25-26-27 May, 2015
In our endeavour to share the miracles of Indian Classical Music with people, we chose to work with 20 students from an NGO called PRATYeK.
PRATYeK stands for :
TRAINING of the
EARTH RIGHTS and
KIDS' RIGHTS for every one.
PRATYek has over 80 slum children under its wing. Volunteers from PRATYek work on projects to provide education, promote and spread education including the establishment and management of schools, colleges, orphanages and technical schools, undertake, facilitate, and promote activities, programmes relating to the relief of the poor, the marginalized, to empower the poor, underprivileged, marginalized persons; promote, facilitate programmes and activities that lead to socio-economic development and to create impact against structures of injustices etc. More information about PRATYeK's work is available on their Facebook Page
OUR NAADYATRA EXPERIENCE WITH THE CHILDREN OF PRATYek.........
As we watched the children come into the Workshop room at Pratyek's centre in St. Columba's School on the 25th May morning, we were really excited at what we were about to do with these children. Once the introductions finished and we started to introduce the music and what to expect from the workshop, we realised that it was not going to be an easy task to get the job done because the children were not just mischevious like all children, they would not listen, would laugh and make fun of each other and were very restless. Our attempts to get them to listen and reproduce the music being sung, were disastrous at first.
But we knew the power of Indian music. So, instead of conducting a workshop and teaching them to sing, we decided to change our approach to getting them to listen to our music. We would have them sit comfortably (or lie down), close their eyes and just listen. Sanjeevji would sing an Alaap for 10-15 minutes. We would then have them sing any sound that came to them......the results got better and better.
We also gave them a stern talk on the importance of discipline and listening. We were clear if they started to listen to us and the music for just three days, it would make a difference to the way they listened to their parents, teachers, friends, others in their life.
On the third day of NaadYatra, we first introduced them to beats on the Pakhawaj (a percussion instrument) and then, presented a 15-20 minute long recital. The way the children listened was magical. It was amazing to see the same set of children who could not sit still for even a minute on the first day, sit quietly and absorb the music as though they were in a deep trance.
The little notes that they wrote for us reveal the impact NaadYatra had on them. We have requested the Pratyek Team to ongoingly expose them to 15 minutes of music just to quieten and settle them. We also intend to invite these children for any concerts in Delhi that we conduct. Their first tryst with Indian classical music defintely seems to have left a positive impact as did our interaction with them, on us!