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Moment of Pride and Celebration: Singer Kailash Kher to be named for the Padma Shri

A patriot at heart, Kailash Kher feels artists must project India in the right way

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Kailash Kher, Wikimedia

New Delhi, Jan 25, 2017: Singer Kailash Kher, who shot to fame with the 2003 hit number “Allah ke bande”, was thrilled to be named for the Padma Shri — India’s fourth highest civilian award — on Wednesday. He says it’s a moment of pride and celebration.

He has received the recognition for his contribution to music in the country.

“By the grace of God, I got this honour. It’s a moment for pride and celebration. It’s because of a lot of prayers and hard work along with blessing from my parents and gurus, and love from fans,” Kailash told IANS.

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How does he plan to celebrate?

“I am really caught up with work. Let me figure it out. I am just coming to my sense. I was in the studio recording a jingle for a digital campaign when I was informed about this honour,” he said.

The singer, who hails from Meerut, gave up education decades ago to pursue his dream to be a singer. Known for adding a sufi touch to songs, Kailash has even crooned tracks like “Teri deewani”, “Ya rabba” and “Yun hi chala chal”.

Kailash is also a producer. He had worked on a mythological TV series “Baba Kedarnath”, backed by the Uttarakhand government.

A patriot at heart, he feels artistes must project India in the right way.

In an interview with IANS, he had said: “There are filmmakers like Shyam Benegal who continue to explore the real Indian art. Even Ashutosh Gowariker makes films about India like ‘Swades’ or ‘Lagaan’. They are some of the filmmakers who present India in a good light; otherwise people tend to make money by showing poverty of India and helplessness of India mostly in the name of creativity.

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“This gives the impression that India is a poor country. Irrespective of the strength of the script, I will never show India like that. I will show that India can save the world, which is infected by depression and loneliness.”

Earlier this year, he launched and mentored two indie bands SurFira and Indie Routes.

“Since I’ve reached that level where I can do something for others too, I thought of promoting new talent? something that hasn’t been done in the past by other musicians,” he said. (IANS)

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Ease Pain and Nourish Social Connections through Music

Over the years, medical studies have shown that music has many health benefits, too. Those range from facilitating regular breathing and lifting mood to improving emotional function and motor control in patients

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Music has long helped people express their emotions and connect with one another. Over the years, medical studies have proved that music has many health benefits. They range from facilitating regular breathing and lifting mood to improving emotional function and motor control. VOA

It’s 9 o’clock in the morning, time for 3-year-old Lucas’ weekly music therapy session. “Lucas is autistic,” his mother Katey Hernandez explained. “He has a lot of sensory processing sensitivities, which means he’s really sensitive to loud noises, bright lights and a lot of [activity] around his body, and he really likes to jump and swing and climb and anything active.”

Dixie Mazur brings to Lucas’ home session a bag full of instruments. During the session she plays music and sings. “I like to bring in a wide variety of instruments because, especially with younger kids, the attention spans naturally are very short and I like to be able to give them the freedom and ownership to kind of move our session in the direction they want to go,” Mazur said.

She brings in a piano, a couple of drums, rain stick and egg shakers, “things that provide a lot of sensory feedback as well.” Hernandez is happy with the results so far.

“It’s been very helpful,” she said. “Ms. Dixie has come up with a few songs to help him with social dialogue. So, it helps him communicate with us a lot more, when we can’t figure out what he needs.”

Healing soul and body

Music has long helped people express their emotions and connect with one another. Over the years, medical studies have shown that it has many health benefits, too. Those range from facilitating regular breathing and lifting mood to improving emotional function and motor control in patients.

So, it has become a part of the therapists’ toolbox, used either in one-on-one sessions or group settings. It can be passive, where patients listen to music, or active, where they participate in playing instruments and singing.

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Kelsi Yingling, NeuroScience Music Therapy founder, says a music therapist should have passion for music and helping others. VOA

Zoe Gleason Volz brings music therapy to a group of people with a range of cognitive disabilities. “As a group, they don’t really engage with each other,” she said. “So, a lot of my work is trying to slowly get them to positively engage with their fellow group members and actively engage with me.”

The instruments stimulate patients’ senses and muscles. She says the impact is obvious on brain scans of people listening to it. “When you’re listening the entire brain is lit up because it’s having the music and the intellectual sides both kind of firing all at once. Whereas when you’re talking with somebody, you’re probably more into one hemisphere of the brain rather than both.”

Becoming a music therapist

There are more than 6,000 board-certified music therapists in the United States. They’ve gone through 1,000 hours of training, including getting an undergraduate degree and completing a six-month internship, and passing a certification exam.

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Music therapist Dixie Mazur brings to Lucas’ home session a bag full of instruments. During the session she plays music and sings. VOA

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But Kelsi Yingling, who founded NeuroSound Music Therapy, where Gleason Volz and Mazur work, looks for more than a certificate. “The type of skills we wanted to see in a therapist are strong musical skills, interpersonal skills and the ability to relate to our clients,” she said.

Music therapists should be patient and able to adapt to various situations, she says, adding that the work is easier when therapists have passion for music and for helping people. “The fact that I get to use music to help other individuals achieve their goals and their highest potential is really one of the most rewarding things I can be doing in my life,” she added. (VOA)