Chennai Lifestyle & Food

Top 10 Online Carnatic Music Schools

Online Carnatic Music Schools
Written by Team Urban Tree

To be a South Indian, and not know Music, is generally considered  a “SIN” if I may use the word. Music is one such thing, that can present your feelings in form of words.

Beautiful words composed and positioned in an apt way and then the background score just adds life to those words. I am sure every single soul out there likes some aspect of music in some manner. Learning or not learning music is an individual’s choice indeed but as people say learning is an on going process and there is nothing wrong in learning something new. Then why not try music ?

I have not learnt music, but I appreciate it, I like the way words are put into the music or vice versa. Every sound of the instrument has its own beauty which is indescribable, its just heavenly. I have always wanted to learn Music, but I could not, however not being able to learn music during my childhood never deterred me from learning now. I had always believed that there is no age to learning. As I am working and my usual amazing trips are mostly digital (Pun intended) I chose to learn Music and being a South Indian following the conventional method was my habit hence I chose to learn Carnatic music

Well I am not here advocating any particular brand or advertising any school, I am here just to arouse some interest in those people who are in the fences – if they should learn music or not, and if they want to, how can they, where can they go.

First of all you should understand it’s a myth that Carnatic music can be learnt only in the Guru-Shishya atmosphere. World is going digital, technology has advanced. People are learning things through Skype and video conferencing. Hence we have many online music schools which teach Carnatic Music and I am very sure and hopeful that my following links would be of great help to people out there looking out for some fun 🙂

However before we go ahead to the famous schools, I feel in order to garner attention of those people who feel music is not their cup of tea, here are a few facts about Carnatic music

The use of violin in Carnatic music is taken for granted, but two centuries ago it had almost lost out to the piano as the newfangled accompaniment in South Indian classical music. In fact, the musicians of that era had a wide choice of native bowed instruments and they had no reason to look at the violin

Carnatic music is now a film star too. In April 2008, India’s first concert movie Margazhi Raagam was released to packed houses in Chennai and Bangalore. The movie is nothing but a two-hour concert by vocalists T.M. Krishna and Bombay Jayashri, filmed with sophisticated cameras and sound systems.

Carnatic music is considered one of the oldest systems of music in the world. Carnatic music is a very complex system of music that requires much thought, both artistically and technically. The basis of Carnatic music is the system of ragas (melodic scales) and talas (rhythmic cycles). There are seven rhythmic cycles and 72 fundamental ragas. All other ragas are considered to have originated from these.

Carnatic Music would be incomplete without its instruments like Violin, Mrindanga, Ghatam and more.

Here I would like to talk about the two most important instruments used in Carnatic Music as quoted by the most famous blogger Anuradha Mahesh on Carnatic music

Veena is one of the three principal musical instruments mentioned in the vedic literature, the other two being the Venu (flute) and Mrindanga. Veena is said to be in existence from the time of Rig Veda  and can be called as the queen of all instruments .

Also as quoted by blogger Vinod Seetharaman , The “mridangam” finds its use in different art forms in South India, and is the main percussion instrument for Carnatic music as well as classical dance forms like Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi

Inspired by how technology is shaping the Carnatic Music industry, in this article we have listed down  Top 10 Online Carnatic Music Schools which can help you learn music sitting at your home. In no particular order, enjoy the list below:

1. Shankar Mahadevan Academy

Shankar Mahadevan Music Academy

Shankar Mahadevan Academy provides the unique opportunity for students  to learn Carnatic Vocal music from the comforts of their own home through a highly organised curriculum, a clear path for learning, and certifications for completion. Level Certificates are given to students at each of seven levels: Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha and Ni. Entry into any level will require new students go through a rigorous assessment for the prior level.

What courses it offers:

  • Hindustani Vocal
  • Carnatic Vocal
  • Voice Gym
  • Music for Children
  • Songs
  • Hindi Movie Songs
  • Devotional Songs
  • Teacher Training Program
  • Instrumental Hindi Songs

2. GAALC – Indian Music School

GAALC – Indian Music School

Global Academy of Arts, Languages and Culture based at New Delhi, is one of the top rated international performing arts learning school academy in India offering online Carnatic voice training facilitated on Skype and Google Hangouts (Google Talk) as real time, one-on-one / group, interactive,  class lessons online for the global music students.

