At the PRAGNYA family we had the wonderful opportunity of listening to Carnatic music performed by one of our Ally Champions, Pranav Uppiliappan, student of Guru Smt. Reema Pillai. It was a divine experience where our PRAGNYA family sat transfixed for over an hour and 15 mins listening to his full-fledged Carnatic Classical concert culminating with a beautiful Harivaraasanam bhajan that everyone sang along to as part of the recital experience. Our kids sat mesmerized through the 1 hour 15 mins concert proving Music unites ... music ignites in every soul a spark of hope. Bringing this music to our kids (#AutismSpectrum or otherwise) is a #PRAGNYA prerogative since we believe that Music, like Love knows no language and is universally understood by any human being. With love, music and the love of music, PRAGNYA bridges the gap between the neurotypical and the neurodiverse communities by creating experiences that are enriching, pleasurable and engaging. Our neurodiverse children sit with their neurotypical peer allies and learn through positive peer pressure to take in the nectar of music being served to them, through the performance. Typically, children who are neurodiverse do not get to enjoy the concert experience, since parents are worried about them being disruptive, having shorter attention spans, or even ruining the concert experience for the neurotypical population through their "anticipated" behaviors. Acculturation is the process where we desensitize our neurodiverse children to different settings, by removing the fear of judgement, exclusion and rejection and sensitize the neurotypical community to the world of neurodiversity and the way they react to different settings, familiarizing each community with the ways of each other so they become comfortable with each other and help each other thrive. So, if a child were to get up and run during a concert, it would not take away from the concert experience itself and likewise, if a child who is used to not sitting and listening to a concert, sees his or her neurotypical peers / allies encouraging him to sit and enjoy, yet not judging him for doing otherwise, the child tends to reciprocate the acceptance and embraces the experience.
Pranav accompanied on the Mridangam by Sri. Ganapathiraman Vishwanathan and on the violin by Sri. Rupesh Kartha.
Pranav is 16 years old, a Junior at Cupertino High School. He has been learning carnatic vocal for the past 7 years under the tutelage of Smt. Reema Pillai. Pranav has performed several times in the Bay Area at programs such as: OSAAT, Maitry Utsav, SPARK, Tyagaraja Aradhana festivals, and has performed before Vidwan Shankaran Namboodiri.
Shruthilayam and Reema Pillai:
Shruthilayam school of music was founded by Smt.Reema Pillai in 2011. The Carnatic vocal classes provide a very peaceful atmosphere and each student is given individual attention, adequate training and proper guidance at all the stages helping them to nurture their talents.
For the past 6 years, Shruthilayam talents have been performing in Bayarea during the auspicious occasions of Navarathri, Ganesha chathurthi, Vasantha navarathri, Adhirudra celebrations, Shivarathri and Tyagaraja festivals organized by LOTUS and SIFA. Students also participated in competitions like Osaat, Maithry Utsav, FOMMA, SPARK, BATA and have won prizes in various classical music categories.
Reema started learning music at the age of 5 and she did her arangetram at the age of 10
She had undergone training in Carnatic Vocal Music in Kerala under Sri.Chandramana Narayanan Namboothiri for over 18 years. To name a few of her achievements, she won "Sangeetha Yuvaratna Award 2003" presented by Shadkala Sangeetha Sabha, Kerala.Also, she participated in the South Asian University Competition held at Nagpur and won gold medal.
Rupesh Kartha - Violin artist
Rupesh has been performing in the bay area for the past several years. He has played in numerous carnatic concerts, music fusions and dance programs. His gurus include, Shri MN Sathyamurthi, Shri Nedumangadu Sivanandan, Smt. TH Lalitha, Smt. Srimathi Brahmanandam and Smt. Anuradha Sridhar. He also teaches carnatic violin.
Ganapathiraman Viswanathan:Ganapathiraman is a senior disciple of Sri.Ramesh Srinivasan, founder and director of Sarvalaghu Percussion Art Center and leading disciple of Mrudangam Maestro ‘Sangeeta Kalanidhi’ Sri Vellore G.Ramabhadran. He had his initial tutelage with T.Balasubramanium - disciple of Ghatam Legend ‘Padma Shri’ Vikku Vinayakram. He has been performing for various bay area programs and artists for over 12 years and is blessed and thankful to his parents to introduce the art form at an early age.
Ganapathiraman has performed in various Bay area programs such as Thyagaraja, Annamarcharya Silicon Andhra, Punrandaradasa ( Kannada Koota) celebrations) and TV recordings(SwaraLehari) for over 8 years and took part in the unique Taala Vaadhya ensembles ‘Laya Vinyasam' conducted by Sarvalaghu Percussion Art Center in Cleveland Thyagaraja Aaradhana festival.
He had accompanied many budding vidwans and leading bay area performers, and has provided Mrudangam support for many bharatanatyam and Kuchupudi dance programs including dance arangetrams, dance drama performances and individual performances.
Ganapathiraman is thankful to his Guru Sri Ramesh Srinivasan for providing the platform to impart this art form to the next generation. He is a faculty at Foster City and had been teaching budding vidwans for the last 8 years.