Learner Circle began with the vision of helping kids discover themselves in fun ways. This meant guiding kids in a direction towards identifying their passion. Our vision is to provide a creative platform for children, leading them into a journey of self-discovery.
With this in mind, we have selected a range of activities to keep children positively engaged and mentally stimulated. One of these activities is Carnatic music.
Carnatic music began from ancient Hindu traditions. It was in the late 19th Century that the city of Chennai evolved into the home for Carnatic music. Purandara Dasa, who is the Father of Carnatic music, is responsible for the system that is used for teaching it. Ancient texts attribute the origin of Swaras to the sounds of animals and birds. It states that through man’s keen sense of perception and observation that these sounds were emulated into an art form.
The main elemen of Carnatic music
Sruti or musical pitch: Determined by auditory perception, it is the note from which all other notes are derived.
Swara: It generally refers to a single note. Swara also serves as an educational tool of Carnatic music which consists of seven notes: ‘sa, re,ga, ma, pa, da, ni’
Raga system: It consists of specific rules for movements - up and down the scale.
Tala system: It refers to groups of beats with a fixed time cycle, which is meant for a specific composition
Benefits of Carnatic music
It is said to have numerous benefits and that is why it is still a very large part of our culture today. The creative aspects of Indian music is said to have an immense impact on neural pathways. Some scientists even claim that it helps in cases of Alzheimer’s and dementia too.
In children, the benefits of Carnatic music are wide:
It’s a stress buster
Helps in the development of motor skills
Improved hand-eye coordination
It improves brain functions
It improves listening skills
It enhances mathematic skills
It inculcates a cultural understanding
Impact of Carnatic music on the brain
Do you know what the Mozart effect is? Studies claim that listening to Mozart’s music can enhance mental abilities. Similarly, researchers from multiple Indian Institutes claim that Carnatic music too can have the same effects.
In an experiment, the Malahar raga improved concentration whereas the Kapi raga improved attention.
Carnatic music stimulates the neural pathways that are responsible for spatial reasoning skills. It is said that during a visit to India, Pythagoras indulged in Carnatic music thus taking this beautiful art form to the west. Today, it is claimed that many Western musical notations have their origins in Carnatic music.
How neuroscience is reinventing Music therapy
In a recent ECG study, Dr. Shantala Hegde in her article in ET stated that there are lots of historical references that use certain ragas as adjuvants to Ayurvedic therapy. It was noted that music therapy has evolved from a sound-scientific model towards a more neuroscience model. This model highlights certain elements of Carnatic music and how it affects language, sensor motor activities, and cognitive function.
Music as therapy
The article also touched upon the role of Carnatic music in the reduction of blood pressure. It also helps in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Its beauty instills hope and enthusiasm.
The distinct style and nature of Carnatic music makes it an art form that is more oriented to the voice. It is said that most compositions are written to be sung. Even the compositions for instruments are meant to be performed in ‘gayaki’ style. Hence, it’s growing important in speech therapy.
Mr. Athreya who is the founder of Svarakshema Foundation (music therapy initiative) spoke about the benefits of using the art form Konnakkol for therapy. This art form provides the right platform for speech therapy. It also is highly recommended for children with autism and special needs. It further assists in enhancing memory and improving cognition in children. Carnatic music is also an ideal tool for behaviour management for children with special needs.
The scope of Carnatic music allows space for creative expression and free improvisation. This enables every rendition to be unique in its composition. There are numerous advantages to learning this art form. At Learner Circle, we have curated a sustainable structure that will enable your child to learn from the best teachers from the convenience of your home. Our classes are designed to keep children interactive and engaging. It is said that “Where words fail, music speaks’’ Let your child speak through music.