Basavalingayya S Hiremath

Arts Education

Grant Period: Over one year

Basavalingayya S Hiremath has rendered notable service in folklore studies of Karnataka over 30 years contributing extensive research, study and recording of folk songs. He houses an extensive library of publications, audio visual recordings, and rare images of north Karnataka folk forms. He started the Folk Research Centre initially at Kittur in 1994 and then moved it to Dharwad, the home of artists, writers and poets. He believes that these songs and their indigenous contexts provide a rich source of reference for music education in the school environments. 

Basavalingayya’s project Shikshanadalli Janapadada Moola Sele Hosa Sele (New Waves of Folk Music in Education) is a year-long engagement with sixth grade students, in the Government Higher Primary School, Saptapura, Dharwad. He will work with the students once or twice every week through the academic year.  With the use of in-depth participant-trainer method, the various descriptions and interpretations of Sobane Pada, Gigi Pada, Tatva Pada and festival songs of North Karnataka will be introduced to children by contextualising them with personal stories. On one hand teachers would develop fresh pedagogies from these songs in the classroom and on the other, the musical elements of each applicable song would be used to suit learning objectives of the day’s lessons.

The cultural values and expressions embedded in these folk songs are also the focus of this project. He stresses the need for folk music education in classrooms so that students can be exposed to the making and performing of community music of different types thereby enabling them to understand how communities function as a collective. He believes that this understanding will also enhance the academic performance of the students. These songs have been used judiciously by many writers in modern Kannada literature as well. The project also attempts to simultaneously introduce the children to contemporary artistic practices as traditional folk forms through workshops by theatre practitioners and scholars. This will result in a series of monthly productions that the children put together from their learnings. The grant outcome will be a book containing folk songs collected by the children through the yearlong project. A public stage performance will also be put up by the students at the end of the project.

This grant was made possible with support from Citi India.