When Learning Music Becomes Child’s Play

Written by Krishnan Sivaramakrishnan on 28 March 2019

Getting a four-year old to sing online is no child’s play as one of the music teachers at the Shankar Mahadevan Academy  recently found out during a  Grow With Music session.  

Pradyumnan Dhamotharan, 4-year old, resident of Chennai, would not sing when his teacher Manasi asked him to. “I would try to teach him swaras in every class. And I would struggle as he would not respond, and used to just sit and not respond,” she recalls.

Not one to be put off, Manasi wondered how to create a path that would advance Pradyumnan toward learning swaras—the lesson for the day. Insights come in a flash. Manasi was rewarded with one.

What can break the inertia, and set the lesson in motion, she asked herself. Cars, of course!  Pradyumnan loves cars, his father had once told her. Asking him to fetch his cars and lay them in front of the computer was her job of the moment. Pradyumnan, as can be expected, obliged—with renewed enthusiasm!

Manasi’s next question was what will make Pradyumnan turn the ignition key—sing the swaras? Insight no. 2: Cars are swaras; seven cars = seven swaras. She asked Pradyumnan to touch every car, and sing a swara for each car. Pradyumnan contested the idea, but went along with it eventually. Handbrake off, the lesson moved ahead, and Pradyumnan reached the destination of his lesson.

Manasi gave Pradyumnan a familiar vehicle (his cars), placed him firmly on the driver’s seat, and changed the path of learning (each of your seven cars is a swara; touch each car and sing a swara).

Manasi’s brilliant insight hooked into the prime interest spot of her less-willing learner and helped him to advance to a learning milestone.

In familiar terrain, Pradyumnan drove home.

When cars are musical notes, children get the drive to learn.  

As we say - very well hooked!

For your information

Grow With Music is a 3-month program from the Shankar Mahadevan Academy that takes 2- to 12-year old kids on a tour around the magical land of music. Want your child to go on this tour? Read all about the program, and jump aboard from this page.