Work with rural children
Every Friday morning, since 2013, children congregate at the Swami Dayananda Matric Higher Secondary School in Manjakkudi, near Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, to learn Carnatic music.
They come from neighbouring villages, all 250 of them, sons and daughters of farmers, lorry drivers, domestic workers. Eagerness in their eyes, a spring in their step, they come to learn music. With no background in Carnatic music, it is a joy to see how focused and driven they are in their pursuit, so much so that nothing distracts them and they keep their teachers on their toes!
To teach them, a team comprising of Bombay Jayashri and her students travel to Manjakudi every Friday. Over the last 3 years, we see so many children who have learnt all the songs and are singing so well. One child talks about how she sings when there are tensions in her home. Another talks about how learning korvai patterns helps him in his maths!
Hitham Trust also works with a group of students from Thillaisthanam, a village in Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu. A workshop was held in 2014 with children from the village.
Subsequently, leveraging the power of technology, music classes are held through Skype every Friday evening. The Hitham teachers can see on their computer screens that the children have taken the effort to dress well and come prepared for their class. The children are clearly excited to be learning music.
Dr. Rama Kaushalya, retired principal of Thiruvaiyaru Music College who provides support to the children in the village, works with them throughout the week to practice the songs that have been taught.