What courses it offers:

  • Carnatic vocal
  • Carnatic devotional singing
  • Carnatic light classical vocal
  • Carnatic popular songs of regional Film / movies
  • Carnatic voice training
  • Carnatic singing music lessons online
  • Online Carnatic instrumental music training classes
  • Online Indian classical dance classes and folk dancing lessons to learn dance online

The Carnatic music training online lessons are offered with Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Sanskrit, English and Hindi language support / medium.

3. Shankar Ramani-Music for Soul

Shankar Ramani Music for Soul

Shankar Ramani offers classes to anyone interested in learning traditional Carnatic music. Typically his focus is more on teaching children starting age 9 and higher.He teaches over Skype and some in person classes depending on where students live.

Course outline in stages:

Stage I
1. Basic lessons – Geethams and introductory music lessons.
2. Introduction and familiarization of thalams and ragams
3. Simple varnams and krithis in simple ragas without a lot of Gamakams
4. The student is expected to practice everyday for at least 30 mins at home

Stage II
1. Increasing the repertoire of Krithis and Varnams
2. Preliminary techniques of Kalpana Swaram singing
3. Introduction to Raga Alapana and its structure; Raga alapana in lower speeds and for simple ragams
4. Basic techniques of establishing Sarvalaghu Shuddham or sense of rhythm
5. The student is expected to practice everyday for at least 1 hour at home

Stage III
1. More complex krithis including ones in Ghana ragams & Vilamba Kaalam
2. Advanced techniques in Kalpana Swaram singing; Introduction to Kuraipuu and Korvais
3. Basic techniques of Niraval
4. Elaborate Raga Alapana singing (concert style); training on important gamakams for ghana ragams; Introduction to Brigaas
5. How to learn by listening – developing a sharp ear for Carnatic music
6. Honing diction and appreciating lyrical richness of compositions
7. Focusing on Bhavam and Bhakti Rasa
8. Concert structure and preparation techniques
9. The student is expected to practice for a minimum of 1-2 hours every day at home in addition to the music class.

Stage IV
1. Focus on increasing the repertoire of Krithis to several hundred (yes, that is correct!)
2. Advanced level Alapana, Niraval, Kalpana swaram singing in concert style and with full depth
3. Kalpana Swaram singing – advanced concepts – Kuraippu / Reduction for different types of thalams; Korvai or mathematical constructs
4. Introduction and mastery of brigas, multiple kalam Niraval singing
5. Ragam Thanam Pallavi – basic concepts and RTPs in a variety of thalams including Nadai Pallavis
6. Progressive shift to singing Carnatic music as a spiritual offering to the Divine rather than just a musical performance – appreciation of nuances of lyrics, their meaning and how to bring out the Bhavam and essence of the krithi
7. Self-learning techniques using notation and how to finish and fine tune a krithi learned through self-learning
8. How to compose Ragam Thanam Pallavis
9. Advanced level concert planning, preparation and perfection techniques
10. “Tons” of offline listening to Carnatic music from my very special music collection
11. The student is expected to practice for a minimum of 2-3 hours everyday.

4. Divya Music School

Divya Music School

Divya music school in India offers online music training lessons for  Indian classical vocal music – beginner, intermediate and advanced level are available for everyone who wants to learn Carnatic classical vocal music. Music lessons on skype and instrumental music are also available at the  convenience of  students all over the world. Divya school of music is promoted by the top music school in India – Divya music Sangeet Vidyalaya, is considered as the best music education center in India conducting Carnatic vocal music hobby learning extended term courses.

