Music in her genes

She is a student of Class XII and like any girl of her age, she is filled with much effervescence. But Marilyn Melody Marbaniang is unlike many teenagers and the list of her talents can leave one speechless.
Marilyn can play at least three musical instruments — drums, guitar and piano — with aplomb. At present, she is learning how to play the flute. “I have been playing drums since the age of five. I think it comes naturally to me,” says the young musician with a shy smile.
True, for Marilyn, music runs in the blood. As the elder daughter of Peter Marbaniang, the director of Shillong School of Music, playing musical instruments is her innate quality. The teenager’s countenance changes when she talks about music and how she is working on sound production. The shy smile gives way to conviction and her limpid eyes become thoughtful making her look more mature than her age.
Of the instruments which Marilyn plays, she enjoys drums the most. “I jam with my father and his friends and I really feel exuberated when playing the drums. My father’s friends often compliment me for my performance,” she says as she gestures with imaginary drumsticks.
Marilyn, who is part of the school choir, says she learnt guitar from YouTube sessions and picked up the lessons really fast. However, she is a reluctant pianist as “I am not too much into classical music”.
She complains that drumming is not considered women’s forte and not many girls in Shillong are into drums despite the city being considered the rock capital of the country. She is also disappointed that there is not much scope here to form an all-girl band.
Marilyn is largely interested in sound production and in her leisure time, she works on her compositions. “Many people mistake DJing with sound production. These two are completely different. DJing is easy but sound production needs more creativity and is tougher. I am interested as I am fascinated by how much scope is there to create your own music. I really want to be a music producer,” says the teenager.
The conversation comes back to drumming and Marilyn says when she visits her mother’s house in Dimapur, she regularly jams with her uncle who is a musician.
Marilyn, whose favourites are music producers Martin Garrix and Teddy Park, is also a dancer and is into locking and pumping, two popular dance forms today.
That is not all. The young lady is equally talented when it comes to sports. She is a footballer and is part of the team at St Mary’s Higher Secondary School where she studies.
Last year, Marilyn was spotted at a session by Reliance Foundation Youths Sports. She played for the school team and was the best scorer. She also won the Golden Boot for scoring maximum number of goals.
“Their team could not make it to the final. I went for the final match by chance. Marilyn could not accompany me as she was preparing for exams. After the final match, I was taken aback when her name was announced for the Golden Boot. It was sad that she could not attend the function and I had to collect the award. Anyway, I got the chance to rub shoulders with Nita Ambani and John Abraham,” laughs Peter as he remembers the day.
“We never put pressure on her for studies at home. She is sincere and does her lessons. We also do not push her for playing football or pursuing music. She goes for practice (football) everyday and her coach insists that she continues playing,” adds the proud father.
Marilyn’s sister Ferilyn, who is in Class IX, is also a talented sportsperson and is into shot put. “She was chosen in the school in her first attempt,” says the elder sister.
A talented musician as well as footballer, Marilyn has countless options after finishing school but she has already made up her mind.
“Football is my hobby and it helps me relax but when it comes to career, music is the only choice,” says the 17-year-old all-rounder as she strums the guitar unmindfully.
~ NM

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