 2021, only 600,000 candidates were eligible for admission, and barely 100,000 students were offered admission, among that very succinct list was Alebiowu, but for her all that mattered was music and nothing else.

“I went through a lot from the time my mom threw my things outside, told me she disowned me and that I should look for another place to go. She said during an interview with Netng. Although her mum had eventually accepted her decision to follow through with her dreams, for Alebiowu, those times were the most painful moments of her life.

“I had to give my best in every single thing, I had people to prove a point to, I had people to prove wrong that I know what I’m doing and I can become something in this field. So, it was a journey of pain, and I’m just glad it’s worth all of it because my family is a very conservative family they don’t like their children exploring,” she said.

It might have been surprising to Alebiowu that she got awarded for her hard work among numerous top contestants in the school, but her determination was there for everyone to see. She did not only start learning to play the clarinet from scratch in 2019, but she did this while having little or no knowledge of classical music and a troubled home to get back into.

“Playing the clarinet was not something I’ve always dreamt of. I wanted to learn the violin, but while preparing for MUSON, I couldn’t get a violin, so I just looked around, and I saw a clarinet lying down somewhere, and I decided to pick it,” she said.

Although she made it sound simple to learn an instrument from scratch, experts have revealed that it takes 2-3 years to master the instrument, and she did it in less while even stating that her first-year recitals were her best.

Her story is not only a tale of determination but evidence of hard work, and for her, it all started when a friend who graduated from the School of Music decided to introduce her to the school after she had determined to study music. Although her decision may sound impulsive to most, which she admits, she believes that she was almost meant to sing.

“My mom used to tell me stories about how when I was little I started singing in the church, but the day I decided to do it professionally, it was out of impulse,” she said.

She disclosed that her youth leader had asked her the usual ‘What are you doing after secondary school question,’ which led her to an impulsive answer that made her rethink her direction in life. Why music? That was all it took.

“I told him, I love music and I want to do music, then he told me that I should go and think about it well, what do I really want? So I went home and thought about it, but music has always been somewhere in me, and I remember a friend of mine told me that she won’t be surprised later in the future if I actually did music.”

It was no longer than that that she started appearing on major stages as a student of the school of music, from Muson Centre Agip Recital Hall, which she describes as one of her dream stages to her moments learning from her major class teacher who was patient enough to teach her properly, her painful memories were made bright with her musical achievements and process.

“Honestly, I don’t know why I deserved this reward. I just felt like I gave my best in everything I did in school. In vocal tech, opera classes, major classes even some classes that tend to be boring to everybody. I go back home because I’m somebody that can’t afford to eat out every day in school, so when I get back from school around 10 pm, that’s when I have to prepare what I would have to eat the next morning.”

After a successful run at the MUSON School of Music, Alebiowu would like to major in performance or take up a course on ethnomusicology in a school outside Nigeria. “My plan, for now, is to gather capacity, gather as much as I can, enough knowledge that will sustain me while I go out there,” she said. All this was availed to her due to MTN’s support, and they are gearing up to do more.

MTN Foundation, in partnership with the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON), has commenced applications for the 2023 edition of the Diploma in Music scholarship program. It is an opportunity for music enthusiasts to hone their skills, learn from the best and acquire quality music education.

The Foundation did not only help Alebiowu actualise her dreams, but according to her, it made her relevant in her family.

“They helped me. Getting the scholarship really validates my dreams, it assured me that, yes, it would always be music. I remember my mom once asked me why I was pursuing this, and she said it’s either you get this scholarship or nothing because if you don’t get it, you’re not coming back to this house, that was what she told me. So, them giving me the scholarship was really like it was God sent.”

Their commitment to helping talents in making memorable moments and actualising their dreams has helped Alebiowu find a stable ecosystem where she belongs despite the instability in her personal life at the moment. With musical inspirations like Westlife, Johnny Drille, Simi, and Celine Dion, Alebiowu is committed to writing her name among the greats as she makes her way to the top of the classical music sphere with just a dream and her clarinet.