Sukanya Purkayastha’s visit to Hillmead Primary School

Written by: Michael Davidson

16 October, 2017

Year 4 children and guitar pupils enjoyed listening to a singer of Indian classical music who visited Hillmead Primary School on Monday 16th October 2017.

Sukanya Purkayastha, a doctoral researcher at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, sang songs from India, Afghanistan and Pakistan, accompanied on guitar by Hillmead guitar tutor Mr Davidson.

Sukanya also told pupils about her singing work in the Bollywood film industry, describing it as an Indian version of Hollywood based in Bombay.

The songs she sang were in Bengali and Hindi languages, but the children enjoyed telling Sukanya about how they made them feel.

Their comments included ‘ it made me feel relaxed’, ‘it made me feel very safe’,  ‘like I was dreaming’, ‘it sounded happy and sad at the same time’, ‘ it sounded like someone was waiting for you’, and ‘it sounded like you were making up your mind to do something!’

Sukanya described how she started learning music by ear from family members when she was aged 2, and that she learnt to read music later aged 12. She said it was important to practice everyday to become good at music.

Sukanya’s academic research is based in Kenya but she very much enjoyed visiting an English school and answering the children’s questions. She thought the school staff and pupils were very friendly.

The session was organised by Hertfordshire Music Service, and funded by a Youth Music grant currently held by the service.

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