Kerala

Violin lessons with a difference

Vignesh S, (right) teaching the basics of violin to a student at the autism centre at the Samagra Shiksha, Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram South urban resource centre in Fort.

Vignesh S, (right) teaching the basics of violin to a student at the autism centre at the Samagra Shiksha, Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram South urban resource centre in Fort.

Vignesh S. had always wanted to become a violin teacher. On Saturday, the dream of this differently abled violinist came true when he began giving violin lessons to five children who attend the autism centre at the Samagra Shiksha Kerala’s (SSK) Thiruvananthapuram South urban resource centre (URC) in Fort here.

Vignesh, who is intellectually disabled, completed his Bachelor of Performing Arts (Violin) from the Sree Swathi Thirunal Government College of Music here in 2021-22.

 A resident of Thaliyil, Karamana, young Vignesh was sent to learn drawing at an institution where violin classes were also offered. Soon, he was mimicking the sounds of the instrument. As he was not keen on vocal music, his teachers urged his mother Jyothi to send him for violin lessons.  Simultaneously, he completed his schooling from Government Boys Higher Secondary School, Karamana, and went on to take admission to Sree Swathi Thirunal Government College of Music here.

When plans for a summer vacation camp for the children of the autism centre were made this year, it was mooted that it be inaugurated by a differently abled student. Annie Stephen, special educator at the autism centre, who had helped a young Vignesh with remedial classes at HS LPS, Karamana, more than a decade ago as part of inclusive education and had watched him play the violin at an event, suggested his name.

Vignesh inaugurated the camp in April by playing the violin. A. Najeeb, former block project coordinator of the URC, then suggested that Vignesh be roped in to teach violin to children at the autism centre as part of their therapy and in the process help realise Vignesh’s childhood dream too.

Five children—Abhinav Rajesh, Ahsan S., Anakha Raj S., Hari Krishnan, and Mahadevan—began their first lesson on Saturday by learning how to hold the violin and the bow and the basics of bowing. Vignesh’s teacher in college Rojo A. and a few friends were present to support him. “It is a proud moment for me that a student of mine has got such an opportunity,” Mr. Rojo said.

The violin training is sponsored by a group of techies who are alumni of the Muslim Association College of Engineering at Venjaramoodu. The group has been sponsoring speech and physio therapy, besides tours and functions, at the autism centre for a few years in memory of their friend Nirmal Thomas who died in an accident, says Anoop C.P., a member of the group.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2022 4:59:59 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/violin-lessons-with-a-difference/article65648127.ece