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Region 4 - Music Workshop

Saturday 22nd September 2012

45 people from across Region 4 attended the Music Workshop held at Soar Valley College in Leicester. The programme began with Yashwant Patel a “Transfomational Coach” by profession who spoke on the spiritual significance of taking God’s Name, especially through group devotional singing , its power and its importance in counter acting the negativity that exists on Mother Earth today . For music and singing to come from the heart, confidence is vital and this in turn will be possible if we feel worthy and have a feel good factor about ourselves.

Next came Tofail Ahmed an artist with phenomenal talent in classical music, who has trained under Ustad Sabri Khan, Ustad Mussharat Ali Khan and many other music maestros. He has performed at many prestigious events, staging Ghazals, Thumri, bhajans and Sufiyana Kalams. He introduced the morning raga, the romantic raga and the evening raga by singing OM. This was followed by an amusing interactive session of “Vocal Keep Fit”- when we had to repeat several patterns of the 7 notes of Sa,Re,Ga,Ma,Pa,Na,Ni,Sa. Most of us ran out of puff trying to keep up with him! These vocal exercises would be very useful at the beginning of each bhajan session, to help singers reach scales, intonation and strength in voice.

After Lunch we had Kadie Ann Williams from Emmanu-El Apostolic Gospel Academy who kept us enthralled with her talk about the history of Gospel music- fusion of African Rhythms and Christian teachings. I never knew that some of the Gospel songs were actually coded messages used by the American slaves as communication between themselves. She shared the experiences of members of her choir who had come from very difficult backgrounds and how the power of music and prayer had totally changed their lives. The members of the choir were now one big family, helping and inspiring each another.

The youth had prepared a stimulating interactive PowerPoint presentations based on Swami’sTeachings about bhajans. We learnt about an experiment conducted by scientists on the effect of various types of music on plants. Next the audience had to translate the meaning of given bhajans and give a view on the mood of the composer who wrote the bhajan. I learnt something that I never knew before- Swami has suggested that we practise a bhajan 100 times before we sing it at the centre so that the pronounciation, the words, the meaning and the feeling get engraved in our hearts!!

A very inspiring and enjoyable day!!
Nalini Randall

Music Workshop Article

This year on 22nd September 2012, we were given a wonderful opportunity to take part in a Musical Workshop. Over 40 devotees from Region 4 gathered to embrace the significance of music and bhajan singing. The day started with uplifting bhajans, followed by an introduction by Jenni Robson – our Region 4 Spiritual Coordinator.

We were then given a talk highlighting the spiritual significance of taking God’s Name by Yashwant Uncle from Birmingham. He spoke about the importance of devotion and the impact that music has on the body, mind and spirit. It was an inspiring talk that left us all with a wonderful message to take home! We were then introduced to another guest speaker, Tofail Ahmed who is an independent music professional. He explained about the octaves on a harmonium and compared the way the symbol “Aum” is written to the way the “Aum” is actually pronounced and recited.

In the afternoon, we had interactive sessions which were led by brothers Bhavin Solanki and Mukund Prajapati. They took us through a presentation about the importance of Bhajan singing. We discussed why we sing Bhajans, how many times we should practise Bhajans, knowing the meaning of the Bhajans and most of all why we should sing from the heart. They showed us a video of Swami to make the meaning of the messages clearer. They emphasised that it is always important to sing from our hearts to Swami and not just sing for the sake of singing.

Our final guest speaker for the day was Kadie Ann, who was from the Gospel Choir in Leicester. She was brilliant and showed us how the choir has transformed their group and how we should remove the bad by sing good. She then finished off with a lovely song from the choir named, "Swing Low Sweet Chariot". The song was about ways in which the slaves communicated without their Masters knowing.

From this music workshop, we have learnt many different things. One being what effect music can have on each and every one of us and also how it has a miraculous effect on everything around us including nature. Overall, it was a very inspirational day for everyone and we all had a spiritual and wonderful day. We definitely look forward to the next music workshop.

"Where ever My glory is sung, I installed Myself there." – Baba

Karishma Tanna & Trisha Patel