Intellectual Sangeet Visharad | Daily News

Intellectual Sangeet Visharad

Sangeet Visharad Kethmini Liyanage is domiciled in Australia. With her haunting voice she does brand new Sinhala songs from time to time while pursuing a professional career in Early Childhood Education.

Kethmini released her first original song in 2015 and the latest in August 2021. Her music releases are done in social media platforms - YouTube and Kethmini Liyanage official Facebook page.

She has been passionate towards music from her early childhood days. Her music teacher at Musaeus College, Anuradha Nandasiri’s association paved her the way to study music under Sangeet Nipun, Prof Sanath Nandasiri and Sangeet Nipun Chandika Rajapakse. She obtained her Visharad degree in young age from Lucknow Bhatkhande Sangeet Vidyapeeth.

Kethmini’s alma mater has bestowed an important attribute on her which is the importance in developing brainpower. Hence she knew from the inception, intelligence is crucial to contribute sensibly towards a society.

Kethmini obtained her BA degree from Bangalore university and she completed her Masters in Linguistics at Kelaniya university. Further she did a Post Graduate Diploma on Early Childhood Education at New Zealand Tertiary College and completed the Master of Teaching (Early Childhood) at Deakin University, Australia.

She was keen in sharing her views on education, career and works in music with Daily News T&C

Q: How do you describe Art?

Art is predominantly for entertainment which embeds different forms, for example music, dance, theatre, art, sculpture, story-telling, writing. Moving further from entertainment, ‘art’ portrays the society. Art is education…art is realization.

Art makes us creative, teaches us life, foster life-skills such as imagination, problem-solving, critical thinking and reasoning, empathizing.

Art can reflect the history, the contemporary world. Interestingly, art is visionary.

Hence art is an extended version of entertainment; it is intellectual entertainment.

Imagination plays a larger role in all forms of art. An artist thus is intelligent to foresee the future.

Q: Do you sing for long term commercial purposes or just as a hobby?

At the beginning, I started to sing to express my talent. Eventually that became the best way to build my image as an artist.

I have decided to sing basically to provide entertainment and further to contribute listeners and Sinhala music industry with rich, meaningful, and purposeful creations.

Q: As a Visharad singer, you work with resourceful lyricists such as Ratna Sri Wijesinghe, Bandara Eheliyagoda and Yamuna Malani. But you have penned your own lyrics at the inception.

Yes, song writing happened because of singing. This trait is common with singers in western countries though not very familiar with us. Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga did it. Our own Clarence Wijewardene, Rookantha Goonetilleke have done it too.

I have written a number of songs and there is another to be released in the future.

Q: We hear Sri Lankan folk music elements in some of your songs.

My desire is to demonstrate diversity in my work. By doing that, listeners can be exposed to a variety of music, themes and visual presentations. Differentiation happens in lyrics, music, video and of course in singing.

My guru, Sangeeth Nipun Chandika Rajapakse, has created tracks which are based on Indian classical music, different ragas and accompany a variety of Eastern and Western musical instruments. These compositions are created based on different styles of singing (semi-classical, light) and require different techniques when singing. It is basically a whole different feel we create in each song.

There are songs to be released with music composed by numerous music directors. Visharad Nandasena Katuwawala’s, Visharad Darshana Wickramatunga’s compositions reflect the contemporary popular music.

Meanwhile some songs more prominently have the western touch and the relevant music instruments accompanied to it.

Q: You are domiciled in Australia. How do you manage/coordinate with lyricists, music directors, orchestra and also manage to do visuals with a cast, all of whom are in Sri Lanka?

I believe I well manage music with my personal and professional life. I adequately compromise my time and effort to my works.

I discuss with contributors at different stages of the work, seek for their expertise, talents, and contributions to my work. Every single artiste has supported me to their fullest which I am thankful for. While we work together, Understanding and being truthful plays a larger role.

Family support and the guidance of my guru Sangeeth Nipun Chandika Rajapakse is significant in situations that I am not able to present myself, moreover guiding me in right direction to explore horizons.

Q: Would you sing duets with senior singers in Sri Lanka?

Yes, I would love to sing with senior, popular artists in Sri Lanka.

I would also love to sing with artists who are novice but talented and dedicated to contributing meaningfully to the field with rich engagements.

My first duet will be released in the future which has a folk touch and is sung with my Guru.

Q: You are also a professional in Early Childhood Education (ECE) sector. Why did you want to pursue such career?

My passion to work with young children drove me to be an Early Childhood Teacher.

I love children and strongly believe, teaching and upbringing them in a high-quality learning and nurturing environment from young ages can make them responsible, successful citizens with life skills.

Like other professions, being an ECT is a package. One’s knowledge, strength should embed with the love for children, understanding their strengths and likes. Then one can empower the children to reach their full potential.

Teaching young learners is teaching and caring for them.

Q: It is said, education starts from the moment we are born. Your comment.

Yes, children are born learners, they possess numerous innate abilities for example; being curios, exploring, problem-solving, possess language skills and building relationships with people around them. They start learning from day one.

Research says that the first five years of a human being is crucial which means, by the age of schooling children go through many important stages of life. That is why we should invest effort, time, and money to build these young citizens to be successful later in their lives.

Q: How could Sri Lanka benchmark with global ECE standards?

By focusing more on developing a holistic person Sri Lanka can reach higher standards in ECE.

This emphasizes building skills, competencies which can include exposure to early literacy and numeracy. To reach these goals, a diversion of focus on what support to provide children, how to deliver a quality early education curriculum is necessary.

To cater such a curriculum, qualified and skilled EC professionals are necessary. Our vision is for the future. The readiness for the future, for the needs of the nation starts at early years.

Physical and emotional well-being during this age and building skills and competencies for life embedding with life-skills achieved during early childhood is critically important for a child entering the early adolescent age.

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