Music is a human expression emotionally and spiritually uplifting and strengthening the individual. It is an essential element in one’s inner development.
Young children have an innate need to make sense of the world. The world of children is replete with fantasy, fun and frolic – the essence being ‘Ananda’. Dr. Karaikudi Subramanian firmly believes that the arts, if introduced early in the life cycle of the child, in their many forms, will provide a natural vehicle through which children would express their interpretation of our world. Music in the early childhood preserves this strong connection to the his original self. In the later stages of Man's life, he connects back with his original self through this powerful tool, Music. COMET attempts to prod the young children to make them assimilate this important element of learning by bringing music education in a structured way. Learning through the arts helps develop decision-making skills, stimulates memory, facilitates understanding, develops symbolic communication, promotes sensory development and encourages creative thinking. Above all it develops cultural values and a sense of belonging, brining an importance and self-worth at an intimate level.
Kids are taught the basic elements of Carnatic music at Brhaddhvani through fun games. Brhaddhvani has incorporated colourful and fun tools to communicate the fundamental elements and the grammar of music. Using Dr. Srikumar Subramanian's "Melakarta cards" and "Mela Pathway", Brhaddhvani has taught the most important invention of the scalar principle, called 'Melakartas', as a fun game of cards.
EVERY CHILD IS AN ARTISTS
Created by Dr. Srikumar Subramanian, the Mela game of cards is an exciting way of introducing kids to the scholar principle of the 72 Melakartas.
Ms. Sowmiya Muralidharan, a student of Dr. KSS and a COMET-graduate, has brought out a visual series of books through her research at Brhaddhvani for presenting COMET through fun filled capsules. She has designed four books for young children “Kid’s COMET 1 & 2” and “Svaritha 1 & 2” accompanied by audio CD for each book. Mrs. M. Sowmiya has brought out the essence of COMET and introduced music colourfully to the very young.
The books will prepare and sensitise children to the whole world of sounds and music. The curriculum is built with a holistic view of the child’s developmental needs as an attempt to provide opportunities for learning, self-expression and self-discovery in a variety of areas such as music, languages, peer play and social and environmental awareness. Recognising that each child is unique and has individual needs, the books have thoughtfully and intuitively integrated activities from the child's perspective. The chapters help the children correlate music with objects, shapes, colours, season, environment and above all society and language. The children are encouraged to actively express their responses to music by making connections with their own experience.
Songs in several languages, often with a tale or a folk lore, makes the learning interesting, colourful and fun. Apart from language proficiency, the books aim to build cultural understanding. A conscious effort has been made to introduce the Hindustani genre of music through songs, rhythm and stories of composers.
In addition to Ms. Sowmya’s effort in introducing the nuances of Carnatic music to children through COMET, Ms. Bombay Jayashri Ramnath and her student Ms. Poornima Sathish later brought the series ‘Mitra’ in 2012 by applying the principles of COMET pedagogy.
I was thrilled to see Ms. M. Sowmiya of Brhaddhvani, (a disciple of Sri S. Rajam and Karaikudi Subramanian) accomplishing the difficult task of introducing and teaching music in the school environment, in a simple, arresting and easy way through her book called ‘Svaritha’. This book is a must for all children from classes 1-3. It not only teaches the basic svaras and talas, but it is intertwined with very colourful illustrations and songs along with a few beautiful stories that help children to develop a passion for music. They are also introduced to musical instruments of our country, all in excellent quality Art paper, which children would love to have themselves.
Dr. Y.G. Parthasarathy
Dean & Director (Academics & Administration), P.S.B.B.S.S Schools