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“Music can be a good medicine”

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S. Darshanan
S. Darshanan

G. Srinivasan

THANJAVUR: His love for music made him to travel all the way from Sri Lanka to Government Music College at Thiruvaiyaru in Thanjavur district to do research in music. And his efforts have paid dividends. S. Darshanan's thesis on ‘Therapeutic value of vocal music' has been recommended by the examiners who conducted the viva-voce examination of it on May 24 at Thiruvaiyaru Government Music College for a doctoral degree to Bharathidasan University.

“He has done an excellent work. He did the viva-voce very well and is sure to get the doctorate,” said P. Uma Maheswari, Principal and guide. She was one among the examiners, along with E. Ankayarkanni, Professor and Head, Department of Music, Tamil University.

A happy Mr. Darshanan, Senior Lecturer in Music in the University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, told The Hindu that he is also serving as a Music Therapist at the Government Hospital in Jaffna. According to his findings, music can be applied as medicine to treat or prevent mental disorders and psychosomatic diseases through individualistic approach for each person.

“Since my childhood days, I was interested in Music. I studied music in Plus Two in Sri Lanka (music is taught at an advanced level in Plus Two in Sri Lanka) against the wishes of my parents who wanted me to become a doctor or an engineer. Later I joined Annamalai University in Chidambaram and did three- year B. Music. I passed out with first class. Then I did Masters in Music and M. Phil. in Chennai. My father, later realising my skill, himself applied for a lecturer post for me in Jaffna University,” he said.

“I have scientific proof that music can help in treating or preventing mental disorders. I worked under Mythili, Department of Music Therapy, Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, and Sirkazhi Siva Chidambaram who has done extensive work in this field.”

Mr. Darshanan feels that a true musician — Carnatic musician — is not respected in society. On the other hand, singers and actors oaf the film world are revered. “I wanted to prove to people that music is also “useful” to people. So I decided to do research and took a vow not to return to Sri Lanka without getting a doctoral degree. My ambition has now been fulfilled,” he said.

Proved in the West

Therapeutic value of music was first proved in Scandinavian countries. Norway was the first. On the lines of Homeopathy, music can be used for finding the root cause of a problem and treat it. Sutha Dhanyasi is one such raga that has therapeutic value, he said.

He has used his expertise to treat inmates of an old age home in London and found excellent results.

First recommendation

“We are happy that this is the first doctorate recommended by the college. The Thiruvaiyaru college is the only research institute other than universities in music,” Ms. Uma Maheswari said.

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