“Music is important for pleasure and enjoyment. It generates positive emotions. It has its own significance for balanced personal development of children. It plays a major role in psychological and social development of a child and integration of school children,” said Prof Gerald Wirth, a renowed Austrian musician and composer and two-time winner of the prestigious Grammy Award, in the course of an interview with The Statesman here on Tuesday.

On how music could be used to tackle growing tensions in all age-groups, Prof Wirth said, “I think in many ways music can be used to fight growing tensions in society. It helps in improving self-esteem. People feel good about themselves. Music helps in handling difficult situations in life. It teaches us to listen to and respect each other even if the people concerned are not at the same level.”

The music maestro went on to say, “When we sing in a group, we respond to each other, listen to each other. Music teaches a lot of skills without having to talk about them. By learning singing, we can handle our problems in a different way rather than intellectual one. It also teaches us self-discipline.”

Prof Wirth is also the president and artistic director of the Vienna Boys’ Choir and founder of the Wirth Music Academy.

To the question what could be the best way for learning music, he said, “Music can be learnt in the best way in a group. If a person wants to learn music, he should start singing, experience music while making movements.”

Prof Wirth has developed a new methodology of teaching music. “My new methodology of teaching music is based on teaching practical music with the theory of music,” he pointed out.

“The basic pillars of my method of general music education involve sound development and, of course, instrumental education that also includes technical aspects to the instrument always, with emphasis on the quality of sound. It is a method of drawing the attention of children and making learning as interesting as possible,” he elaborated.

Replying to a question on how music could be a bridge to improve relations between two countries, Prof Wirth said, “We can collaborate in productions and send music artists from one country to another country.”

On being asked what should be done to popularise music in India, he said, “To popularise music in India, we should ensure daily music teaching in schools. It should be part of curriculum in India. Music teachers should be trained in a proper way.”

According to the co-founders of the Music Institute of Chromatics, Mohit Rathore and Bharat Khurana, the Wirth method of teaching music is a creative way of teaching students to hone their artistic talents and skills.