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Posts Tagged ‘Indian Classical Music’

Feb
23
2011

This post is authored by Kavita Bafana, Co-Founder and Director at Little UstaadsLittle Ustaads offers play-based musical education classes for children ages 0-5 in the New York/New Jersey area and in Mumbai. The curriculum is designed to encourage children and parents to discover and appreciate the world of Indian classical music through rhythmic tunes, rich vocals, mini instruments and vibrant visuals.

1. Prarthna

Description: A genre of Indian classical music

Developmental Benefits: Children learn about Indian culture and values through song

2.  Sargam

Description: Understanding and identifying Indian notation and pitch – sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni are the 7 building blocks that make up all of Indian classical music.

Developmental Benefits: Helps build word associations; easy short sounds for children to sing along with and to learn pitch and sequencing.

3.  Aroha vs Avoha

Description: Aroha is singing the Sargam from bottom to top – ascending –  (Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni and Sa), while Avoha is singing the Sargam from top to bottom – decending – (Sa, Ni , Dha, Pa, Ma, Ga, Re and Sa).

Developmental Benefits: Teaches sequencing, builds listening skills and introduces pitch.

4.  Raga

Description: A series of 5 or more musical notes (Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha and Ni) upon which a melody is made. Particular ragas are associated with different times of the day, or with seasons.

Developmental Benefits: Allows children to listen, distinguish and respond to different sounds, rhythms and pitches.  Sharpens listening skills while teaching children to vizualize music.

5.  Taal

Description: Rhythm and Beats

Developmental Benefits: Emphasizes understanding of basic counting skills.  Builds hand-eye coordination.

6.  Laya

Description: Speed or Tempo

Developmental Benefits: Helps children understand slow versus fast and builds coordination while listening to different speeds.

7.  Vilampit vs. Madhya vs. Drut

Description: Vilampit is the slowest tempo, Madhya is a mid-range tempo and Drut is fast tempo.

Developmental Benefits: Helps children understand slow versus fast and builds coordination while listening to different speeds.

8.  Tabla

Description: Indian percussion instrument consisting of a pair of hand drums.

Developmental Benefits: Develops an understanding of the difference between beating, blowing and strumming instruments to make music.  Sharpens children’s listening skills.

9.  Bansuri

Description: A woodwind instrument that has seven holes and is played by being blown into.

Developmental Benefits: Develops an understanding of the difference between beating, blowing and strumming instruments to make music.  Sharpens children’s listening skills.

10.  Sitar

Description: A string instrument that has a long neck and lots of strings.

Developmental Benefits: Develops an understanding of the difference between beating, blowing and strumming instruments to make music.  Sharpens children’s listening skills.

© 2010 Little Ustaads

www.littleustaads.com
newyork@littleustaads.com
773-744-1662

Little Ustaads currently runs programs in NY, NJ and Mumbai, and is seeking partners in other parts of the world. Please contact them if you are interested in setting up a Little Ustaads Franchise or Partnership.

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Feb
21
2011

This post is authored by Kavita Bafana, Co-Founder and Director at Little UstaadsLittle Ustaads offers play-based musical education classes for children ages 0-5 in the New York/New Jersey area and in Mumbai.  The curriculum is designed to encourage children and parents to discover and appreciate the world of Indian classical music through rhythmic tunes, rich vocals, mini instruments and vibrant visuals.

Why is Indian classical music important for Indian children growing up in the West?

Surrounded by Western influences, we face a difficult task of raising children that will accept, appreciate and embrace our Indian culture.  As determined parents, we may try many things like consistently speaking a native language, dancing to Bollywood tunes or serving children traditional foods.  These and other activities are beneficial, but we still lack the ability to speak to them at their level and to make them feel that they are part of a larger community – that all the things they are doing at home are not just unique to them, but rather are followed by many other children like themselves.  Indian classical music can be an amazing medium to captivate and connect our children to each other and their rich background right from birth.

I was fortunate to have parents that introduced me to the wonders of Indian classical music through Kathak, a North Indian classical dance.  I learned language, culture and values that are core to our rich Indian traditions.  Growing up in New York, the opportunity to excel in Indian classical dance allowed me to connect to my Indian community and be unique among my Western classmates.  This hobby has shaped me into who I am today and I am excited to pass it along to my children.

After having twins, I wanted them to have the same upbringing I was lucky to have, but I found my options limited.  With the prevalence of Western children’s music and Indian classical training beginning at age 6, I wanted to immerse them in sound patterns and melodies that children do not experience at school or at home –  such as the sitar or raag bilawal – as early as possible.  Fortunately, I was able to work with a friend on this need and we created a curriculum for children designed to teach Indian classical music through play and dance.  I saw my twins build their Hindi vocabulary, develop familiarity with unique Indian instruments and train their ears to actively listen.  As they have grown up, I can see the benefits:  this early and sustained exposure has piqued their interest in pursuing different aspects of this art—primarily playing tabla and singing and dancing.

Another benefit of pursuing Indian classical music for children is to train ourselves as parents.  For those of us that have not been exposed to Indian classical music, we have the opportunity to learn what is a raag, what is a sargam and how to count teen taal.  For those of us that have been immersed in the art, it provides a time to focus on transferring that experience to our children.  In our busy schedule as parents or grandparents, we need organized time where we are completely there with our children, and Indian classical music can be a medium to provide that focused time to bond, learn and communicate.

For me, it is not a question of whether Indian classical music is better than Western classical music.  It is about speaking to children in a language they understand—music— while reaping the multiple other benefits to immerse them in their rich heritage.

© 2010 Little Ustaads
www.littleustaads.com
newyork@littleustaads.com
773-744-1662

Little Ustaads currently runs programs in NY, NJ and Mumbai, and is seeking  partners in other parts of the world.  Please contact them if you are interested in setting up a Little Ustaads Franchise or Partnership.

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