School Of Rock: Inside A Kindergarten In Manipur Using Music To Nurture Young Minds

At Pam's Kindergarten, melody reigns supreme.
At Pam's Kindergarten, melody reigns supreme. Village Square/ Worngachan A. Shatsang

The early years of a child's life are a foundation upon which the rest of their development is built. It's a time when experiences and learnings can have a lasting impact.  This is precisely why early education is so crucial, and incorporating music into that education can be incredibly effective.  Music helps children develop not only their musicality, but also essential social and cognitive skills. 

In the state of Manipur, amidst the mist-covered hills of Ukhrul district, is Pam's Kindergarten, a place where music is an integral part of the learning experience, not just an extracurricular activity. Here, the traditional reverence for music, deeply embedded into the very fabric of Manipuri culture, takes its place in the classroom.

Forget the typical image of a kindergarten filled with rows of desks and rote memorization.  At Pam's Kindergarten, melody reigns supreme. The sweet strumming of ukuleles mingles with the harmonious voices of children, transforming the space into an unexpected stage for captivating musical soirees. Visualise an ensemble of 30 tiny performers belting out a peppy tune, the school's signature anthem.  Their repertoire extends beyond local melodies, encompassing international hits and classics like ABBA's 'Chiquitita' and Bob Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind'.

The success of Pam's Kindergarten goes beyond these adorable performances.  The school boasts a remarkable track record of nurturing well-rounded individuals who excel not only in music but also in academics.  Founder RVS Pamshon dispels any misconceptions – Pam's Kindergarten is not a music school, but a place where music is seamlessly woven into the very foundation of early education. 

Established in 2009 by Pamshon, a veteran educator with over two decades of experience, the kindergarten offers more than just the alphabet and numbers.  It orchestrates an unconventional rhythm of learning, where music becomes a powerful tool for enhancing cognitive development.  Amidst the picturesque mountains of Ukhrul, Pam's Kindergarten provides a unique learning environment unlike any other.

Pam's Kindergarten
Pam's KindergartenWorngachan A Shatsang

Back in 2009, Ukhrul lacked a dedicated kindergarten.  This gap presented Pamshon with the perfect opportunity to share her passion for education and, in particular, the power of music in early learning.  However, convincing parents to allocate funds for music classes wasn't always easy.  Through perseverance and by witnessing the positive impact on their children's development, those initial reservations faded.  The ukulele, a small, versatile instrument, became a symbol of transformation for these young learners.

Maintaining a healthy balance between academics and music is paramount.  Pamshon expressed her confidence in her teaching staff to Village Square, emphasizing that, "Our music classes are scheduled for the end of the day so we don’t disturb normal classes. We also monitor our students individually so that they make progress both in music as well as in their academics."

Pamshon's vision extends beyond the confines of traditional education.  "In a society that still goes crazy over government jobs she, we want to help students know that there are other avenues to go about in life, music being one," she explains.

Pam's Kindergarten is a place where young minds are nurtured, not just with knowledge, but with a lifelong love for learning, a love that resonates through the chords that they strum and the songs that they sing.