Watch them glide through their dreams

Watch them glide through their dreams
Childhood must be a journey for our children where we help them discover themselves and step in to the world as a complete individual. In this regard, classical Indian dance and music can be important and effective tools. We all aim to educate our children. Yet, the main essence of this education is somewhere lost in today’s competitive and materialistic ‘score-based society’. Our focus should be to develop the human personality in totality so as to experience and accept the challenges of this wonderful journey we call life.

Contrary to the popular belief, the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of a child does not sum up his or her entire personality and his or her physical body is not the sole armour to guard him or her throughout life. A child’s social, emotional and psychological development forms a strong basis for his or her intellectual and physical wellbeing. These are the three pillars on which the foundation of true education must be laid down.

The balancing of the body, movements of the muscle, head, neck and eye help in keeping the child physically fit, just as yoga or exercise would. Classical dance involves a systematic form of training that needs extreme dedication. The dedication developed during this learning process is naturally inculcated into all aspects of the child’s life. Early on in life, they are taught the value of time, discipline and perseverance. And these values, once imbibed, stay on, and are practised throughout life.

Expressions of emotions
Dance teaches children to express themselves. Feelings of joy, sorrow, anger and pain are all taught to be expressed freely in the most joyous form. It forms a great vent for sorrow, anger and stress, which helps them in understanding and managing their emotions well. This in turn allows them to deal with various situations of life with a balanced state of mind. In medical terms, dance is known to increase the neurotransmitters called endorphins, which in turn increases the state of wellbeing in a person.

The themes of classical dances are mostly based on Ramayana, Mahabharata, Panchatantra etc. So, they form a great source of knowledge of Indian mythology and literature in the most pleasurable form to the child. Children are encouraged to visualise the narrations in their minds and this enhances their imaginative skills. These skills further enhance the quality of their academic pursuits. As children grow and blossom with this great art form, they develop physical and mental strength, emotional stability, self-confidence and admirable knowledge about our rich culture.

Classical music associated with dance has scientifically proven to be a great boost for the brain. It improves verbal memory and IQ level of the child. Grasping of newer languages and increased creativity can be seen in children training in classical music. This training also stimulates the part of the brain that is used for numerical and mathematical skills.

Children being free-spirited, innocent and vulnerable, are easily attracted to the more glamorous and captivating form of entertainment available in abundance today, without understanding the effects on their young minds. We need to gently guide and manoeuvre them to more meaningful and pleasurable forms of learning that will be their best friend for life.

Catch them young
Introducing classical music and dance to children at an early age can take their health, intelligence, creativity, skills and overall personality to a completely different level. There is never a downside to music and dance. But yes, what it does require is a little adjustment and a lot of involvement from us to lead them on and hold them together in this whole process of learning. And the best gift we can give our children today is this opportunity to grow into exceptional individuals with a great mind, body and soul, to embrace life.

True learning should lead to self development and development of society as well. Learning classical art forms in their early years helps children in adapting to a systematic learning process. Learning is often stimulated by rhythm. Studies have proved that learning art forms enhances perception, language and memory. Better reasoning and problem-solving ability are also developed owing to this. Coordination and synchronisation skills too are enhanced, as both the creative and logical sides of the brain are used together.

Yet, each child has his or her individuality. Children must not bear the burden of our dreams and desires. If they do not relate to this form of art, then we should respect and accept that. There are numerous other fields which might interest your child.

As Aristotle rightly said “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” Our larger responsibility lies in helping children realise their interest and teaching them to learn with dedication so that they are educated in the true sense.
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