The Oud Department is the core department of Bait Al Oud and a central training institution for the teaching of Arabic music. Under the supervision of Oud Master Naseer Shamma the Oud Department focuses both on keeping the tradition and renewing the practice of oud. With this perspective, instrument practice, performance and composition will be taught.
Responsible Instructor: Sherine Tohamy
Sherine Tohamy became the first female student and the third student in general to graduate from Arab Oud House (Cairo Opera House) with first class distinction in 2002. She took up a teaching position at Arab Oud House, first in Cairo 2002, and in Bait Al Oud since 2009. Sherine has released two albums and performed many concerts worldwide as a soloist and with international bands. She has also been leading her female band NAJMAAT since 2011. She holds a Bachelor degree in French Media (Mass Communication) from Cairo University.
The Qanun Department is one of the oldest in Bait Al Oud, focusing on one of the central instruments of every Arab Takht Band, which is the qanun.
Responsible Instructor: Bassam Abdel Sattar
Bassam Abdel Sattar studied qanun at the High Academy of Arabic Music in Cairo, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 2005 and a master’s degree in 2008. He has performed at the Opera House with the Egyptian Orchestra in Cairo on many occasions as a qanun soloist and most notably as the lead soloist in a performance of the celebrated ‘Qanun Concerto’. Bassam has performed alongside other musicians in many important international music festivals such as the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, the International Jazz Festival Bankso, and Abu Dhabi Classics, UAE. In addition, Bassam has toured internationally, performing as a solo artist in numerous countries, including France, Italy, Belgium, Armenia, Lebanon and Morocco.
The Voice Department of Bait Al Oud plays an important role in the preservation of Arabic traditional singing and the development of new singing talents. Furthermore, the Voice Department also teaches Moshahat, Qudood and Emirati Songs.
Responsible Instructor for Arabic Singing: Dr Fathulla Ahmed
Dr Fathulla Ahmed is the Arabic singing instructor at Bait Al Oud. He has a higher Diploma in Music, Bachelor in TV production, Masters in TV Music and a PHD in Musical Sciences. He was a member of the Iraqi Orchestra, manager of the Iraqi musical band of the national radio station, then a professor at the Art School in Baghdad. Dr Fathulla was the dean of the Higher School of Musical Studies in Baghdad, and a manager of the Arts Department at the Iraqi Culture Authority. He collaborated with a number of famous artists as a composer, most importantly with Kazem Al Saher.
Responsible Instructor for Muwashahat and Emirati Singing: Faisal Al Saari
Faisal Al Saari is an Emirati artist. He grew fond of playing the oud in 1986 when he started playing it on his own as an amateur. Faisal composed his first work in 1992, and has collaborated with many artists in the UAE and the Gulf. Among the most important works he has written is the operetta “The Story of a Nation”, for which he won numerous awards, as well as his composition for the Louvre Abu Dhabi pre-opening concert: “Zayed’s Dream”. Faisal also studied oriental solfege including “Qudood”, “Muwashahat” and “Kulthoumiyat” with some of the most renowned Arabic professors. In 2008, he joined Bait Al Oud in Abu Dhabi, where he graduated in 2011, with an honours degree on the oud instrument in Soloist Teaching. He specialises in oud playing as well as composition and scientific research.
The newly founded Cello Department combines teaching cello with a special focus on Arabic Takht Band and the teaching of rebabah. Students interested in this area will have the possibility to play a central role in the preservation of Emirati heritage.
Responsible Instructor: Ahmed Taha
Ahmed Taha began his musical career at the age of six at the Conservatoire Institute by playing the cello. He is also from an artistic family; he is the grandson of Hafnawi. He studied at the hands of many experts and has won first place in many Arab and international competitions. He received his Bachelor's degree and travelled to the UAE to work as a teacher in the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development. He played with famous Arabic music groups accompanied by a group of great singers. Taha represented Egypt and the UAE in many international and local festivals and competitions until he started his professional career at the age of 26. He participated in the Salalah Festival with his own band, and in the UAE National Day Festival, the Salalah Nights Festival, Layali Dubai and Hala Feb.
The Solfege Department’s function is to provide the students of Bait Al Oud with the necessary knowledge of reading and writing musical scores, music theory and music history. The theoretical course places its main interest in Arabic music.
Responsible Instructor: Samer Abu Reslan
Samer Abu Reslan is a Syrian accordion player, who started playing when he was 10. Although he studied Civil Engineering, he focused on playing music, and became a professional musician with the Zanobia band between 1993 and 1999. Zanobia is a professional music band formed by a group of graduates from the Higher College of Music in Syria.