With studies and stiff competition at school taking a toll on children, some parents have started looking at music education as a stress reliever with therapeutic effects.
“My son has been leaning percussion instruments for over five years now. I have seen that he is more alert after his regular practice sessions,” says Neeta Vashisht, mother of 12-year-old Neel, a student at J’s Harmony, a music school. An event at the school showed that some of the children were taking it much more seriously and had become good with the instruments of their choice.
Manisha Singhal, a clinical psychologist at Apollo and Indogulf hospitals, says extra-circular activities are as important as studies. “Taking part in activities like music, sports and dramatics parallel to studies can be great stress busters, especially for those children who have long study routines. Nowadays parents are looking for the overall personality development of children rather than focussing only on studies,” she adds.
One of the parents at Delhi’s Rhythm n Blues, another music school, said while they were not looking at music as a vocation, the music would become an integral part of the growth of these children. “This learning and the performances give them a chance to play to their strengths. And since each child is as good as the other, it also prepares them for the competition ahead in a healthy way,” she said, without giving her name.
Ruhi Bhatia, whose son Yuvraj was one of the children performing, thinks such events boost the confidence of children and make them strive for more. “These also show the students where they stand in comparison to the others and also give them a stronger motive to improve their act,” she adds.
Dr Singhal says children who are weak in studies and under pressure from parents to score good grades usually do better when they are exposed to such activities. Jitender Pal, founder of J’s Harmony, agrees: “It fills us with pride that children take music as seriously as their school curriculum. Thankfully, some parents also insist that children learn music rather than sit behind books or play video games all the time.”
“While these classes open many good career opportunities, it also makes children multitalented personalities,” says Dr Singhal. “With such students improving their concentration on studies, we can overlook the need for meditation and other such activities.”