Classical Music Tradition Continues in Findlay

Aruna Rajan, from Delhi, India and now living in Findlay, has been studying Carnatic classical music since she was five years old. Carnatic classical is a vocal style of music originating in southern India. When she started lessons, Rajan said, “I was not at all interested. I could hear my friends jumping, playing and running around outside, but I had to stay inside to take lessons.” Eventually, however, Rajan fell in love with Carnatic classical, and she has continued to study and teach music in Findlay.

Describe Carnatic classical music?

Rajan described the intricate music, which takes years to learn. “Most of the songs are sung in praise. Each song would be dedicated to one god,” Rajan said. “Many of the songs are composed to evoke a particular emotion in the audience, such as joy or sorrow. Pitch is very important in Carnatic classical music, and learning how to match a pitch is the first lesson many students learn.”

What ages of students do you teach?

There are two groups of students in Rajan’s school, The Swara Srishti School of Music and Art. The younger group of children, who are around six years old, are currently learning to match pitches through fun-filled lessons to keep them entertained. The second group, with students around 10 and 11 years old, is moving into intermediate lessons. Rajan is also preparing for a third group of students.

Where can people go to see the students perform?

Rajan’s students will be performing during Healthy Kids day in Findlay on April 27, 2019. The event will be free and open to the public.

Recipe for Samosas


Samosas a popular Indian food, typically paired with mint chutney and sweet chutney (although tomato ketchup works too).

For dough:
Maida/all purpose flour – 2c
Ghee – 1/4c
Salt to taste
Carom seeds – 1tsp
Mix ingredients to a breadcrumb consistency. Add water, 1 to 2 tbsp at a time. Knead to a firm dough. Cover dough with a damp kitchen towel. Set aside for 30 mins.

For stuffing:
Oil – 2tbsp
4 medium potatoes; boiled, peeled
Green peas – 1/2c
Ginger chili paste – 2tsp
Amchur powder/dried mango powder – 1tsp
Garam masala – 1tsp
Salt to taste
Pinch of turmeric powder
Red chili powder – 1/2tsp (Optional)
Heat oil in a pan. Sauté ginger chili paste for a few seconds. Add green peas. Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat. Mash the potatoes. Add remaining ingredients, mix well. Cook for 4-5 minutes on medium. Let mixture cool.

Making Samosas:
Divide dough into 10 balls.
Rub oil on a rolling pin and flat surface; roll one dough ball into an 8” oval.
Cut the oval into halves; make a cone with one half, sealing the edges with water.
Fill the cone with a tablespoon of stuffing and seal the top as well.
Repeat with the rest.
Heat oil for deep frying.
Once the oil heats up, reduce heat to low/medium and add two samosas. Constantly rotate samosas and brown on all sides. Drain samosas on a paper towel, serve hot.

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