My ligament tear proved to be a boon in disguise​

Manuel Sebastian who hails from Kerala, is a Teacher by profession and a self taught acoustic guitar player. The way he plays the guitar will keep you wondering whether he actually did not learn it from a teacher. Recently, he enter the Top-10 in the Notes & Sargam Instrumental Music Contest 2020.

Greetings to all music lovers… “Music drives you; it wakes you up, it gets you pumping ; And, at the end of the day, the correct tune will chill you down.”

I am Manuel Sebastian, from Kerala, India. By profession I am a Commerce teacher in Little Flower School, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.

I used to spend my leisure time in evening walk or badminton. Due to some leg ligament problems I couldn’t continue with the outdoor activities. Around two years back to utilize my leisure time I owned a guitar. Started exploring about basic lessons through open sources like Google and YouTube. Lots of information collected day by day like how to hold, what are its body parts called, what is the name of each string, what are the notes on each fret etc. It was very tedious task to get all information together and to understand alone.

With constant efforts and patience I continued my learning. Started playing some finger exercises at the beginning. Lots of free song TABS are available in Google. Slowly started playing very easy song with the help of those TABS.

One day on my search I have got an opportunity to watch a guitar video lesson of Guinness world record achiever Sir Sanjeev Babu. Under the video there was a what’s app number to join a ‘Indian Guitar group’. (A group dedicated only for guitar related posts) I have got many opportunities to put my videos there in the group and clear the doubts related to guitar. I used to put videos whether it is correctly played or wrongly played. Sometimes I got corrected and some times appreciations. This was a motivation for me. I still continued my learning about guitar and notes of easy songs.

Fortunately one day I visited a website called ‘Notes and Sargam’ run by Mr. Prashant Das. I am very much thankful to Mr. Prashant Das. He is also a self learned flutist. His simple way of explanation about flute and notes of various songs are very inspiring. Then I have got his number to join a ‘what’s app’ group. Around one year back I have requested him to add me in the ‘Notes and Sargam’ group (a group where all types of instrument players and singers without any restrictions to any language music and articles). This was my golden opportunity to be a part of Notes and Sargam group, because lots of information about the music were shared there, it saved my time for exploring more about music. Sometimes I used to put my small efforts in this group. It was a great motivation to many musicians sharing their experiences in this group most of them are self taught.

Last few months I was not active in those groups because of lockdown school classes are done online, a new method of teaching to record classes edit and upload, bit difficult and time taking process.

On my journey, I would like to thank Mr.Pradeep Kumar Verma a magnificent musician, well versed in guitar and keyboard, Mr.Ranjan Charles Rosario, a Maths teacher and music lover, last but not the least Mr.Anoop Vellancheri Kalathil, one of the best guitarist and my close friend in Indian guitar ‘whats app’ group, who supported me whenever I needed their help.

I am very happy to share with you my happiness which are beyond my words. I could successfully participate in N&S INSTRUMENTAL MUSICAL CONTEST 2020. Tears of joy rolled down when I have been selected in 25 after clearing FIRST round among 237 contestants. It was unbelievable and inexpressible for me when I have been selected in 10 after clearing the SECOND round and to be the part of final round. This is the highest achievement ever in my life. Even I haven’t noticed this competition announcement. One day before the first round performance Mr. Prashant Das personally messaged and showed his curiosity why I haven’t been participating. Without a second thought I have registered myself for the competition a day before. Without much preparation a favourite song played and sent. Astonishing result came as I was selected in the first round. It increased my confidence. For this I am very much indebted to Mr. Prashant Das, if not I wouldn’t have been achieved it.

My short message to all the music lovers is, Believe in the principle of “No pain, No gain”… So keep on practicing….” Love music and it will lead you to find music and rhythm in wherever you are”.

Best Wishes…

– Manuel Sebastian

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