Few Ways to Incline Kids towards Indian Classical Music

The kids of my music premises are the proper west freak. I often interview them why they like western music more than the Indian. One of them shared a piece of experience with me on this, “West songs are a good source to enjoy and share the company of other kids.” Which was a clear and logical answer. The other one quoted, “Indian songs are boring and unknown…and we don’t know Hindi properly.”

We, as kids, were die-heart fans of the then Bollywood songs. We grasped even the minute variations and could easily perform if asked in the public.  Today’s kids are not even aware of the songs like manma emotion, jabra Fan, or even the cheapest songs.

Do what you want your kids to do:

Play any classical track for at least half an hour in the central room music system at home, so the kids grasp the tunes.

A 4 years old girl showed up with her mom when I asked her to sing something. Predictably, she sang a western track and the most intense romantic song Kyu ki tum hi ho. I shared my opinions with her mom on how the kids started liking the romantic tracks. She genuinely replied, “ It’s not their fault. We continuously listen to such songs and then they follow.”  Similarly, parents want their kids to learn Indian music but never give the Indian music environment at home. In fact, studies show that around 75% IT working Indian parents listen to the western singers more but make their kids join Indian classical classes, which compel the kids to make dry faces while the classes. The simplest formula of indoctrinating something in kids is the parents should start executing the same.

‘Classical music’ should be introduced in the schools

In the name of Indian music period, children learn some slow Hindi songs like Humko man ki shakti, Teri hai zameen, etc.,  which can never make them inclined. A proper classical training curriculum should be included in all school as a  serious exam subject right from the age of kindergarten and further, for which the marks matter. This way kids indoctrinate basic elements and grasp the classical tunes and rhythms. Once they grasp and perform and get appreciation, they will automatically hook up to the field.

Classical training made funny, fast and furious:

There are many options for making classical training more  whimsical and engrossing for kids. Classical doesn’t mean singing only serious ragas and tunes. Classical training can be made more funny, interesting more for kids by creating the swara, alankar Palte (note-syllables) more fast and rhythmic. For instance, breath and voice training can be initiated by commanding, “Let’s see if you can hold up till 20 seconds in rendering OM.” The competition imbibe a lot more interest in kids which make them plead for “Mam, I need one more chance.”

Guitarplaying matters

I observe my kid students crazy about the songs like New divide, I walk alone, 21 guns and even more crazier in playing them on the keyboard and guitar. They google the chords and keys curiously and are fulfilled with questions when show up at the class. The psychology and  common pattern in all kids are: if they are able to play any fast rendition (be it classical swaras) or quick songs on any western instrument, preferably guitar and Keyboard, they are likely to get attracted by music forever. For that matter, one can try out teaching the Indian ragas and fast swara-compositions on the guitar. For instance, apart from teaching Raga Bhupali’s ‘SA SA D P G R ….’ Notation bandish, I am up with a Barfi song ‘Itti si hasi’ and I notice their preoccupation and grasp.

Make them dance on the bandish (Raga-songs)

Kids are enthusiastic and playful by some physical activities and melodramatic atmosphere. Vocal music teaching involves sitting which can make them lethargic and heedless. Making them dance or act as krishna-Gopi (as most bandish involve the story of lord Krishna) on the bandish(s) may enhance their vitality and endeavor towards music. They can easily retain the lyrics and tunes of the bandish with these tantrums.