Revolutionizing the Realm of Classical Music: ShrotaHouse’s Unique Approach to Engaging Children

by Barbara

In a groundbreaking endeavor to ignite a passion for classical music within the hearts of young minds, Madhumita Bhaskar, based in Bengaluru, is paving the way with her innovative venture, ShrotaHouse. Firm in her belief that the best time to introduce children to the world of music is during their formative years, Madhumita, along with her husband Karthik Ramchandra, founded ShrotaHouse in November 2020. What sets this interactive music startup apart is its mission to create an organic ecosystem within Indian classical music, bridging the gap between artistes, rasikas, children, and parents.

Madhumita, a trained Hindustani vocalist, has harnessed her creativity to engage young minds through pioneering methods. Among her initiatives, the ‘Little Khayal’ series shines as a beacon of innovation. This series offers children the unique opportunity to interact directly with established artistes. In a recent episode, young Jagannath posed intriguing questions to renowned Carnatic vocalist Sikkil Gurucharan, diving into his musical journey and the choices that shaped it. This captivating session, streamed on ShrotaHouse’s YouTube channel, is just one example of the immersive experiences the startup offers.

In a refreshing twist, the ‘Little Khayal’ series empowers children to delve into the minds of senior musicians, asking about their personal journeys, sources of inspiration, valuable advice, and role models. This platform not only fosters artistic exchange but also nurtures a deeper connection between generations.

Madhumita’s own journey is a testament to the transformative power of music. Trained under the guidance of Hindustani musician and professor Milind Malshe, she lent her voice to children’s audiobook series and even made a mark in Hindi cinema. While her path may not have been that of a performing artiste, Madhumita has found her calling in sharing her musical wisdom and skills with children. “We need to catch them young. It’s important that we introduce them to our rich art and culture,” she passionately asserts.

The spark for launching a classical music startup was ignited by Madhumita’s own child. Observing the positive impact of music on her toddler, she realized the potential of creative musical pedagogy to benefit not only her child but also countless others and their parents. The journey of ShrotaHouse gained momentum when it secured coveted positions in the IIM-B NSRCEL incubation programme, Microsoft Startups, and The Gain.

Among ShrotaHouse’s innovative offerings is ‘Madhu’s Swar Sketches,’ a Hindustani vocal class module tailor-made for children. This module ingeniously incorporates art activities to illustrate complex musical concepts such as raags, rhythm, and pitch notes. Madhumita observes, “Children enjoyed listening to the lively raag Bhupali, equivalent to Carnatic Mohanam.”

The name ‘ShrotaHouse’ aptly encapsulates the startup’s mission. Derived from the term ‘shrota,’ meaning ‘listener,’ the startup aspires to cultivate a new generation of rasikas, or appreciators of classical music. Beyond the ‘Little Khayal’ series, the ‘Musical Book Tour’ events invite families to enjoy vocal and instrumental performances by children while interacting with musicians across Bengaluru. The initiative ‘Colour and learn with little Bajo’ introduces children to instruments through books filled with sketches, photographs, and even QR codes with corresponding sounds.

ShrotaHouse’s journey over the past nine months has been nothing short of remarkable. The startup has successfully conducted 11 book tours in Bengaluru and one in Chennai. Buoyed by the resounding positive feedback, Madhumita envisions taking these tours nationwide, sharing the joys of classical music with diverse audiences.

As ShrotaHouse prepares for the third season of the ‘Little Khayal’ series, an exciting audition process will be implemented. Selected children and parents will undergo rigorous training, enhancing their skills and deepening their engagement with classical music. Through this process, ShrotaHouse continues to forge a path that not only connects generations but also ignites a lifelong love for the rich heritage of Indian classical music.

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