Kabir Demo Workshop- reflections

Yesterday, as per schedule, we had a demonstration of the Kabir Singing Workshop, and as per my expectations seven people came! The number seven has its own significance for me and I could not miss it at all yesterday when these musical notes came around.

Of course many more wanted to, but could not and naturally enough it is not always easy for people to come for demo-s unless they know what they stand to gain.

So here is how we went about it. I had decided to go with one song- Jaag piyaari ab ka sovae...for it is a simple melody and when we teach people of varying abilities together, it is something I feel everyone can pick up. I shared with everyone the raga that it is largely set in, and then the tala in eight beats- we started one line at a time. I know it was a new experience for some that they had never sung in their lives.

But the sense I got from everyone was that they were happy, relaxed and peaceful with the singing. I took a feedback on a feedback form, just to be sure that I do not miss out on any criticism that comes my way - the only regret everyone had was that it was too short! Everyone has shown interest in wanting to come back and/or take this idea to their respective institutions or organizations.

So what is the Idea behind these workshops?

The idea about the workshop came to me, like I said in one of my earlier posts here, that after I wrote my paper for the Canadian Journal of Music therapy in which I spoke about my own recovery, largely using Kabir's poetry for my health and rehabilitation. It occured to me that many people love Kabir and may be they would stand to gain if I could teach them a bit of singing, and let them experience Kabir inside them, and not just hear it from another throat.

It goes without saying that music teaching is more difficult than music performance, especially for someone who is performance ready. But I feel the need to arrive at an inner balance to balance out these two things, so that my musical ideas also get married to my social altruism; empower people to carry home Kabir into their throats and therefore heart, and possibly open the pathways for their own healing and wellness too. So in effect I am looking at music teaching as also contributing to the wellness of those who participate.

This is the intention that I am starting with- I hope it would find a room in many hearts. The aloofness of musicians who come and perform and enthrall others for a few hours, does not mesmerize me any longer, though it has its own merit. I wish for music to transform, for that is the future of music now- not just musical performances, and all resources towards that alone.

Music belongs to civilization and not just musicians so only when we get past our own selfishness and egoistic craving for adulation byothers, will we transfer it to others, else simply spray it around and leave the scene feeling victorious. That reminds me of the song, Hum ko mann ki shakti dena, mann vijaya karein, doosron ki jay se pehle khud ko jay karein. It is important that we conquor our own greed and lust for power and applause first. Why bother about how much the world applauds us? If we cannot conquor ourselves, we will continuously seek that applause from the world around- if we do, it may not really matter so much.

This is my journey and my struggle- to do what I want to and not necessarily that which brings me fame or money- they are evanescent, not knowledge. And spreading knowledge is the best that I can offer to the world. SO this is one such thing- my best for the rest.

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