Published: 17th April 2020
Your child can learn magic online via this two-day course amid the lockdown. Here's how
Bengaluru's favourite magician, Nikhil Raj, who is also the founder of the Institute of Magic and Allied Arts, tells us why learning magic can help build up confidence among children
Amid the Coronavirus lockdown, people across the world and the country have been extremely creative in their various ways of spending quality time when all of us are stuck at home. Some are dancing, some singing, some cooking, some learning a new language and a lot of other things. Children too have to make do with whatever is available to them. But how does learning magic sound? Exciting right?
The Institute of Magic and Allied Arts is organising its first-ever virtual Junior Magic Course where children will be mentored by Bengaluru's favourite magician, Nikhil Raj in an online course conducted over a span of two days. We spoke to the magician about what to look forward to in the course, what does magic mean to him and a lot more.
And the best part? The course will teach children magic tricks that can be easily performed with items available at home. So, Abracadabra! Put your magician's cape on!
Here's what children can look forward to:
What will the course focus on? What will it be all about?
The Junior Magic Course is a specially curated, two-day course, for children aged 7- 12 who will be taught a set of 12 tricks. While session one will comprise of basic tricks, session two introduces them to a set of advanced tricks. The course aims to improve creativity, dexterity, stage presence, communication and confidence of children, through magic, with items easily available at home. The idea is for children to have magic on their fingertips and equip them to perform with items that are readily available in their surroundings. This is known as ‘Improv Magic’ where children will be able to perform anywhere and stand out in a crowd.
How do you think it will help build up confidence among children?
Confidence is a quality that does not develop overnight. Building confidence from a young age is of utmost importance today as children are now constantly surrounded by gadgets and influencers who are ‘too good to be true’. This definitely takes a toll on their self-esteem. By introducing them to an activity such as magic via the Junior Magic Course, they disconnect from their technological devices and begin to work on themselves. With practice and dedication, they begin to feel confident about themselves as well as performing in front of others. Apart from building confidence, during the course, we will also be focusing and providing tips on communication, stage presence and presentation.
How important is it, do you feel to be productive, creative while children are at home during the lockdown?
Children are filled with curiosity. Feeding this curiosity is a task that most parents find difficult. Now that the children are confined to the four corners of their homes, it becomes all the more difficult for parents to keep them engaged. But summer is also a time when children expect to be engaged in activities apart from their school routine. Training the creative side of the child’s brain is just as important. This way, children have something new to learn and share with their peers and not just fixate themselves to games and movies. Magic itself brings about curiosity and wonder in children. Through the workshop, we will also teach children creative ways to do one trick and ask children to perform their own variations. This makes children think out of the box which in turn improves their creativity.
What is the concept of magic, according to you? Is it just tricks or there's something deeper?
Magic is a unique art form. An art form that not only brings with it an element of surprise and triggers people to think, but also makes them happy at the end of the day. Magic is a vast subject which encompasses various styles such as Illusions, Mentalism, Conjuring, Close-up and Hypnotism. Each of these styles can be performed individually or in combination to suit the expectations of various kinds of audience. Magic can also be incorporated easily into daily life. To give you an example I also perform for corporates. Due to the lockdown, I understand that work from home may not be as relaxing as depicted on social media. So, this time I have also specially curated a mentalism show, Re-imagining Mental Limits, to bust their stress.
What other creative things can children do to keep themselves occupied during this time?
With the lockdown extended, most trainers and artists are taking their classes online. From dance to music to learning a new instrument to cooking to art to robotics to magic, it is all virtual now. Children can now experience the classes from the comfort of their homes, minus the time wasted on travel. Apart from digital games, children can play traditional games which include board and physical games, which keeps them active throughout the day. Children should also be encouraged to lend a helping hand with the house chores. This not only facilitates bonding but also breaks the gender stereotypes associated with house chores. Feeding and taking care of the animals and birds around their homes should also be encouraged.
How excited are you about conducting the course?
I had conducted the first round of the Junior Magic Course on April 11, 12 which was a huge success and am extremely excited to be back with the second part on public demand. I am also the founder of the Institute of Magic and Allied Arts which allows me to be around children, which I absolutely enjoy. We conduct magic workshops and courses all year round and also have specially curated camps for the summer. We decided not to disappoint the children this year too and brought the course right to their homes.
Junior Magic Course details:
Age Group: 7 - 11 years
Date: April 18, 19
Duration: 90 minutes session per day
To register, contact: 9916552979