1.  Breathing & Body singing

Singing emphasizes good breathing. The sound produced needs to be felt deep inside. You need to feel the vibrations in the body. The Siren method makes it happen. This becomes the basis for voice culture in this method. Even those who feel that they cannot sing at all will be motivated to sing. (Essential in making music inclusive)

  1.   Vina and voice

The structure of Vina is akin to human body. Twenty-four frets represent the vertebrae. This imagery helps even a novice to sing.  Conscious tonal placement in the body in different chakras (a term in yoga) brings certainty in locating the positions. One can produce the 12 tones at will. This is a special feature in this method. Vina and voice become complementary for a fuller realization of tones and tonal movement (gamakas) helpful to a singer.

Note: Learning Karnatak vocal music is comparatively easier for some one who has ‘giftedness’ due to genetics, listening environment and the guidance of an excellent performing ‘guru’ who could be imitated by the gifted student ‘without a problem’. This is because the gamaka oriented Karnatak music is rather difficult to transfer the complex details of the music to a student with accuracy even for a gifted student. The imitation method easily transfers the music as a whole to the gifted student but brings the ‘style’ of the master to the front rather than the intricacies of music itself. This way of learning limits the originality of the student with all his natural positive qualities of voice. Of course, an objective master can provide corrective measures. This is fine for a gifted student under a gifted master. But for any one else this will not produce lasting excellent results. The instrumentalists, in general, are also gifted. It is easier to express the innate musicality through the instrument with sufficient tonal and gamaka accuracy. The imitative method would work well here too with the guidance of  a good teacher.

But, the gamakas are highly structured. Without proper understanding of the rhythmic underpinning of the contours of the   gamakas a performer could mislead a raga. In order that gamakas can be understood with precision and correctness of the ‘svarasthanas’ one should ideally start with vina, which alone is capable of giving consistent guidance to even a novice. Vina is the ideal music teacher in this respect. If a student gets good foundation on the vina, s/he would begin to sing eventually, as though it is natural to her.

This is the importance of vina and voice as one of the principles in the COMET methodology of learning Karnatak music.

  1.  Experiencing Time

Realization of Time is a crucial element often taken for granted or generally less emphasized in musical practice. Here it is an essential basic practice. Breathing is related to time. The movement of time in conjunction with the tones becomes a meditative practice for any one including those who are challenged.

  1.  Creativity & patterning

Recognizing and creating patterns to express musically is a foundation practice. Patterns in rhythm and melody become an integrated practice. The children experience this creative power very early getting motivated to learn.

  1. Coordination of Mind and body

Practice of rhythm and cross rhythms on both hands is an abstract practice emphasized here to coordinate mind and body. Singing along with this practice brings another dimension to realizing time and melody. This highly challenging practice as a foundation brings another dimension to creativity. This practice strengthens the power of attention to details in melody and rhythm.

  1. Critical Listening & Musical styles

Listening to the melody at the prescriptive and descriptive levels is brought as a practice even at the basic level. Critical listening develops very early leading to precision in singing. Adapting to different styles becomes easy.

  1. Reading and writing Indian music

Precise listening helps singing from notation as well.  Visualizing and singing in the mind becomes possible. Less need for more practice towards performance! Svarasthana notation at two levels (prescriptive and descriptive) brings clarity in musical thinking.

  1. Perfecting songs

Through this method, naturally one acquires the capacity to perfect singing. One can learn from any recording perfectly.

  1. Self-learning

Self-learning is a natural evolution from step one in this method. Many children acquire this capacity within 7 years of their consistent practice.

  1. Teaching & learning

Teaching is part of this system of learning.  Peer learning is emphasized. This binds them together and brings about a collective understanding of music.

  1.  Cultural and Cross-cultural Learning

The context of music is Culture. By learning Karnatak music one understands South Indian Culture. Rooted in one culture, one acquires the capacity to extend his learning to understanding and experiencing other styles of music without losing the roots. It is a natural evolution in the COMET method.

  1. Correlating Arts, Education & Therapy

Relatedness of music is unfolded step by step while learning through COMET. One discovers naturally that all Arts have related musical principles. It relates to life. Primary education through music in schools is now catching up many Chennai based city schools. The principles of COMET are used in therapy as a natural extension.