As a part of the leadership lecture series, the talented Hindi playback singer, Harshdeep Kaur visited the GIIS East Coast campus on 3rd November 2017.
On arrival the guest was given a traditional welcome, which was followed by the garlanding of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. The bhangra dancers dancing to foot - tapping folk music greeted Ms. Kaur. The programme began with the school choir singing a medley of Ms. Kaur’s Bollywood chartbusters that was followed by the keynote address. In her keynote address the latest singing sensation advised the students to follow their passion and be a critic of one self, which are her mantras of success.
Next, the panelist comprising of four students confidently posed questions on the singer’s early life, her experiences in participating and winning two reality shows, her career as a playback singer and her advice to the budding singers, who want to pursue singing as a career option.
On being questioned on her reason for wearing the traditional ‘pagadi’ (turban), she replied that it is her identity and her father helps her to wear the headgear for every performance. When asked about how did she strike a balance between academics and her passion for music, Ms Kaur said that during her school days academics was her priority and she would study while travelling for recordings and performances. Despite of her busy schedules she excelled in her academics.
In addition to the panel discussion there was also a question and answer session in which students from Queenstown and Balestier campuses got an opportunity to interact with the celebrity. The power packed singer shared her expertise on Indian music to a selected group of musically inclined students from GIIS Baleister and GIIS Queenstown and the host school after the interactive panel discussion.
Master class session
As a part of the Leadership Lecture Series, Harshdeep Kaur conducted a complimentary ‘master class’ for the musically inclined students of the three sister campuses in Singapore. The music lesson was attended by nearly 200 students. The session began with the two very talented musicians -Amit Dutt Choubey playing the tabla and Sanjoy Das the guitarist who first introduced themselves to the audience. The two musicians introduced the basics of tabla and guitar. They did a melodious ‘jugalbandi’ with the two instruments. Das described Ms Kaur as an ‘educated musician’ before inviting the power packed singer to stage.
During the master class she introduced the students to the fine nuances of Sufi music. She taught the students to chant the ‘Omkara’ to be in peace with one self, which with regular practice improves the voice quality of an individual. She sang the five vowels in ‘sur’ to bring in the fun element. She advised the budding singers and musicians of GIIS the importance of having a strong foundation in music. She demonstrated the seven basic note of Indian classical music,‘Sa Re Gama….., followed by the basics of Western Classical music,’ Do Re Me……..’.
Ms Kaur shared the singing tips which she had received from the legend Shri Jagjit Singh who had told her to understand one’s own voice. ‘Always sing in the voice you speak in and don’t strain your voice’ was her advice to our students. She also advocated the importance of learning an instrument to understand ‘sur’ and ‘taal’. She sang a medley of her songs which began with the folk song ‘Hir Ranjha’ and then she sang her Bollywood chart busters which included ‘Zalima ‘’ Bano Re Bhano’ ‘Kabira and many more which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. She sang ‘Zalima’ to show the importance of emotion in music.
The interaction with the acclaimed Bollywood singer came to a close with the signing of the guest book and presentation of a momento by Pramod Tripathi, Director Academics GIIS Singapore and Ms. Melissa Maria, Principal GIIS East Coast campus.