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Imparting education through music

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MORE THAN MUSIC: Karaikudi S. Subramanian and David Reck (left) render a Veena recital at Mannivakkam. Photo: A. Muralitharan
MORE THAN MUSIC: Karaikudi S. Subramanian and David Reck (left) render a Veena recital at Mannivakkam. Photo: A. Muralitharan

K. Manikandan

Tests prove that students perform better if music is taught early in life

TAMBARAM: Imparting music at an early age in schools will not only result in the overall development of a student, but also improve his or her performance in academics, according to Karaikudi S. Subramanian, veena exponent and founder-director of Brhad Dhvani.

During a lecture demonstration on "integrating music with educational curriculum" at the Shri Natesan Vidyasala Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Mannivakkam near Tambaram on the occasion of the Margazhi Music Festival, he said tests proved that students perform better when they are taught music very early. Dr. Subramanian, who later performed a joint veena concert along with David Reck, Professor of Music, Amherst University, U.S., said subtle forms of music could be used to teach various subjects such as languages, poetry, geography and even science.

There were no fears of children, particularly those in villages, losing their cultural identity if they learnt lessons through classical music, he said. Folk music was the hot spring from which all other forms of music originated in India, he added. "Music is an unifying force," he remarked.

Dr. Subramanian said they had taken up the project of teaching students through music in Tiruvannamalai district and the results were encouraging.

He said education, laced with music, could be taught in such a manner that it would enhance the child's memory power, mind-body coordination and creative skills. Some other schools had also evinced interest in the project initiated by Brhad Dhvani, Dr. Subramanian added.

Dr. David Reck said he encountered classical music during his first visit to Chennai in 1968 and learnt to study the notes with the help of Telugu scholar.

"Immediately after a surgery, he asked for the veena and started to play," remarked Dr. Subramanian, pointing out the professor's interest and commitment to south Indian classical music.

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