Diwali Music Lesson Ideas

As a Malaysian living in a multicultural, multilingual, multi-religious country, I have very little to share about how my Diwali Music lesson looks like in my classroom. Hence, it is very crucial that I make effort to build knowledge in this area.

Also see: Malaysian Music Teaching Resources

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1. Origins of Diwali

The most common origin story known by many is the one called Ramayana. It is basically the story of how good triumphs over evil. Here is an animated video which I find easy enough for young students to follow.

Some may not know this but there are many lesser known stories about Diwali! I find this very relatable to my own Chinese culture as there are many stories associated to one festival or celebration.


Also see: Classic Chinese New Year Tunes for the Piano

2. Diwali Song in Various Indian Languages

I remember making an attempt years ago by using this video to teach my Year 1s.

Diwali Is Here

Considering that this video is made by Appu Series, I deem this video reliable at that time. I applaud their effort to recreate their original song in various Indian dialects which proved very useful for my teaching purpose. In Malaysia, Tamil is one of the most common spoken Indian languages.

Having said that, Diwali Is Here still has a cringe factor for me as I knew that musically wise, it’s a song written in Western tradition and hence not very authentic in that sense. On the other hand, it’s not easy to teach Carnatic or microtonal music to young children. Sometimes we have to make do with what we have.

Sheet Music Plus Easy Rebates

3. Orff Inspired Diwali Lesson

This year when I set out to help my students be culturally aware, I knew I have to up my game. This morning when I check my mail, I was so glad to see this resource by Teaching with Orff pop up. It is really difficult to come by authentic Diwali or Deepavali lesson plans like this. I especially liked the fact that Manju Durairaj is Orff trained and she is a very talented and tech savvy Music teacher too! If I was back at in-person Music class now, I would carry out this lesson shared by her. The lesson includes some useful resource which includes the written lesson plan, video and pronunciation sample. Isn’t that awesome pawsome?

Another resource that I would like to share and it’s also Orff inspired is by O For Tuna. She has a pretty comprehensive sample of resource that all of us can emulate. Her suggestion comprises of the ways you can introduce the music and festival, the Dandhiya dance and music and even arts and crafts activities. She also quoted the Manju Durairaj lesson plan which I shared earlier.

Now that Manju Durairaj is in my radar, I chanced upon this upcoming live YouTube video where she will likely share more ideas about teaching Diwali music. I can’t wait for this!

Manju Durairaj – Music For Diwali – Wednesday Webinar On Musicplay
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4. Diwali Dance

Here is also another fun video I found by this YouTube channel called Bollywood Groove. The instructor is very energetic and key dance movements and poses were included.

Another dance to consider would be the Dandiya dance or also known as Stick Dance. It is typically performed for a Gujerati festival called Navratri festival. As I wanted to be sure, I confirmed with an ex-colleague, Ms Shopana who I know is a trained Indian dancer that this dance is appropriate to be performed for Diwali celebrations. It’s a really fun dance to learn once you’ve seen it. Here’s a really cute one!

To get you started on learning some basic Dandiya steps, I found this tutorial very useful and it’s repetitive enough for you to get a hang of it.

I’m looking forward to do this Diwali Music lesson now that I found these resources and hopefully less daunting for me. Hope I can share my reflection on this soon!


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