Events

Music They Hold Dear!

Christopher Sherwood with his student Hannah Philip. Photo: Special Arrangement

Christopher Sherwood with his student Hannah Philip. Photo: Special Arrangement  

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Getting piano lessons for children is mostly an out-of-school pursuit. And those who take it up surely enjoy music

On the auspicious Ganesh chaturthi evening last Monday, melodious strains of music flowed out of Noyes School. Tapping rhythms tumbled across the piano keyboard as an appreciative audience sat in rapt attention. Music, no doubt, always delivers something incredible. But this occasion was special because children as young as nine years old were moving their fingers fast and rolling out expressive performance of pieces.

There were 15 of them, studying in classes V to XII in different city schools who creatively knitted a successful and unified performance and floored the audience. They need a mention because they were all first-timers on stage. And, who would disagree that the first piano recital is both exciting and nerve wracking.

“All the children played their part well,” says Ashley Rathinaprakash, a hard core music lover and antique collector, who sat through the programme. “Usually one gets to hear only choirs and bands playing here and this form of formal piano recital by students was a first for the city,” he adds.

Echoes Dulci Ilango, former Principal OCPM School, “There was harmony in the programme and beautiful blending of music. Obviously the children worked hard and were trained well.”

If the students of Sherwood School of Music were able to pull the music together playing nearly two-dozen songs from different genres, much of the credit behind their energy and skill goes to Prof.Christopher Sherwood, one of the best choir masters and piano trainers in town, who started the centre for talent development six years ago with an aim to teach good music to children and develop their ability according to their strength.

He does not believe in one-size-fits-all approach and also feels to play for others and in front of family, friends and public is an important part of the learning process. Therefore, he came up with the idea of conducting the first-ever piano recital programme and with aplomb his students showed how connected they were to the instrument.

From the youngest performer, Jenita Anand, class V student of Mahatma School, who played the Cradle song to the 16 years old Selvin Landis who played the Deep Blue Sea Boogie and Hari Vignesh, a IInd year collegian who doled out the rollicking He is a Jolly Good Fellow, each was a little jewel refining the listener’s experience.

Gliding over the keys and embracing peoples’ hearts were 17 years old Theodore Devavaram (of PKN Matriculation School) and Johnson Jeyakumar (of Velammal Vidyalaya) who while playing respectively Valse Lente (Grade 5), Scott Joplin’s Entertainer and Sonatina (Grade 6) and Bill Bailey Rag also displayed their focus, perseverance and progression as students having completed their Grade 5 exams conducted by the Trinity College, London, and scoring 95 per cent. After their solo performances, the duo took the stage to play together Maple Leaf Rag and concluded the evening on a high in a musical crescendo.

Another young girl who stole the hearts was 12 years old Hannah Philip of SBOA School, who both sings and plays the piano. Her vocal rendition of La Paloma and Meet Frankie and Johnny won her a big round of applause as much her You Raise Me Up and Persian Market did on the piano.

The chief guest, Jonath Backia Seelan, the founder of Crescendo Music House, Trichy was moved by the performances and in his brief address emphasised on the need to keep the creativity alive in the children. “Parents should be patient with their wards and allow them to use their talents to do something exceptional instead of just rushing through grade exams,” he said.

“Music is like a feeling and you should not focus only on flawless performance,” Christopher Sherwood always tells his students and each of them took on the inspiring challenge and returned a rewarding experience.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 2:32:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/events/Music-They-Hold-Dear/article14630793.ece

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