Veejay Sai: The making of a Musical Prodigy

Carnatic Musicians
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Sachi_R
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#1 Veejay Sai: The making of a Musical Prodigy

Post by Sachi_R » 02 Sep 2017, 18:28

Mr. VEEJAY SAI has spoken.

http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/oa8LYCx ... odigy.html

I read it at a rapid clip like someone would between Indiranagar and Trinity metro stations.

Rather a copy paste poor man's RSS feed type of effort.

I feel when we see a Balamurali, Mali, Ravikiran, we see what a supergene mutation of a family tradition and regular musical training (the advantage of Carnatic music) affords. These are definitely musical geniuses.

Mandolin Shrinivas is a prodigy. We find it hard to explain his musical prowess, and insight, merely from the family and education dimensions. So rebirth and samskara comes into the picture.

I feel there would be a few hundred extremely good Carnatic musicians who have shown great potential before the age of ten, and have come good in the long run, too. By applying the prodigy sticker to all of them, we are diluting the discussion and losing our focus.
Remember they got the benefit of an intense training at home from a musical tradition.
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sureshvv
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#2 Re: Veejay Sai: The making of a Musical Prodigy

Post by sureshvv » 03 Sep 2017, 21:13

Sachi_R wrote:
02 Sep 2017, 18:28
Mandolin Shrinivas is a prodigy. We find it hard to explain his musical prowess, and insight, merely from the family and education dimensions. So rebirth and samskara comes into the picture.
Are you sure? Just adapting the mandolin to play Carnatic Music would have needed some adult knowledge and expertise.

The term "prodigy" is too often thrown around loosely and preempts a more careful study of how these geniuses are created/nurtured.
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Sachi_R
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#3 Re: Veejay Sai: The making of a Musical Prodigy

Post by Sachi_R » 03 Sep 2017, 21:18

I think his father played in a village band where Shrinivas discovered a mandolin. He surely had a lot of help from musicians and their cassettes to learn ragas and songs. He also had technical help creating his final instrument with its pickup etc.
But a boy from a village doing all this before he was 12...I call him a prodigy. But perhaps even he wasn't a prodigy, are you saying that?

Yes we shouldn't throw the prodigy tag too easily.
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SrinathK
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#4 Re: Veejay Sai: The making of a Musical Prodigy

Post by SrinathK » 03 Sep 2017, 23:40

I envy the child's mind -- at that age your only job is observing and learning.

It's not like adult minds can't learn -- I could probably learn a language much, much faster now than as a kid if I could put in that level of undivided attention. I mean it took me about the 1st 5 years to speak basic stuff in 2 languages. Surely I can speak basic Sanskrit in a month now with the right kind of training, but where am I going to get 1 uninterrupted month now? It's certainly not the mind, may be the will yes, but the mind is still the most flexible muscle I've got.

The thing that I do miss as a child, is a remarkable capacity for imitation, right down to the tone and the pitch.

Chitraveena Narasimhan himself believes that any child can be trained in the way he trained his children and I think the same techniques can be extended to adults as well -- trouble is with adults, they simply can't take that much proactive effort as children naturally do. Even if they do try, there's every chance of coming across as a fool in the early days, which children mercifully don't have to face. That takes guts.

But here's something interesting -- look at these x-rays of the hand of a 1 year old, 3 year old, 13 year old and 20 years old -- see all that fused bone that didn't exist in the child's hand? Developing it at that age will give that hand capabilities that a fully formed adult hand cannot boast of. The whole bone, cartilage and muscle system will evolve to serve that need. I'd say 13 is already too late in a way !

http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/302083/view

A baby's foot is many orders of magnitude more flexible than an adults. Most of those 70 odd extra bones that fuse later on are located in the hands, feet and the joints. The shoulder joint of a child is also extraordinarily flexible (I don't think the acrominion, the bone to grind against in all those shoulder injuries, has even formed at that point). Any medical authority can confirm.

Their bodies evolve in a way that their mind-body barrier is substantially less than others. Their brains also rewire themselves to be much more receptive to music, sometimes at the cost of other stuff (however that too can be gained with some dedicated effort).
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rshankar
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#5 Re: Veejay Sai: The making of a Musical Prodigy

Post by rshankar » 04 Sep 2017, 07:40

Why on earth are we wasting cyberspace and ATP on something someone the likes of Veejai Sai says or thinks.
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Sachi_R
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#6 Re: Veejay Sai: The making of a Musical Prodigy

Post by Sachi_R » 04 Sep 2017, 08:22

My apologies. It was thoughtless of me to port the link from some Facebook posts into this forum.
Facebook is littered with stuff. And that stuff comes from even worse spaces.
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sureshvv
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#7 Re: Veejay Sai: The making of a Musical Prodigy

Post by sureshvv » 04 Sep 2017, 09:42

This article of Veejay is quite interesting. Thanks Sachi for posting. Let us learn to pick the worthwhile and discuss it and not judge articles based on authorship.
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SrinathK
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#8 Re: Veejay Sai: The making of a Musical Prodigy

Post by SrinathK » 04 Sep 2017, 11:20

@Sachi_R, did you see that x-ray?

I think let's just try and turn this thread into something that might help us keep our neuroplasticity when we get older....
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Sachi_R
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#9 Re: Veejay Sai: The making of a Musical Prodigy

Post by Sachi_R » 04 Sep 2017, 11:42

I will see that x-ray.
Meanwhile, just like we shouldn't judge an article before reading it, whoever is the author, I do think some authors distinguish themselves over time with their style and content.
I did read the article. I did extract the biggest takeaway, viz. attributing prodigious talent as a carry over from the past births. Neither my belief system nor my own understanding of life negates that view.

Now children having more flexible bodies is a universal truth. But what makes a Nadia Comaneci?

There are many incredible instrumentalists. Almost all of them say their incredible level of skill is "practice".

Questions that may remain open, sure keep this thread going. If it helps to remove the bias by rooting out the author's name from the thread title, so be it.. Mods please do it 😀
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