Musician Alphons Joseph is all set for a revolution. He not only wants to leave his signature in the music industry, but also wants the coming generation to grow musically inclined. Because, he believes art plays an integral part in developing a child’s behaviour. “It makes them better human beings,” he says. For that, he has launched a programme titled Kinder Music Land, which he claims to be the first-of-its-kind in Asia. “In our culture, we start art education late, say only after children reach Class III. However, it will be good if we expose them to music during their formative years, i.e, from four to eight years. Through our venture, we intend to give music education to children from the age of four,” said Alphons Joseph at a press meet held in Kochi ahead of the World Music Day.
“This thought struck me when I visited a friend in the U.S. There, children step into the world of music at this age. They learn basics of music through games, colouring, stories and other fun activities. Here, we don’t have such a system in our education. Kinder Music Land curriculum tries to fill that gap,” says Joseph, who spent four years to shape the curriculum.
He limited his commercial projects to concentrate more on this. And, he says, he could successfully implement it at Crossroads, his music school in Kochi. “During this time, I was part of a joint experimental study performed on expectant women by Dr M.F. Davis from Medi Musictech, Sharjah, and a group of doctors from Narayanan Medical College and Hospital, Andhra Pradesh. I composed music tracks in three child-positive Indian ragas — shankarabharanam, mohanam and neelambari — which were played to a dozen infants in-utero. The mothers hailed from different socio-cultural and economic backgrounds. Responses of fetuses exposed to music were remarkable compared to those who were not. It shows the power of music,” says Joseph.
He wants our education system to have a skill-oriented pre-school system so that children will be able to explore their talents. “Don’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,” says Joseph. “Each child is unique, and we have to find out and nourish their forte. If we judge them just as in the fish’s case, it will ruin their confidence. That is where the necessity of skill-oriented system comes. When a child’s talent is boosted, he or she will automatically excel in other fields,” he adds.
He also stresses the need of in-depth knowledge of music and technology. “I know many extremely talented musicians who fail to flourish as they lack technical knowhow. At the same time, there are musicians who lack extensive knowledge about music, but excel in the field due to their technical expertise. Technology is good; it has empowered the industry. So, it is imperative to equip our children with expertise in both areas. In our school, we make sure it happens,” says Joseph.
The logo of the Kinder Music Land was unveiled by music director M. Jayachandran at the venue. Right now, Alphons gives classes at his school, and a few other institutions he has associated with in the city. And, he hopes that the culture will grow more in future, thus creating a ‘musical generation’....