Schooling is not only about academics, exams & marks. It is a process aimed at the development of a child’s personality & equipping him or her to take on life with confidence. The quality of teaching depends not only on the ‘WHAT’ of things being taught but also on the ‘HOW’ of it. This is why schools today are stressing on alternative teaching methods of teaching & levying a lot of importance to activities like performing arts & sports to frame a complete educative process for every child.
The concept of alternative methods of teaching is not only aimed at encouraging students to take up extra-academic interests, but it also makes the journey of getting educated a more beautiful experience. It teaches them various life skills and has a catalytic effect on the development of values in young minds.
Various types of alternative methods of teaching are being developed in the present times. Popular ones include – one-to-one transfer of knowledge, use of 3D technology, digital classrooms, project-based learning, field trips, experiential learning & even game-based teaching methods – the list is endless. To understand how methods such as these work an example from real-life could be cited.
Recently a school in Gurgaon introduced a drastically alternative method of teaching music. This was also the first-of-its-kind initiative in India. Rabindranath World School (RWS) in collaboration with Music Institute of Chromatics invited two-time Grammy-winner Gerard Wirth to teach music the Wirth-way in a workshop for the children of the school.
Gerard Wirth, Artistic Director, Vienna Boys’ Choir is a veteran in the field of music who has worked with Indian music legend Pandit Ravi Shankar & is working towards the upliftment of Indian Classical Music. Apart from this, he is also the propagator of the Wirth Method of teaching music & this is the primary reason why RWS chose him for the workshop.
The Wirth Method of Teaching Music is being developed by Gerard Wirth in the 90’s. It is essentially based in choir set-up. Wirth says that just as choir consists of many individuals, but a concert is a success when each of the members performs with their individualistic excellences.
During the workshop Gerard stressed the fact that music opens up the minds of its lovers, it teaches moral values & promotes discipline in daily life. Regular practice enhances a child’s speaking abilities, social responses & helps the child grow up into a confident individual.
The workshop was also an eye-opener for reasons more than one! Gerard explained how performing arts and culture were gaining more and more popularity in the present times. He elaborated on how music relaxes the mind & helps in reducing emotional fatigue & frustration. Gerard also spoke about how Indian classical instruments like the tabla, sitar, flute, etc now own a global stage.
Chairman of the school, YS Tomar believes that this workshop is a new beginning in the Indian education system. It has opened various doors of alternative methods of learning music & other subjects. He added that the workshop was an extensive learning experience not only for the children who participated in it but also for the audience.
Co-founder of the Music Institute of Chromatics, Mohit Rathod said that the Wirth Method inputs fun into learning music as it aims at expanding the artistic talent of a child.
Traditional pedagogical methods have nothing wrong in them. But a change from time to time refreshes the minds of the students and helps them concentrate better in academics and other streams of learning. A new environment or a new way of looking at things makes education more enjoyable & fun. Alternative teaching methods are being developed in the times & they are here to stay.

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