Creator and storyteller Shyama Panikkar takes youngsters on a hopscotch recreation of music

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Storyteller and creator Shyama Panikkar seeks to handle the gaps in Indian classical music schooling for youngsters by means of her books and music enrichment programme

Storyteller and creator Shyama Panikkar seeks to handle the gaps in Indian classical music schooling for youngsters by means of her books and music enrichment programme

“Music and maths have an unbreakable bond. A track is a melody, composed right into a rhythm sample. Understanding beats and the maths behind beats may be very important in music schooling,” says Shyama Panikkar, creator and storyteller. 

The Mumbai-based artiste just lately hosted an internet musical storytelling session narrating her just lately launched ebook Bounce, Hop, Raaga Pop. The occasion was held as part of an initiative by Librarypreneurs of India to lift funds for a group library in Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh.  

Educated in Carnatic and Hindustani classical music, Shyama realised the gaps in music schooling for preschoolers when she couldn’t discover any age-appropriate ebook for her three-year-old son to introduce him to Indian classical music. “I knew I needed to change that,” says Shyama. This led to her first ebook A Musical Highway Journey in 2020. It’s a story which takes the readers by means of the origin of the seven notes of Indian music and their significance. “Historical music literature written throughout Vedic instances mentions that the notes are derived from animal and fowl sounds. This data would by no means be accessible to youngsters. So I made it right into a ebook,” says Shyama. 

Her second ebook that was launched in January this 12 months narrates a narrative about youngsters and their discovery of music by means of the favored maths recreation of hopscotch. What follows is a recreation of constructing musical patterns with an orchestra of bouncing balls, squawking parrots, cycle bells and anklets. 

“The principle goal is to interrupt the notion that classical music is boring and tough. The ebook goals to indicate how music and maths are associated and a easy recreation of hopscotch will be totally pleasant whereas singing and leaping by means of the chart,” says Shyama.

In her endeavour to make the training expertise of classical music interactive and enjoyable, Shyama has been working an Indian music enrichment programme ‘Sur Taal Aur Masti’ for the previous three years. The pandemic got here as a chance to succeed in out to youngsters throughout the shores when she began taking the lessons within the on-line platform. “The pandemic has been bodily and mentally draining for the youngsters. Music, I really feel, is a superb supply of calm and optimistic power for kids,” says Shyama. 

Author and storyteller Shyama Panikkar, founder of Sur, Taal Aur Masti, during a session with kids

Creator and storyteller Shyama Panikkar, founding father of Sur, Taal Aur Masti, throughout a session with youngsters
| Picture Credit score: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A telecommunications engineer and a administration graduate, Shyama was all the time fascinated with music. A lot so, that she stop her company skilled profession to take up music as a full-time occupation. “The connection between music and math has really intrigued me. Even in my lessons, I spotlight the mathematical components to the youngsters together with the inventive components. I encourage youngsters to make their very own tunes as properly,”  says Shyama.

“They first determine on a rhythm construction, put notes into the construction to make a melody after which add their very own phrases. It’s an train with a number of inventive and mental advantages.” To maintain the teachings partaking and experiential, Shyama brings all types of props to clarify to youngsters that music is flexible. “We use kitchen utensils, shakers, spoons and all types of metals to exhibit that music is all over the place,” she says. Shyama additionally incorporates different types of artwork in her music classes. In one in every of her on-line lessons, the youngsters learnt a thumri in Raag Hamir. The thumri described the great thing about Radha in Krishna’s eyes. “On the finish, the youngsters the place requested to make the picture that got here to their minds they usually made their very own variations of the Radha on paper,” remembers Shyama.

She feels that Indian classical music is usually under-appreciated in early childhood years with most kids launched to western nursery rhymes and youngsters’s songs. “Youngsters develop up listening to and singing ‘Wheels on the Bus’ and ‘Child Shark’. However Indian music is taken into account sophisticated and boring.” In response to her, making studying interactive and introducing youngsters to books on music with vibrant illustrations and a storyline works as an efficient medium to inculcate musical curiosity in youngsters and a curiosity to be taught. 

Shyama takes on-line music classes and will be contacted at her Instagram web page @surtaalmasti

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