KOCHI: Music, be it vocal or instrumental, has therapeutic powers. It can calm a restive mind. Studies have proved that learning percussive skills raises the self-esteem of children, apart from reducing depression, anxiety and learning disabilities. Taking a cue from this, percussionist Kalapeedom Biju K Marar, a Travancore Devaswom employee attached with the Thrikkakara Vamanamoorthy temple, is setting a ‘new tone’ in the conventional teaching practice of percussion instrument ‘chenda’.
Beyond the cognitive rigours of learning the instrument, over the years, he has been exploring ways to create a rhapsody in the hearts of thousands of children. “I have taught over 3,000 children over the past 15 years without charging a single penny,” Biju said. Manassa Abhimanew, an engineering graduate whose ‘arangettam’ was held last year, said:
“I was dissuaded by many when I joined for training two years ago, saying the field was traditionally a male-dominated one. But I have completed the training successfully.” Now, many in the age-group of 45-50, including businessmen and Infopark employees, are taking Chenda lessons under his tutelage. Even the well-off are not charged for learning lessons.