What is music for kids?
In case of singers during ancient days, first, there was devotion to the spiritual energy(called god) and in the process of union with the energy, originated songs which took the tune of various raagas that came to be listed to this day in the form of notes and tunes.
In the present age, children as young as 2.5 or 3 are being sent for music classes where the learning starts with instructions on raagas and then rote learning of the song with beating of cane stick on the floor in the background.(Yes, I've seen it)
Where is the devotion? Young children hardly understand the words that form the song. More than letting them enjoy the words or the song or the tune or letting them hum to their own tune, all that is being focussed by adults is whether the child has learnt a specific song in a specific tune.
Obviously, the teacher is focussed on getting more and more children to sing as she directs and the parent is focussed on how many songs her child can learn in a short duration, whether the child can sing in front of guests or whether the child could sing on the stage when as young as 3 or 4.
I wonder if anyone really cares about how the child feels in this chaos. Young children who spend time in hearing the hymn, understanding and repeating it often by themselves have numerous questions regarding what that word means, why that word was used in that line, and many more whys that follow.
Wonder if any parent can find a true guru for a child in this fast paced comparison oriented world. Or wonder if any parent can try being the child's guru by giving ample time to ponder on the new words, hymns that child comes across, encourage the child to question and just facilitate the child's understanding of the hymn.
Let the young be curious. If learning was only about instructions, it would have long died.
Where there is devotion, the disciple, her voice and her raaga become union with god.