BHUBANESWAR: In the packed auditorium of a City hotel, when pianist and educator Anil Srinivasan uttered- ‘X plus Y whole square’ while conducting his musical masterclass at 8th edition of Odisha Literary Festival 2019, it took no time for the audience to expand the mathematical formula - an accurate and ‘obvious’ response made with spontaneity!
But, the unconventional musician had an objection to the reply. “It’s just an expression. It has been drilled into our minds, thanks to the methodical educational system of our country,” he said.
Thereafter, he created a song with the ‘expression’ to let the audience unburden their programmed minds with the healing and soothing effects of music. Because, as he put it, music can activate more than 2700 neurotransmitter in our body as soon as it a tune is played.
He made the audience shut their eyes for 30 seconds and think of a song they liked. The outcome was something that most hadn’t experienced in their lives previously.
As music was being played in the minds, a few swayed a little and others smiled. And, the educator succeeded in letting the audience know about the magic of music.
In his session ‘Music in the mind’, the Chennai-based pianist insisted that music works on the brain as it is a cognitive facilitator. He is known for making a dent in the education system in Tamil Nadu with music.
Five years back, he had launched his musical project of teaching school children-‘Rhapsody Through Music’, reaching out to more than three lakh school children in at least 160 schools.
At OLF, he informed the audience how music can be used for seeking answers. “Music is not only about entertainment,’ he claimed. It can boost creativity in students by the ‘mix and match’ process. Just as the ‘Sankarabharanam’ raaga becomes ‘Mohana’ by slight rearrangement or replacement of notes, music helps one learn the principles of additive, reductive, and replacement creativity.
“You can experience yourself. Music allows you to do that,” he said. It also triggers immediate response from the listener, he added.