Sri Nayana Pillai used to conduct Thyagaraja Uthsavam concerts in
Kancheepuram and the 4 siblings used to promptly attend those concerts.
Renowned musicians like Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Musiri Subramanya Iyer,
Rajaratnam Pillai performed during this festival. With the memory cells of the human brain being their only aid to recollect those songs, DKP amma
and her brothers used to grasp the lyrics and music of each song, come back
and have a discussion and memorize what they heard. If there is a forgotten
phrase in between, the enthusiastic siblings would wait indefinitely for
another concert in Kancheepuram when the same song would be sung.
When she was ten, she gave her first ever concert for Corporate Radio,
Madras and gradually went on to give stage concerts, despite apprehensions
and opposition from her community. Dr. P.S. Srinivasan Iyer of Kancheepuram
and her school headmistress Smt Ammu Kutty Ammal were instrumental in
persuading her father to encourage the unique talent in DKP amma and made
him postpone the idea of confining her to home and getting her married
early. She was one of those rare women who got married only at the age of
twenty one, at a period when child marriage was the order. She studied upto
VIII grade (called III form in those days) and became a teacher during her
teens. The family later shifted to Chennai.