Surviving carnatic music lessons with first graders and the like!


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The little girl in the front row kept looking back at me a couple of times before mustering up her courage and asking me with wide eyes ‘ Aunty, have you joined’?

I nod my head and look ahead only to see little Priya straining her neck to meet my eyes and giggling herself to glory. She strains herself further more until she catches Cherry (who is made to sit two kids after her to the left because they always end up talking :D) and they both look back at me, cover their mouth animatedly and giggle further.

I glare at them in mock seriousness and narrow my eyes at Cherry but decide it was best to keep a low profile before the whole of the first row, all of them 1st graders decide to look back at me and laugh.

They can do that, you see because:

1)They are only 6 years of age, an age when you can laugh at something funny not caring about what others think.

2) For all that I know about them,I was damn sure they would!

My fellow batch mates, a boy and a girl, both 6 year old’s are made to sit right in front of the teacher . My daughter who is also in the same class has nicely ditched me and had gone and sat in the front  row with her friend and is busy looking into her music book. I choose the last row, citing a backache so that I could have a back support. Classes starts,the teacher switch on the Sruthi box and asked the senior batch to start singing with sa pa sa, I also join them.

First the senior most batch(It includes woman who are senior to me) is made to sing a raga, then the batch who has begun around 6 months back which includes cherry. She sings well, and in between looks back at me as if to tell me listen and learn well, I am your senior. 😄.

Finally, it is our turn! Teacher explains a few things and teaches us the swaras. And asks us to repeat. Suddenly the whole class goes into pin drop silence and I know there was nothing else to do but sing. The other two kids are singing loudly though their sruthi is not exactly where it should be. The other first graders are laughing but then they do have the advantage of being in that age. For a minute I get these jitters, and the feeling that my voice is stuck in my throat.😁😁I look around and see all of them were keenly looking at me waiting for me to open my mouth and sing.

I start to sing slowly, in a very feeble voice that even I was not sure if I was singing inside my head or outside. Teachers asks me to sing loudly and I am almost ready to run out 😂 I keep singing though my voice is breaking and the first row is sitting literally turning back facing me, giggling. 😱 It must have been a funny sight for them, something they dont get to see everyday.

Darsana, who is sitting next to be being the kind soul she is, starts singing with me slowly.I remembered my music lessons as a kid, maybe around the age of these kids  with my grandmother. She would give me music lessons during my summer holidays when she came to visit us. Those were happy times, and suddenly being in this class reminded me of her and my childhood, summer holidays spend in Willington island with a lot of friends, with a lot people to take care of me, when there was nothing to worry about. Maybe it was for a reason I, who never had the courage to take another music lesson after her decided to restart it at the age of 30!

So letting my inhibitions take a backseat, I start to sing loudly and more confidently. After class Darsana messaged me saying I do have a very sweet voice and I am doing good. I ask cherry was it ok and she says it was horrible 😂. Still I go for the next class and the next until I am made to sing with the 6 month batch which includes my daughter who doesn’t like this arrangement one bit as she gets to loose her seniority tag since we both happen to be in the same batch now. She kept glaring at me in between classes showing her disapproval. 😀 😀

Back home after the last class, I was telling my husband who was keenly watching a football game on tv  how well I was progressing in my music class, and adds the whole theory about the brain ageing and not able to learn something new after a certain age is all  rubbish. “Well that doesnt apply to you’ he says changing the channel and walking to the refrigerator. ‘Eh, why is that so?’ I tag behind him hoping to hear something good about me, something extra genius sorts. He takes out a water bottle, takes a sip, walks and says ‘ You hardly use your brain, it should still be in its babyness, all young” and runs up the stair before I even decode what he really meant!…grrrrr

 

 

3 thoughts on “Surviving carnatic music lessons with first graders and the like!

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