Saraswati Chakra – An Innovative Learning Concept

Today on MusicNamaste, we will introduce an artist who has invented something innovative in the field of music. His Name is Sri.L.S.Ramesh. Sri.L.S.Ramesh has a Master of Science in Fluid Mechanics from I.I.T MADRAS. He is currently working as  Assistant General Manager in a shipping company in Chennai.

Sri.L.S.Ramesh has designed and developed an Innovative Music chakra – “Sri Saraswathi 72 Melakarta chakra” through which any one can learn to play all carnatic ragas and western scales music on the keyboard on their own. He was awarded the “Excellence for Innovative Teaching Methods” from CEE(Centre for Educational excellence-New Delhi) for designing this chakra. He received the award from Padmabhushan Dr.Prof.Yashpal in 2015.

This chakra was appreciated by Dr.Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna, Prince Rama Verma and other music legends.

FACES(Food,Aid,Clothing,Education,Shelter) is an initiative started by Sri.L.S.Ramesh and his wife, Mrs.Sridevi to support the 1000 orphans adopted by them in Chennai , Warangal and Bengaluru. We were awarded the prestigious REX Karmaveer Gold medal and Global fellowship by iCONGO in Association with the United Nations ,for the social work of FACES. They connect school and college students to orphanages using innovative social methods.

Website: http://www.faces108.com

Sri.L.S.Ramesh also conducts Music therapy workshops in schools and colleges. The Music chakra is being used to train children with special needs such as Autism,Downs syndrome etc.

In his own words – “Most people feel Carnatic music and music in general ,is beyond their grasp. I wanted to simplify the entire concept and show all the main ragas as a visual tool seeing which it becomes easy to identify with the entire genre of music. Carnatic music is the mother of all world music”.

Lets now understand a bit more about the design of the Saraswati Chakra –

The 72 Melakarta (Main Ragas) have been neatly depicted in the form of a chakra (Wheel) wherein the ragas are clearly shown as ‘dots on an Octave of the keyboard’Playing the dots on your keyboard will bring out the melody of the raga. Each dot represents a swara sthana (Position of a note).

FOR EXAMPLE MAYAMALAVAGAULA-MELAKARTA NUMBER 15 is depicted below – 

Side one contains 36 Suddha Madhyama Ragas which are categorized under respective Chakra heads,for example Indu Chakra has 6 Melakarta Ragas Namely Kanakangi, Ratnangi ,Ganamurthi, Vanaspathi, Manavathi and Danarupi. Similarly other Chakras Netra, Agni ,Veda, Bana and Ruthu chakras with their respective Melakarta ragas are depicted with swara sthanas as Dots.

This pattern of dots can be seen and played even by a novice to reveal the particular raga.

Side 2 has the remaining 36 Prathimadhyama Ragas depicted with chakra names Rishi, Vasu Brahma, Disi, Rudhra and Adithya with each chakra comprising 6 Melakarta Ragas each. For example Rishi chakra has the Melakartas from 37 to 42 .

It is interesting to observe the following in the Music chakra:

1) As an example if we take Melakarta 29 (Dheerashankarabharanam) and add 36 to this we get the corresponding Prathimadyama Melakarta raga (29+36=65) Mechakalyani which is very similar to Dheerashankarabharanam except for the MA note.

This helps students to quickly grasp the swara stanas and visualize the raga patterns.

2) The below table shows a comparative list of Carnatic,Hindustani and western scales

CARNATIC

HINDUSTANI

WESTERN

SHANKARABHARANAM

MELAKARTA -29

BILAWAL

C-MAJOR

NATABHAIRAVI

MELAKARTA-20

ASAVARI

C-NATURAL MINOR

KEERAVANI

MELAKARTA-21

KIRWANI

C-HARMONIC MINOR

GOWRIMANOHARI

MELAKARTA-23

PATDEEP

C-MELODIC MINOR

 

USE OF THE MUSIC CHAKRA TO HELP CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS –AUTISM ,DOWNS SYNDROME

Children with autism or Downs syndrome are very good at identifying patterns and Music is a language they understand best.

Parents and teachers of special children can learn from this Chakra and teach .

Research has shown how Playing an instrument helps in Brain development .When a person plays an instrument the Left and Right hemispheres of the brain get activated and the motor neurons become more active to help send or receive signals.

Mr.Ramesh conducts Lecture-demo and workshops for Schools,Colleges and corporates on “MUSIC-WHAT,HOW AND WHY TO PLAY MUSIC.”

To contact Sri.L.S.Ramesh further, please send a request through the form below.