Train kids in music to curb violence, say experts
KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghan musicians complain though improvements have been made in the area of music, yet special children’s training in this performing art has been ignored.
They say music, theatre, painting, calligraphy, sculpture, and cinema could help rescue children from thepsychological effects of war. Research shows children, if learned on musical instruments, can better achieve their targets.
Milad is one of the children evincing a keen interest in learning musical instruments. Less than six years of age, he enjoys playing music with a tea-tray and humming Ahmad Zahir songs .
Mary, mother of Milad, said her son hummed songs in bathroom and wanted to become a good signer . But she regretted no one supported her son.
“Milad has been enjoying listening music when he was five months old. I used to keep radio set besides him to listen music whenever I was busy. When the music stopped my son had to wake up from deep slumber,” his mother recalled.
Bilal Naim, director of the Sound Art of Kabul University’s Arts Institute, said people paid less attention to supporting their children in learning music and it caused many children to study different subjects against their choice.
He said Afghans in the past also did not encourage music and a musician was called a barber, a name widely used for poor people. Music is banned in schools because Afghanistan is an Islamic country and most of scholars oppose it.
But the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) was the only venue that trained orphans and teenager girls in music. ANIM Director Dr. Ahmad Naser Sarmast told Pajhwok Afghan News his institute was currently training 175 students including children.
There were only three girls in the institute learning music in 1991, when the war had not broken out in Afghanistan, but now the number has increased to 50. “It is the first time in Afghanistan that a large number of girls learning music together with boys in the same class."
Tens of boys and girls have graduated from the institute, which reopened in 2010 after years of closure due to war and violence.
Islamuddin Piroz, director of Music and Arts at Kabul University, said that parents should note their children’s interests from childhood and support them in learning. Graduates from the faculty of arts should also train children at the kindergarten level.
In the first their three years of their age, children took more interest in any kind of music and their parents should support them, he said.
Piroz said that listening of music was very beneficial for children during their three years of age especially listening to piano that increases their interest in the art of music.
He added that despite even a single book was not written or printed in training music, but a child listens one and a half hours to music on a daily basis.
Piroz said that adding the art of music besides other arts in school curriculum was very important.
This year, more than a hundred students including 12 of them females enrolled in the art of music. Some of new students say that learning the art is very difficult at the beginning.
Roohullah, a music art student, said: “It was very difficult for me when I started learning music instruments.” He opined music students would benefit from the introduction of music and art added to the school curriculum.
A psychologist at the Kabul Education University, Sharafuddin Azimi, said music helped discourage violence. Some psychologists use music to gradually treat their patients. Two years ago a concert was held in the capital for psychiatric patients that produced positive result, he claimed.
However, Islamic scholar Maulvi Shams Rahman said both violence and music were sins.He added music hardens the hearts of people and moved them away from their responsibilities.
He said including music in the school curriculum was against the law of Sharia. Rahman believed students could be trained better through peaceful and didactic stories.
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