Bhajans

 

Where there is devotional music, God is always at hand with His gracious presence.”- Bach

Bhajans are simple songs in soulful language, with origins in the ancient hymns of the Vedas, expressing the many emotions of love and devotion to God. Shlokas are short Sanskrit verses, often metered and rhymed poetic syllables in praise of God.

OBJECTIVES

  • To generate interest among children and youth in the recitation of various shlokas and bhajans with emphasis on pronunciation.
  • To help the children and youth understand the meaning and importance of shlokas and bhajans in the Indian Culture
  • To help students perform and/or showcase their bhajan/shloka rendition at their own homes, family gatherings or community events. 

GOALS

  • The goal of the Bhajan team would be to ensure that all kids know at the very least the five important shlokas, adopted as the Bal Vihar Prayers and be able to sing the aarti and the National Anthem of India.
  • At the end of eight years in Bal-Vihar, the kids would be exposed to at least 40 shlokas, Hanuman Chalisa, Krishna Ashtakam and key shlokas from Gita and Vishnu Sahsranamam.
  • Bhajans – At the end of 8 years, the kids would be exposed to over 40 Bhajans in various languages such as Sanskrit, Hindi and English. In addition, the kids will also be exposed to the National Anthem, Patriotic and Inspirational songs from the Indian region.

METHODOLOGY

Students are provided a bhajan booklet which will be referred to and used in each class. Teachers will use a variety of methods such as: -

  • Audio-visuals,
  • Guest presenters,
  • Student-led bhajan sessions (where students will be encouraged to come up and teach a bhajan they have learnt outside of Balvihar to their class),
  • Interactive sessions to understand meanings as they render the bhajans/shlokas

Teachers will use musical instruments such as taal, cymbals, harmonium and tabla in order to help students understand the accompaniments that are used with bhajan singing and also to introduce them to Indian instruments.  Students will be encouraged to use the instruments in class.  Teachers will post updates and resources on bhajan class webpages.

Parents and students are encouraged to visit it regularly. Parent-teacher communication is highly encouraged. Efforts are underway to create an Audio CD of the Bhajan curriculum in Bal Vihar. 

ASSESSMENT

Students are assessed on a continuous basis during the classes and help given in areas as needed. Group 4 students will be called upon to lead the aarti and recite the shlokas at the assembly.  Students will also be called upon to perform at community events and Bal Vihar events such as Diwali.  Bal Vihar schedule has a day set aside to show case  to family and friends, what the students have learnt during the year.

CURRICULUM

The Curriculum is divided into four age-appropriate groups (Group 1 thru 4) and is aligned with the core curriculum of Bal Vihar. Emphasis is on covering at least an aspect of the three units: Religion, Culture, and Social where applicable.  The Bhajan curriculum has been re-aligned to accommodate for the 3 units. While designing the curriculum, cognitive level of the kids, ability to learn and the level of difficulty of the teaching material was kept in mind.

For more details, visit the Bal Vihar Bhajan class webpages at http://bhajan.balvihar-stlouis.org/