Our brother-member vasanthakokilam truly caught the vital point of my novel method of teaching right from the beginning unlike any music-teacher on earth and, even now, wrote the truth of this novel camp ‘Gurukulam’. I profusely thank him now.
Having served as a professional teacher for 35 years and, at last, having myself found only a 10% successful teacher even by the date of my retirement and, simultaneously, having all along lead a parasitical life of a professional Violinist also for more than 50 years, only by the grace of the Almighty, I could introspect my self very deep and visualise a novel method of teaching music to our kids making it truthfully ‘time-bound and result-oriented’. Later, feeling it as my duty to truthfully pay back my society unlike any other professional teacher or professional musician, I have given up even my lucrative profession as a Violinist and took up the experimentation of methods in teaching music on full-time basis and, simultaneously, even the propagation of them as a mission for the rest of my life. As this is an evolution in the methods in teaching music others may not believe if I truthfully tell that I have been finding different methods in the process of my daily experiments on the aspirants growing myself each and every second and going on adding them to my repertoire.
As you all are very well aware of music is mostly performance oriented. Just like in cooking or even in driving a motor-cycle if the teacher, without doing himself, properly and efficiently initiates the learner in doing things accordingly the learner learns each and everything while performing the needed. Thus, both the teaching and learning also must simultaneously become performance oriented. This is the key of this novel method and I, either singing Vocal or playing Violin myself even the most minimum, shall vigilantly make the aspirant knowledgeable in this process to push him/her further and further inch by inch every second
In particular, in respect of music, here is another vital point of ‘rhythm’ to make a very important note. While learning the driving of a motor-cycle the learner cannot successfully proceed further in learning unless the machine, the motor-cycle, is in proper condition to move accordingly instilling the confidence in the learner to move further and further. Thus, his success in learning lies not only in the able initiation of his/her teacher but also in his self-confidence to move further and further efficiently. In the same manner, even in our music, the success of the learner lies not only in the able initiation of his/her teacher but also in his self-confidence instilled by his/her teacher to ably move further and further on his/her vehicle, the rhythm and Tala. To deal with this, in which way the efficient movements towards both right and left-sides is needed in respect of the learner in driving the motor-cycle, in respect of our music-aspirant, the able movements both in Chaturshra and (the minimum-odd) Trisra-gatis is mostly needed. To tell the fact, even the relevant basic seeds are efficiently and sufficiently sown by our ancients bringing out the importance of oddity in Gatis in the ratio of 1:4 of one even Chaturashra and four odd-gatis, the inefficients in handling even the minimum-odd, Trisra, have very conveniently avoided it pitiably making the entire monument our great-music collapse due to their inefficiency. More suicidal fact in this affair is even the efficients are blindly following the inefficients in such respects.
Now, this six-days workshop on classical music, ‘Gurukulam’, held at Annamnada, Thrissur District, Kerala, by the noble person Chi. Ajith Neelakanthan ably supported by the noble persons Shri V.G.Babu, a Rtd. Superindent of Police and Shri Ramesh, an NRI and a great connoisseur of classical arts in Dubai, could make this most remarkable and memorable event possible for the sake of our kids eagerly learning our Karnataka music.
In fact, previously also, I have conducted such workshop in the Music-department of the Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh from 06-02-2002 to 12-02-2002 for 7 days for both the Staff and students having been invited by the then Head of that Department. In that workshop I have demonstrated making the Staff and students following me from 8.00 am to 1.00 pm daily and later moving to our respective staying places. But, the pity is, later when I have again visited that department being the member of the Board of Studies; I have found the respective teachers are not at all teaching the important items I have given them. Also in the same manner when I have visited all the 13 Music-colleges in our state thrice in each year from 2005 to 2007 conducting Lecture-demonstrations and workshops to both the Staff and students they all have learned these new methods but, later, except one or two teachers, no one was teaching these items to the students in the absence of any kind of supervision since last 50 years. Even a circular was issued by the then Director to conduct periodical Lecture-demonstrations by the Staff-members it was not implemented at all due to lack of supervision. In the same manner I have visited many of our South Indian universities not only in Andhra Pradesh but also in Tamil-nadu and Karnataka and, ultimately found that everywhere most of the teachers, in the absence of any supervision, are not bothered about the standards at all but their regular salaries. Everywhere, as neither the aspirants nor the parents nor the music-lovers are aware of the indifferent and negligent attitude of the teachers the standards are gradually deteriorating to the lowest level and, mostly, impotent-certificate-holders are being produced every year.
Even though only Lecture-demonstrations and workshops are highly useful to the aspirants learning music many are interested only in arranging music-concerts but not in arranging Lecture-demonstrations or workshops. Even if very few arrange such Lecture-demonstrations the speakers are mostly interested in giving Lecture-demonstrations on any other topic than the crucial Svarakalpana or Ragalapana. Even very few experts very rarely hold such Lecture-demonstrations on Svarakalpana or Ragalapana it is always desirable only to hold a workshop for extended duration for the benefit of the aspirants.
In fact, as per the time schedule, I had to demonstrate from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm only daily and later the participants are supposed to practice themselves. But, having seen the highly inspiring environment, being a person not to sleep and not to let others also sleep on such occasions, even from the 2nd day itself I have started working from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm keeping not only myself working but making others also working along. Ultimately, this brought out the amazing results from the aspirants.
Among all of them, there is one highly brilliant kid named Chi. Pradeesh Balan, who, having become inspired of the highly interesting material I am giving them, could not sleep but came to me even in the early hours, at 1.30 am on the 2nd day itself craving for more material to learn. As that is the duty of the server to give more food to eat to such people, I have given him plenty up to 4.00 am and he very successfully reproduced all the intricate and typical rhythmical exercises then and there. Even on the 3rd day at the same time I have again given him still more to swallow and I have also initiated him to, in turn, teach all those varieties to all the other kids which he very successfully carried out. Thus, a very highly inspiring atmosphere prevailed and each and every candidate worked very hard enthusiastically which ultimately brought out the amazing success of the workshop.
In total, 16 candidates have participated and, basing upon a typical and intricate rhythmical test eight candidates of them are found meritorious and they have been trained in all these intricate exercises and others followed them. I sincerely hope that some more experts hold such workshops of extended duration periodically in respect of Svarakalpana and Raglapana for the benefit of our kids. amsharma