‘‘I created songs to remember formulae and complex electronic circuits during my engineering days.’’

Shankar Mahadevan, singer, musician, engineer, teacher in conversation with BW Educations's Francis Joseph

Q: What is Physics Theater? 

We have been talking to the Our mission is “Joy of Music”. We constantly strive to find fun ways for children to learn music. I believe that every human being learns things out of curiosity or just for the fun of it. In keeping with that mission, we look for ways where we can kindle curiosity. About a year ago, I was talking about how I used to create songs to re-member formulae and complex electronic circuits during my engineering college days. My partner and college classmate Sridhar Ranganathan took this conversation seriously and worked with our Hindustani Music and Pedagogy Advisor TaraKini to come up with this concept of Physics Theater.

Q:But how Physics and music?

Concepts in Physics are made more interesting by combining inter-disciplinary concepts from art, movement, music, fundamental values and theater. This course will enable a set of students to create a storybook, script a play, complete with art,props, simple movement and background music score for a specific concep tin Physics. We plan to expand this to other curricula discipline. Each course will explore one concept in Physics and the students will rehearse and put together a play for their family and friends.

Q: Do you think such ideas will work with children?

In my opinion, children get attracted to play way methods. You may remember the simple ice cream wala who used to come with these small balls and would fill it with some liquid cream and then rotate them in a drum of ice and out came a solidice cream. Later, I found out that he was using the concept of “freezing mixtures”. That simple practical visual treat connected me to the concept of freezing mixtures and I do not think I can forget the concept for life. We plan to have children create and recreate these experiences with facilitators who would help them along.

Q: How does this fit into a Music Academy?

As a music academy, we strive to find ways to get children interested in mu-sic. We will bring the Physics Theater live with the help of some of our music teachers. I am positive that out of 100 children who go through this course, a few will want to pursue some-thing further in music, some in dance, some in theater,some in art and of course,many in Physics. The point is, when children are ex-posed to various things,they will find their natural aptitude in something we would have not ever imagined. I strongly believe thatthe more our children get exposed, the better choices they can make.

This article was published in BW Education issue dated 'April 7, 2017' with cover story titled 'BW Education Inaugural Issue April-May 2017'

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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