Musician or Tutor? Maybe both!

Ashiq has been using travelling as the ultimate learning opportunity, and his experiences leave us with a question: Is he a musician or tutor?

The beginning

Ashiq was born in the United States, but his parents are from Bangladesh. His family moved around a lot but most of his time was spent in the United States, Bangladesh and Singapore. To him, being in Singapore in and of itself was a multicultural environment.

He shares that both of his parents were professors and because they were well connected, they always had guests coming over. By being surrounded by people of academic status, he explained how it might have been a silent pressure on his choices.

After graduating from high school, he decided to move to California to pursue a degree in Mathematics. However, it didn’t go as planned.

“I kind of dropped out of college because it was such a thing I thought I had to do. I was good at mathematics, but it wasn’t my favourite subject. It was not stimulating. It was not right for me.” 

And to prove how good he was at math; he shared how he tutored his younger sister who later received a math scholarship to a university in Canada. 

He tried college again but this time in New Jersey. However, he dropped out again. 

Moving forward

Ashiq shares how he taught himself how to play the piano, guitar, bass, and drums. He shares his memories of when censorship laws were changed in Singapore. With this change, a whole bunch of music such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin which were not permitted were now available.

With a newfound love for the Beatles, he and two of his classmates started a Beatles cover band named ‘The Quarries’.  In fact, his love of the 60s counter-culture from the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, etc was a driving factor for him choosing to go to college in California.

With the experience of being in a band, he quickly met another band while being there. “We kind of just roamed around and lived in warehouses,” he states. But there was more to this experience.

He shares how the warehouse was full of artists and musicians. They would bring in people who were often lecturers and they would talk about everything from neuroscience, why you’re always out of beer and cigarettes, to things like art history etc.

It was through this experience that he found a program he actually wanted to study which was documentary and filmmaking. “I was like, this is what I want to do” he states, with a tone that shows how relieved he was to find his true passion. 

And like this, he moved on to complete a bachelor’s degree in New York, which was later complemented by a master’s degree from a university in Amsterdam.

Interesting facts about Ashiq
    • Lived in Bangladesh, Singapore, Holland, Netherlands, Germany, and America (Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, California, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York).
    • Been a part of several bands: The Quarries, Guardian Alien, Magnet City Kids, Buzzard and now Cloud Kinski.
    • Toured Europe twice with his bandmates to countries: Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Slovakia, Poland and more.
    • Fluent in English and Bengali; knows the basics of German, French, Spanish, and Dutch.
His view of life after his experiences

Because of Ashiq’s curiosity about seeing different cultures, he has travelled around the world. He shares that when he was on tour with his bandmates, it felt like a whirlwind. 

Ashiq shares that he didn’t really get to see the culture in depth when he toured the world.   He may see a lot, but it was really condensed. However, he still cherishes his experiences. 

He shares that for some of the bands he was in, they never released any music, so he doesn’t know where the audience came from. For others, it led to touring the world. But his talent for music was what led him to find the perfect area of study for his degrees.

One thing that stood out to him was the different teaching styles he observed while travelling around. He shares that when he moved to Europe, he noticed that the style of teaching was that of a mentor-mentee relationship. Whereas in America it seems this was missing.

For him, Ashiq remembers the teachers that whom he could form a personal relationship. Those that would listen and share their life’s perspectives that were based on life experiences.

Acceptance of his calling

For Ashiq his father had always been his inspiration. He sees his father as a patient person who was very receptive to different kinds of students. However, he also realises that he may never be like his father who is in ‘professor mode’, but that is ok. 

“I like sharing what I know. When I was tutoring math, I felt like I had a lot of shortcuts that I created myself that I could share with others. “This is not just the typical knowledge that is related to education, but rather the shortcuts that I created for myself in learning.”

His teaching capabilities now extend to video editing, sound design, sound editing, English language and giving drum lessons. 

Why Learnwithsceince

Instead of going directly into academia, Ashiq prefers a setting where he can have a connection with those around him. A meaningful conversation as he knows how impactful it may be on one’s life.

A memory he shared was that of a professor who would play Baroque music while teaching him math. The reason behind this, the professor simply believed it was good for the brain. 

Even though Ashiq is unsure if this will work for learning English, his mind is open. Ashiq believes that the use of MBTI to improve learning caters to what music has taught him. To him, music is about communicating, getting the message across, understanding the audience and how they might receive the message.

We at Learnwithscience are happy to have Ashiq Khondker as a tutor at our company. I hope you enjoyed reading about Ashiq’s life experiences. 

If you are interested in adding to your own life experience, a new language may be the way to go!


Thanks for reading, until next time learnwithscience.