Cultural Classes & Activities
CM D/FW offers many diverse enrichment opportunities for children to “grow and glow.” In this nurturing environment, children discover and develop their latent talents, and also get a chance to form lasting relationships with each other.
As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, and all the CM D/FW family members have plenty of opportunities to help in this process. Everyone is encouraged to volunteer and contribute in any of the activities – not only for your own spiritual evolution, but also for the growth and development of our children.
The cultural classes run weekly, at the same time every week. Following is the weekly schedule:
|Music||Saturday||2:00 PM – 2:55 PM|
|Orchestra||Saturday||3:00 PM – 3:55 PM|
|Dance||Saturday||4:00 PM – 4:55 PM|
|Language||Sunday||2:00 PM – 2:55 PM|
|Gita Chanting||Sunday||3:00 PM – 3:55 PM|
|Shlokathon||Sunday||4:00 PM – 4:55 PM|
To volunteer or for more information/questions on the cultural classes, please contact Arunachalam Venkatraman(Venkat) at 972-335-6353.
Other periodic activities of CMDFW are listed below. You may reach out to any of the e-Balavihar coordinators or the coordinator for the specific activity, when they are announced.
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Objective of the language classes offered at CM D/FW is to introduce students to the specific Indian regional language so that they can not only become proficient in conversing in that language but also can have basic reading and writing skills.
A set of enthusiastic teachers and facilitators are eagerly looking forward to teaching these language skills to our eBV students.
This year, we are offering Hindi and Kannada. We anticipate adding other languages, in response to possible interest from students, parents and teacher volunteers. Please contact the coordinator to express your interest.
The students will learn the alphabet and learn to converse in the language.
The knowledge of Devanagari script will also aid children in reading Sanskrit shlokas since the script is the same. It will thus help improve their pronunciation when chanting shlokas, Gita and other texts.
As part of their learning the language, the students will also learn the Kannada culture through discussion of festivals of Karnataka, famous and historical personalities from the region.
Slokathon is a self-paced program that teaches children how to correctly chant several important verses from Hindu scriptures and devotional canon. The program includes a compilation of more than 250 famous slokas from the Hindu scriptures in praise of the Guru and various Hindu deities. It also includes texts such as Bhaja Govindam and 100 selected verses from the Bhagavad Gita. In addition, the students learn to chant portions of Vedam, called Suktas.
The shlokas are grouped in sections. For example, children will be learning Sankata Nashana Ganesha Stotram, Ganesha Pancharathnam and Ganapathi Stavaah under the Lord Ganesha section in the curriculum.
Participants will purchase a Shlokathon book and a plaque to record their progress. On completion of a section, the student earns a sticker with the symbol of the section, which they affix to the plaque. On completion of the program, the student is ceremoniously awarded a trophy at the annual CMDFW banquet.
Our goal is to encourage the children to learn and chant the shlokas so that they will be inspired to understand the meaning and value of these verses when they grow up.
Please encourage your children to participate in the program.
Although the student may participate in the program with instruction from any source of their choice, the shlokathon class provides a framework to progress steadily in a disciplined way and to enjoy the benefit of communal learning.
This class is free of cost and is offered to all the Balavihar kids by the mission.
CMDFW Bharatanatyam dance class will be taught by Vidya Krishnan, disciple of Smt Usha Srinivasan (Dandayudha Pani Pillai Style). Vidya Krishnan has been teaching at the Mission since 2002. Shachi Hegde, an alumnus who completed her arangetram in 2017 will be assisting the classes.
The word bhajan refers to a chant or song which is sung in praise of God, usually as part of a religious service. Bhajans play a very important role in most of our Hindu religious celebrations.
CM eBV music is inspired by & rooted in Guruji’s vision of “Swara to Ishwara”, using the power of devotional music to connect to the Divine. The children are taught bhajans and compositions in different languages in both the Hindustani and Carnatic styles of music. The focus is on pronunciation, melody and the meaning of the lyrics. Recordings are provided for practice at home. While a basic sense of sruthi and rhythm and a love for singing are the only requirements to be a part of the music class, we will leverage any prior knowledge of music and offer challenges to the children based on their musical exposure and aptitude.
The Gītā chanting competition was started by Chinmaya Mission in 1991. The goal is to help children, youth and adults to memorize and chant a selected chapter or set of verses from the Bhagavad Gītā. Over the years, over 5 million people around the world have participated in the competition!
In the CMDFW eBV Bhagavad Gītā Chanting class, children are taught how to chant select verses from Bhagvad Geeta. This year’s curriculum will cover the first 38 shlokas from Chapter 2. The class focuses on the correct pronunciation of the verses, and not on their meaning. Children will learn the importance of Mahaapraana/Alpapraana, the correct way to aspirate and articulate syllables, and the Anusvaara rules. To ensure good pronunciation and achieve perfection in chanting, the children are required to cumulatively memorize each new verse prior to the next class.
The students will display their achievement at a competition that is usually held every year in April-May.
We are excited to announce that CM D/FW is starting orchestra classes this year. These classes will be weekly demonstrations and discussions of various Indian classical music played on western instruments.
This fall, all classes will be online only. Orchestra sessions will be, therefore, offered to the students in a creative way. Each Saturday, music notes in western notations specific to each instrument will be given in the class to the students. The students will practice on their instruments, on their own, and send a recording to the teacher by Thursday of the following week, for review.
Once the piece is learnt fully, the students will record their parts in video.
A final product will be created by mixing these videos into a complete performance. This performance could be potentially premiered live during CM Banquet this December!
The requirements for students wishing to register are as follows:
- Must be a Bala Vihar student/CHYK and 8th grade and above.
- Must be in intermediate level or higher in school orchestra
- Should be able to sight read sheet music
- For Mridangam and Tabla – Need to have some experience accompanying an artist.
These are the instruments that can be included in this class.
String instruments – Violin, Viola, Cello, Harp
Wind instruments – Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Oboe, Saxophone
Percussion instruments – Western Drumset, Mridangam, Tabla
Please note that the keyboard is an excluded instrument, in the current class format.