Gentle breeze by the lakeside. Women and Men of all walks of life. Short eats being sold. Minimal yet stunning stage set-up. Storytellers from around the world sharing their journeys through music. This experience would then shift to a larger space in the evenings where more storytellers, performers would share their stories and involve themselves in a dialogue with the hundreds who were turning up to listen to them. All of this for free-the only investment being time from our side and this was a more-than-worthy investment in a long time. I am talking about the Udaipur World Music Festival 2018.
I was fortunate enough to be witness to this spectacle and did take in a lot of learning. I am thankful to a dear friend who knew one of the bands back from college and got us a privileged access to the backstage. What I noticed there was a contrast in lives. One of the members of the band said “Aap log gaon mein rehte ho. Itna sukoon hain(You guys stay in the village. It is so peaceful)”.
I thought to myself as to how perspectives define a lot of things. It seemed peaceful to them and their life seemed amazing to me. They get to travel and perform amidst varied cultures, languages, tastes and how their music reaches out to so many parts of the world. When they came on stage and performed, the crowd which comprised of people from other parts of the country as well as the world, swayed and grooved, irrespective of whether they understood the lyric or not.
I saw this happen on all the three days of World Music. The performers were from different countries and spoke in different tongues. Yet when they performed and asked us to sing, dance, sway in their language, the words did not matter to anyone. It was their actions, the energy which connected with us in the crowd. Baile, Danza, เต้นรำ, Saltar weren’t important.
Could this be related to the classroom sessions we have? Why do we think of language as a barrier in the schools we teach? Especially for people like me who come from a different state, speak a different language and the kids having a minimal understanding of Hindi. The performers on stage did not seem to take the language into consideration at all but were more focused on their energy, the clarity in instruction through their bodily actions and the confidence with how they handled the crowd. In the process, learning words which were never heard of before.
How do we as teachers create this experience for the children as well? Can we become these Rockstars for the children? The aura, the confidence, the way in which they carried themselves. We as teachers can do this, provided we plan, rehearse and then execute. Every performer on stage, irrespective of the number of performances they have given; Plan, rehearse and then execute it on stage. It is not spontaneity, except a few moves here and there. If we as teachers, plan our lessons, rehearse and then execute it, I am sure they will be as effective and charged as these performances.
If you are wondering why I am stressing on Planning, Rehearsing and Executing multiple times, that is because of its importance in everyone’s lives I feel and especially that of a teacher’s. We are the Real Rockstars for these children and let us not disappoint them by going unprepared into classrooms.
Try it and let me know how it works for you. It seems to be working for me.
So until the next time, Happy Planning | Happy Rehearsing | Happy Executing and as always Happy Teaching.