Not only did the pandemic lock and restrict us to our homes last year; it also affected the functioning of our lives both professionally as well as personally. For some, the pandemic turned into a curse while for us, the privileged lot, it acted as a catalyst to try and explore ourselves while we were confined to the four walls of our house. Amongst us, a young and passionate artist, singer and producer Swapnali Gaikwad from Maharashtra’s Latur did not put her guard down. Touted to be a singing prodigy, Swapnali is currently pursuing her graduation in classical singing from Vishwashanti Sangeet Kala Academy at MIT ADT University, Pune.
Swapnali took upon her classical music journey under the guidance of her mentor Shri Adinath Mangeshkar. With lockdown unexpectedly falling in, Swapnali saw it as an opportunity and started giving out classical music lessons online. This young woman who hails from a rural area called Marathwada, left no stone unturned in terms of creating ways to project her talent to the world, withstanding all the obvious urban competition. While her mentor advised to utilise her skills effectively, others suggested her to use social media as a tool to promulgate her singing videos. By seeking inspiration from her parents, who happen to be Zilla Parishad teachers, she frayed into the teaching route to boost her singing journey.
Swapnali believes she inculcated the teaching flair from her parents. Initially, she started out with a bunch of students and used her craft and experience in classical singing and instilled it in her tutoring. With the help of advertisements, she was able to build a network of students hailing from vivid countries. Emerging from a humble middle-class family, Swapnali thrives to achieve great heights for her parents. She said, “My parents have been a pillar of strength during the course of my journey and always pushed me to achieve my dreams and to never give up on them, come what may.” Swapnali believes she’s not just injecting music in her students but relieving the pandemic stress they’re bound to face. She says, her music also acts as a medium to healthy lifestyle as her course includes various breathing exercises. She further quotes, “Many studies and research have established the fact that singing improves respiratory health.” With Covid-19 in picture, everyone around us is stressed and are focusing on ways to build their immunity.
Swapnali believes that her teaching reduces certain stress hormones and “accentuates the levels of some immunity related-factors”. She said, “Classical singing not only keeps you rooted to your culture but it also imbibes healthy lifestyle choices, it improves social confidence too.” Her students are in the age range from 5-year-old, who are developing their cognitive abilities; to those senior citizens, aged 60, who want to sustain the same.
Apart from the research, she firmly believes, “even if an hour of my singing is able to elevate someone’s mood and cheer them up, my purpose is accomplished”. Swapnali added that her mentor, Adinath Mangeshkar once articulated that “classical music is therapeutic, it helps attain calmness and serenity.” Like any rational artist trying to break out, Swapnali too had her share of failures up her sleeve but seldom did that stop her. Slowly she was stunned by the reception and was pleasantly surprised with foreigners’ fascination towards Indian classical music. Recently, Swapnali along with Anand Gaikwad, released their first single called “Shivaai” based on the great warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on the occasion of Shivaji Jayanti. Under the banner of SK vision, the song created a buzz among Shivaji’s devotees as well as youngsters. Swapnali wishes to expand her tutoring across the globe.