With rigorous and systematic training, students of keyboardist and music teacher M.S. Martin have scaled great heights. Lalithasai reports

Every time they finish a class, students of keyboardist and music teacher M.S. Martin are left with a sense of having learnt something new. It may be a new composition or a new way of rendering a raga.

In his zeal to offer his students at Mellifluous Melodies, his music school, new insights into music, Martin does not compromise on cardinal rules. In fact, a firm grounding in the fundamentals is his students’ strength. "This helps build their imagination of ragas and swara prastharas," says Martin. "I train my children to use the pitch blender in the keyboard to bring out the gamakas precisely."

Martin believes vocal and instrumental music go hand in hand. "If someone has to specialise in one, he should be able to handle the other too. Keyboard learning can be interesting if a child is introduced to ragas such as Hamsadhwani, Saveri, Kalyani and Naatai. With this training interesting, it will be easy to move on the others such as Bhairavi, Thodi, Dhanyasi and Ananda Bhairavi.” Intense and systematic training has stood Martin’s students in good stead. Many of them have climbed dizzying heights in the world of music. Some have given solo performances in sabhas and popular halls all over the State. Around 75 of his students entered the Limca Book of Records way back in 2009 for a joint keyboard effort by them.

Again in 2011, around 109 of them, in the 6-to-14 age group, presented a carnatic composition of Ragamruthum on the keyboard, at the Music Academy, to create a new Guinness record.

The kids played the music that had been scored by their guru for 16 minutes and 7 seconds.

"Immediately after this record performance, my children gave a two-hour concert. It featured several popular numbers such as Saadhinchane, Bantureeti kolu, Bho sambho and many more. They were all in ragas such as Hamsadhwani, Kalyani, Keeravani, Sindhu Bhairavi and Desh.”

"I wanted to break an earlier record created by Billy Joel in 2004 with 107 participants. They played for five minutes at the opening of The Shoppes at Cross Keys, Florissant, Missouri, in the U.S., " revealed Mr. Martin. “And we did it.”

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