Learning performing art has many benefits, especially Hindustani classical music. To understand these benefits, let us first ask you a question- Have you ever been to the small towns of Rajasthan? They are the best places to witness struggling artists and singers singing at every nook, grabbing aspiring musicians' attention worldwide. They take you back to the good old days when you used to run carefree, not worrying about how we would have to work to keep our homes and bellies warm.
The only thing we used to worry about back then was why our friend did not come down to play with us. It is a trip down memory lane full of giggles and happy tears. Listening to Hindustani music feels like this. Ever wondered what it feels like to sing it? It must be a spiritual feeling. I have laid down ten reasons why you should learn Hindustani music.
Learning Hindustani music requires a lot of training and patience. If you are a person who is too strict about timings and is all about perfection, then this part should come quickly to you. If not, well then you may struggle but rest assured, it gets easier, not because your Guru goes easier on you, s/he may or may not, but you get used to it over time. The practice of music improves your presence of mind. Singing requires you to stay in tune with the musicians and maintain a pitch, which helps enhance the presence of the mind.
Classical music has a calming effect; it normalizes abnormal blood flow and makes you feel at ease and more peaceful. It improves your mood drastically and hence, helps to cope with depression. It also keeps your mind occupied, keeping negative thoughts, attitudes, and feelings at bay.
Learning how to sing or play an instrument improves your listening skills. You listen to the beats more carefully and time yourself appropriately to make an impact when you raise your pitch and when you suddenly drop it. This practice, in turn, helps you to communicate better. Singing could even help you express your feelings better. You could articulate it musically if you cannot speak about it.
Studies have found that classical music enhances memory retrieval by reorganizing and creating previously dormant pathways. In a study, Raga Bhupali improved memory retrieval among students who listened to it for ten minutes daily. Listening skills enhance our ability to remember what we hear.
Music is the universal language of emotions. There are eight primary emotions associated with Hindustani music: rati or love, hasa or laughter, Soka or mourning, krodha or anger, utsaha or enthusiasm, bhayam or fear, jugupsa or disgust, and finally, vismaya or wonder. Seven introductory notes in Hindustani music relate to these emotions. These emotions help us express ourselves accurately.
In a study, the effects of music elevated the state of anxiety. The results indicate that the background of Indian classical music is highly efficacious in reducing psychological distress. It helps to regulate the heartbeats to calm them down, and singing helps to control their breath. In addition, hindustani music releases dopamine and serotonin and helps balance cortisol levels.
Learning Hindustani music also teaches us the art of being persistent and not giving in so easily to any pressure, no matter how difficult a task may seem. In the end, it all turns out well. However, taking up Hindustani music tests a student's patience because it takes a lot of time to learn how to control the larynx, produce the perfect pitch, and suddenly pick up the pace with the tabla beats. Therefore, the three most important Ps of Hindustani music are patience, practice, and perseverance.
Music helps with the release of the bottled-up feeling. Singing Hindustani music depicts emotions and alleviates our mood after releasing all the withheld emotions. Your body takes it up as a healthy channel to remove all negative emotions. The emotional release helps us feel lighter, more at ease, and more comfortable.
What is the use of Hindustani music in treating traumatized children? Children with PTSD have their 'flight-or-fight response activated all the time. Singing helps them relax; controlling their breath helps with their high anxiety levels. Each chakra symbolizes other functions of the body and the soul. The healing of these chakras helps cope with trauma and the unhealed wounds from the past.
For a musician, music is his dharma. The principle of "dhaarayate it dharma" means virtues worthy of acceptance, which celebrates the natural flow of life without inhibitions. Many religions emphasize singing to build a connection with the Supreme Power. To establish a path of communication that helps us transcendent and take the last journey back to where we truly belong, with Him.
One trip, one beat, one Swara changes us drastically. It could either help us put our pieces back together or pull us apart, questioning the essence of life and setting us on a quest to rediscover ourselves. Singing helps to figure out why we have felt so helpless and lost. It helps us put ourselves back together. It fills in the void we cannot explain to anyone else. So when words fail us, we stick to music. Jack Kerouac, a Beatnik, once said that the only truth is music. I ponder on this quite a lot. In case you are a person who feels any of these feelings, Hindustani music is undoubtedly going to help you.
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