The next creative mom who we are featuring today has worked for more than ten years in the corporate world as a corporate trainer and manager. She worked for four years with HSBC, five years with Amazon.com and one year with Nipuna Satyam as a voice and accent trainer. Rest of the years she freelanced in Bangalore as a corporate trainer and also trained in companies such as GMR, Lifestyle, Tesco, Accenture, Mahindra, Bosch and many more.
Now she is following her passion for singing as a music teacher and a singer. She has come a long way and let’s get to know her more through this interview –
Sushma – A trained classical singer, music teacher and founder of Sanidha music school.
What is your background?
I am a post graduate in commerce and belong to Hyderabad. I feel like an artist to the core. Singing is my passion and it is now my profession too. I have also a keen interest in classical and other forms of dance and I also write poetry occasionally, especially when a real incident moves me. I also started a blog, but have not been regular. It is in this link firstname.lastname@example.org
How did you start singing classes?
In my apartment, I was one of the most enthusiastic members who took up training kids for singing for our Independence Day celebrations. That’s when a friend of mine said, you sing so well, would you please teach my son. So, I started teaching my friend’s son, without charging any fee and was encouraged when this little kid, grasped very well and showed lots of interest. I started this as an experiment, and in a month had about 8 students who came to me to learn music.
I then realized that God made me an instrument in giving peace to people and this was my calling. At this time, I was still doing behavioural training as a freelancer in some of the big companies and teaching music just became an extension of the same.
Did you go to any singing school for learning?
I learnt Carnatic music from Mrs. Sundarambal Murthy and Hindustani classical from Shri Deep Narayan Ghosh. These were my first gurus, however, I did learn a lot from various workshops and classes I attended on classical music to enhance my skills. I still take classes from my Guru, Learning is the way of life for an artist. I am a trained classical singer and do specialize in Hindustani classical music with the Carnatic base and feel that the Carnatic base has broadened my understanding of music and scope of singing.
What are the challenges you faced in the starting when you started the classes?
When I started the classes, way back in the year 2011, I did not know if the kids will like classical music. But to my surprise, the students were very responsive and I got more confidence because of that.
The current challenge that I face is that this being the age of instant gratification, students and parents sometimes expect instant results. However, with the passage of time, parents have understood that this is a form of devotion and will need patience and perseverance along with faith in oneself. There are various milestones in the singing journey which keep them motivated, which is my constant endeavor.
I have tied up with the prestigious Ravindra Bharti University and my students were given the choice of appearing for music exams. After the successful first exam, I noticed that children had become more confident and had inculcated a greater interest in the subject. This year will be their 7th year of appearing for music exams and my senior most student will appear in her senior diploma exam this year.
What/who is your inspiration?
I was very fond of singing and had an ear for classical music from my childhood. I would try to learn the classical songs on my own as it was my passion. However, with regard to teaching, my biggest inspiration is my husband and my sister. My sister studies for her M. Ed after her marriage and my husband did his MBA from Narsi monji after we were married for 3 years. They proved that if you are passionate about something, you can pursue and take it up at any point in your life. In my case, my entire family and my husband have supported me to fulfill my dreams.
My husband is my biggest critic and helps me improve the quality of classes and I look up to him for honest and critical feedback from a third person point of view.
Most important tips for other mompreneurs.
The main tip I would give is to believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, then your family and friends will definitely be supportive to make that dream a reality.
It’s never too late to chase your dreams. An idea could be very small, but your faith in the same can magnify its effect manifold.
What are the benefits of music for kids and at what age moms should introduce music to kids?
The right age to introduce children to music is by birth!! Yes, when I was pregnant with my son, I would notice his response when I would sing. Once he was born, though he could not sing he used to respond to the songs.
A child can start a formal class from the age of 3.5 to 4 years when he/she is more responsive. Even if children don’t sing in front of parents that does not mean that they are not interested. Children love to sing for their own pleasure and not to perform in front of anyone. We need to respect that choice of the children. It helps them develop their right brain and make them more compassionate and good human beings. To be a trained classical singer, a good training and exams are an added advantage.
What is your vision? Where do you see yourself and your classes in 5 years?
By God’s grace, I have been able to motivate kids and develop the love for classical music in them. My aim now is to make my music school students participate and perform in bigger forums and exhibit their talent. I would like my school students to be known for their quality of singing.
As for myself, I am now concentrating on performing more and more, in all genres of music and will definitely take my students along.
Sushma performing on the stage
Sushma’s journey from a corporate world to the world of music is inspirational and once again proves that it’s all about believing in yourself. It shows us that you can persue your passion even after your marriage and kids. You can see her Facebook page to know more about her and contact her for any information related yot her classes.