Introducing young minds to the world of music early on


Music lover Shyama Panikkar believes it’s best to “catch them young” when it comes to coaching youngsters in music. So to provoke youngsters into the world of music, Mumbai-based Shyama, who’s educated in each Carnatic and Hindustani music, began courses underneath the identify Sur Taal Aur Masti (actually which means Swara, tempo and enjoyable) in July final yr. “I endeavour to try and make the lessons fun, which catches their attention. Here, traditional methods may not be enough,” says Shyama, a local of Thiruvananthapuram.

Shyama determined to launch Sur Taal Aur Masti after she realised that her son, Aarav, who’s now 4, was having fun with her classes. “I quit my corporate job after I became pregnant. Later, when I realised Aarav was really liking it when I introduced him to music lessons, I asked myself why shouldn’t I take this to other kids in Mumbai as well,” she says.

Keeping the classes experiential, Shyama brings what she calls “props” to interact children and clarify to them the versatility of music. “I demonstrate miniature versions of instruments such as shakers, drum kits, cymbals, maracas, tambourine and so on to help the young ones get a hands-on feel,” she says.

Shyama feels that Indian music is commonly under-appreciated at the degree of early publicity as children largely are launched to Western nursery rhymes and youngsters’s songs. So, in Sur Taal Aur Masti, she has made it some extent to assist children perceive and recognize Indian music to start with.

“I keep the musicscape varied and explore facets of India music as well. But it is not just classical music I’m talking about. Apart from beginner’s-level lessons in Carnatic and Hindustani, we try rhymes and even catchy film songs. Rhymes could be anything from ‘Wheels on the Bus’ to popular Hindi children’s songs like ‘Lakdi ki kathi’. However, the base of my classes remain classical,” explains Shyama. However, she retains it easy, attempting some of the simpler classical compositions that “kids can remember.” Her mentor is composer and Carnatic musician Perumbavoor G Raveendranath from Thiruvananthapuram.

Shyama Panikkar teaching kids music

The pandemic has paused the bodily courses, however Shyama has not permitted the obstacle to let the music fall silent as she has been persevering with her classes on-line by way of video-conferencing app Zoom. “The arrangement has its limitations but given the circumstances, this is a practical way to carry on,” she says. With colleges remaining closed and taking part in outdoor not advisable, mother and father too are joyful about maintaining children engaged constructively.

Check out Shyama’s Instagram web page @surtaalmasti

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