•      Wed Jun 19 2024

Teachers, students learn to play ‘naumati baja’ together

Tanahu, Aug 20: The teachers and students at a local Shiva Secondary School of Byas Municipality-10 in the district can been seen playing traditional musical instruments- naumati baja- in the school.

After the school decided to cater additional skills to the students, six students are being instructed to play naumati baja. They are further joined by six teachers and three guardians.

Naumati baja is a set of nine traditional musical instruments played during various auspicious occasions like marriage ceremony in Nepal.

Instructor Prakash Thapa said after the participants were provided training on how they could play the musical instruments which include, damaha (kettle drum), sahanai, jhyali (cymbals), tyamko (small kettle drum), dholak (two-sided drum) and others.

Naumati baja consists of extended panche baja, meaning- five musical instruments.

The school has planned to provide the training for a month for the first phase. It has been half a month the students, teachers and guardians getting instruction.

A 10th grader Ashrut Lamichhane who was found playing tyamko, shared, “I had not thought I could play the instrument skillfully so quickly. However, it needs much diligence to create playful music.”

Including Lamichhane, those playing naumati baja are from diverse communities- indigenous, and dalit.

Instructor Thapa further informed that although the participants learnt to play other instruments within 10 days, it would take nearly three months for them to be skillful to play sahanai and narsingha.

Instructor Thapa further said, “The students participating in the training have learnt to play the musical instruments with keen interest.” It would still take more time to play sahanai and narsingha.

Although he had imparted training to play naumati musical instrument to different communities, it is the second training given to school-level students, teachers and guardians, he mentioned.

Thapa believed that the training imparted to school-level students would help in preservation of culture.

School Principal Chandramani Koirala shared that they had been providing one-month instruction to play naumati baja to the students, teachers and some guardians without hampering regular classes. It was launched by taking into account the traditional music and instruments which are facing extinction. Once education is provided from the very school level, it would help preserve these in an institutional manner, he added.

According to him, the school had set a plan where the trained students would transfer skills to other students. Around Rs 100,000 would be spent for the training to play naumati baja, according to the School.

“The school is receiving positive feedback on the training which has encouraged us,” the Principal shared.

Similarly, Chairperson of the School Management Committee shared the students would play naumati baja during cultural programmes and school’s extracurricular activities in order to implement their skill in practice. RSS