CHENNAI: Ekla chalo re, Ekla chalo re echoed the auditorium of Museum Theatre, Egmore on Thursday. Tiny tots dressed in different colours gathered to celebrate the sixth Annual Showcase of Rhapsody Foundation. Accompanied by Anil Srinivasan on piano, Napier Peter Naveen Kumar on the bass and Krishna Kishore on percussion, the young musicians rendered songs inspired by the poetry of our great national poets like Bharathiyar, Rabindranath Tagore and Mohammed Iqbal. Proud parents captured the priceless moments on their cameras.
Rhapsody Foundation is the brainchild of eminent classical pianist Anil Srinivasan. He founded it with a vision to introduce a multi-genre music intelligence programme in the co-curriculum of schools, helping children from pre-kg and upwards to connect music to subjects and concepts. This is an initiative to specifically reach out to schoolchildren from underprivileged backgrounds. Rhapsody Foundation works with Corporation of Chennai Schools in partnership with NalandaWay, an NGO that works with children.
Every year, the foundation curates its Annual Showcase — where all the students who have been trained at the Rhapsody Foundation come together. These children come from underprivileged communities as well as private schools of Tamil Nadu. “It took only two weeks and a few sessions for the kids to grasp and learn these songs. The entire purpose of music is the idea of building community and Rhapsody is an agent that enables this. The showcase is an opportunity for these children to perform in front of their friends and families. The new board of advisors at Rhapsody will be appointed,” said Anil.
Rhapsody also works with villages in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in partnership with the Agastya International Foundation where ‘Science Through Music’ is taught. Today, Rhapsody has touched the lives of over 3,50,000 schoolchildren in India. Another important focus of Rhapsody is to create Indian Choral Groups, or choirs in every school, to enable children to explore the joy of singing together. Through its curriculum, they are meticulously trained in singing harmonies and composing their own music.
“The curriculum introduces them to human values, the environment, patriotism, genre-bending, introduction to all branches of music, guided listening time, interaction with performing musicians and legends on a regular basis,” said Sudha Raja, principal faculty, Rhapsody Foundation. City-based singer Sharanya Gopinath and Organised Chaos band were also part of the show. The chief guest of the event was K Pandiarajan, Minister for Tamil Official Language, Tamil Culture and Archeology, and Hemalatha Pandiarajan.