Prerna Gupta, founder EdUstrums, is a budding amateur artist who aims to design non-conventional methods for education. She has done her MBA from IRMA and has worked with handicraft organizations like FabIndia, URMUL, Rangsutra and Kalaraksha. She started writing vocabulary songs to build up her own vocabulary, way back in 2008 when she was preparing for MBA entrance exams, and EdUstrums is her effort to share her learning methods with the students across the world.
Prerna Gupta in an interaction with Ekta Srivastava, Education Technology on how music can enhance the way of learning among students
Tell us something about Edustrums. Curriculum and ideologies of the Center.
EdUstrums is all about Education (Ed), You (U), and Music (Strums). It has been scientifically proven that music helps in memory building and emotional healing, and EdUstrums tries to apply this magic of music into the education system. Almost every day we hear or read about ever-increasing stress levels among students, especially among those who are preparing for various competitive exams. EdUstrums tries to bring educational songs which have some motivational theme to inspire students while they learn.
Being at its incipient stage, currently, EdUstrums is focusing on English vocabulary for higher class/college students. At present EdUstrums is reaching out students through its online website, youtube channel and facebook page. We try to release a new song, covering almost 20 difficult words, in every 45 days.
Why Music and How Music can help in developing a child vocabulary?
Why music? Well, at a very personal note, if I am sitting idle, or if I am feeling stressed out, the first thing I do is to play some music on my phone. In fact, when I travel in trains, buses or flights, I can see that most of the fellow passengers prefer to listen to some music to entertain themselves during their journey time. So, there is some connection between music and us. Music has the power to alter mood and feelings. Upbeat, rhythmic music can act as an energy booster and revitalize the listener, inspiring them to stay alert and maintain a cheerful attitude.
Also, it has been scientifically proven that music helps in memory building. Music provides a rhythm, a rhyme and often alliteration, and hence acts as a powerful mnemonic device. The melody encourages repetition and thus memorization.
Do you think India still lags in the adaption of Music as a tool for various sectors like education, health, therapy etc?
To some extent, yes. India has amazing traditional musicians in places like Assam, Bengal, Rajasthan etc, where music is passed on from one generation to another. But talking about pan India, there are so many students who hardly get any musical training in their formal schools. With ever-increasing competition in the education sector, many families prefer their children to study extra tuitions for their exams, rather than to learn music in some music classes. Digital visual aids like animation and video lessons are being widely used by many schools and colleges for educating their students, but music is still limited to junior school poems and rhymes.
What’s your intake on parent engagement? What importance does it hold in a student’s life?
As we say, education begins at home, parent engagement is vital for a child’s development. Parents are not only their children’s first teachers, they are the only teachers children have throughout their entire life. School teachers, contended with large classes and limited budget, cannot give individual attention to each student. And, more than bookish knowledge, it is the parents who can impart better cultural and moral values to their children.
What makes Edustrums a distinguished centre as compared to others?
EdUstrums is an online channel to provide education through non-conventional methods like music. Our educational songs can be accessed by students for free, anytime and anywhere. There is some motivational theme behind every song. Our focus is not only education and music, but also on mental health and personality development of students.
How Edustrums is developing Life Skills preparedness among children of the new century?
EdUstrums doesn’t focus on mere bookish knowledge, but it tries to put some elements of attitude, optimism, motivation, confidence, ambition, persistence and creativity in their curriculum. Nowadays music has changed a lot, and one can find children singing songs which often talks about alcohol, parties, love affairs, etc. EdUstrums tries to bring more meaningful songs which students can listen anywhere and anytime, get motivated, and also build their vocabulary.
Future Plans of the Edustrums in making a strong focus in early year education.
After seeing student’s response for our current project, we might expand to different subjects and also for students of different classes. We also wish to make music as a separate subject for small children since singing or playing some musical instrument has far more impact on brain development than mere hearing it.