Ragas for children

Sudha Raja trains some children.

Sudha Raja trains some children.

Carnatic music and children… an unlikely combination, you might think. But that’s far from the truth. For, today, there are many children who are keen on learning Carnatic music and showcasing rare talent.

It is to address the future custodians of the arts that Rhapsody-Education Through Music, an organisation that was born under the watchful eye of pianist Anil Srinivasan, is now organising the first ever ‘Children’s Musical Rhapsody’, a three-day festival on December 19, 20 and 21, 10 a.m. to 12 noon. The programme, to be held at various city schools, aims at take the Margazhi Cultural Festival directly to children in schools.

Talking about the event, Dr. Sudha Raja, principal, Rhapsody-Education Through Music, says, “We want bring about a direct dialogue between the artist and the child and instil in the child the sense to appreciate our artistic heritage.”

An experiment was conducted earlier with flautist Shashank and some German musicians during The Hindu’s November Fest. Says Sudha, “The response was phenomenal and we felt we had to capture the Margazhi mood and get children more involved and interested in the Carnatic genre.” That’s how this event took shape.

Giving more details, Sudha says, “Each day, the first half hour will be dedicated to the question-answer session, which will be followed by an instrumental concert. Children of Classes 8, 9 and 10 are our target this time round.”

So taking time off their crammed calendar and answer questions from the youngsters will be the articulate Unnikrishnan, Neyveli Santhanagopalan and Sikkil Gurucharan. Artists Mysore Chandan Kumar (flute), Suma Sudhindra and Anoor Anantharama Sharma (veena and percussion) and H. K. Venkatram (violin) will play for them.

Talking about the genesis of Rhapsody…, Anil says, “The intent was to take music to children through a more integrated approach within and outside school curricula. A few questions cropped up often -- How familiar are they with Carnatic music? What is it about classical music that children don’t like or understand? Why are children seldom seen at kutcheris? – and that’s what led to the setting up of Rhapsody.”

He adds, “In these days of instant gratification, music is a great equaliser. And the best way to catch children young is to partner with schools and teachers and take music classes to the next level.” With Sudha as the main player, the organisation uses specialised trainers/instructors, a comprehensive syllabus and methodology to inculcate aesthetic appreciation and basic musicality in young minds. With over 20 city schools already under its wing, Rhapsody is taking big steps to keep our tradition alive and secure its future.


Dec 19, 10 a.m.-12 noon: At PSBB, Thirumalai Pillai Road – Unnikrishnan; Mysore Chandan Kumar

Dec 20, 10 a.m.-12 noon: At Arsha Vidya Mandir, Velachey; Neyveli Santhanagopalan; Suma Sudhindra and Anoor Anantharama Sharma

Dec 21, 10 a.m.-12 noon: At Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram, Kilpauk, Sikkil Gurucharan; H.K. Venkatram

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 11:12:49 pm |