Online Music Lessons by Divya Music School offers extended term online music learning programs on Skype / Google Hangouts with the following unmatched features:
• Top Qualified, best experienced Professional music teachers from all over the world
• Live, one on one, real time interactive online music lessons for students of all levels
• Flexible time schedules of the online music class lessons for international students
• Well defined curriculum for all levels of learning, developed by the global music experts
• Advanced music E-books learning content & music practice (Riyaaz) tools for all levels
• Save on travel time and the cost of travelling to the music teacher / music school
• Safe & convenient option for kids, children, women and elderly to learn music online
• Affordable, low cost price music learning fees for the best online music class lessons
• Convenience and comfort of learning music at home as a private music class lessons
• Online music lessons for beginner, intermediate & advanced levels of learning music
• Join the appropriate level music classes after individual evaluation & the expert opinion
• Private and group online music classes for all age groups and music learning levels
• Learn with top rated Divya Music school, a global music school with international faculty
• Get music expert opinion feedback on the performance with the improvement tips
• Multilingual online music class options to learn Indian vocal & Indian Musical Instruments
• Online music lessons in English / Regional Languages for Non Resident Indians – NRIs
• Better consistency & concentration, least missed classes due to flexible online classes
• Convenient schedules for almost all the global time zones, option of weekly 1/2/3 classes

5. Annapoorna Karthik Music School

Annapoorna Karthick Music School

The website offers One to One Online Carnatic Music Classes on Skype at the convenience of its students. It also provides flexible scheduling of classes. Its online courses are available for learners of all level and age , all this at at a a nominal fee.

Course outline in various learning levels:

Beginner Level:

  • Singing with proper alignment to Shruthi
  • Getting the swarasthanas right
  • Introduction to various thaalas
  • Insight into swara rendition with appropriate gamakas through the swaravali bruga saadaga varisais
  • Introduction to different ragas through Geethams
  • Introduction to akaara saadagam/Voice culture techniques   to gain excellent breath control, mastery over the gamakams
  • Insight into the various thaala nadais with practice of the alankaras in the 35 thalas and the jaathiswaras
  • Insight into technical terms associated with the fundamental aspects of music through the lakshana geethams

 Intermediate Level:

  • Gaining mastery in thaana,pada and daru varnams. (different thaalas)
  • Rendition of Varnams in three speeds
  • Comprehending Notations
  • Simple Keerthanais and Uthsava sampradaaya keerthanais of Sri Thyaagaraajar
  • Inculcate the ability to notate small krithis by themselves
  • Teach the ability to comprehend swara phrases
  • Learning  to appreciate  a concert, things to observe while listening a concert, etc

 Advanced Level:

  • Pancharanthna Krithis
  • Start with complex krithis of trinity (Thyagaraja, Dikshitar and Syama Sasthry)
  • Vilamba kala krithis
  • Introduction to other music forms like Thillanas, Viruthams and Ragamalika, etc
  • Alapana,niraval,kalpana swaras and the technicalities involved in singing the various aspects of manodharmam
  • Ragam, Thanam, Pallavi
  • Singing Varnams in Thishra nadai
  • Preparation for performing at concerts

6. Go4Guru Online Carnatic Music 

Go4guru.com Online Tutoring

The website interface is easy to use.  It has been designed in such a way that it helps both the student and the teacher to start the class without any hassles. All that is required is: A computer with a broad-band connection and a headset with a mike.  For certain classes, a Web-cam is a must i.e., classes like learning a musical instrument.

It offers the following courses:
Carnatic Music – Vocal

Carnatic Music – Instrumental

Course outline in various learning levels:

Carnatic Music – Vocal

Level1:
Sarali varisai,Janta varisai,upper stayi varisai,Daattu varisai
Alankarams with akara sadagams
Geetham
Swarajathi

Level2:
Adi tala varnam
Ata tala varnam
Pada varnam
Small krithis

Level3:
Advanced krithis
Shyama sasthry swarajathis
Pancharathna krithis
Navavarna krithis
Navagraha krithis
Pancha linga krithis

Level4:
Manodharma sangeetham
Theory
Viruthams,Paasurams, Thillana,padams,javali,abhangs,bhajans,ashtapathis

Level 5:
Pallavi singing

Carnatic Music – Instrumental

VEENA:
Level1 :
About the instrument
Varisais and playing using the tala string
Alankarams along with vigorous practice sessions for obtaining speed
Geethams
Swarajathis

Level 2:
Small krithis
Alapana
Complex krithis

Level 3:
Pancharathna krithis and swarajathis
Neraval and kalpana swaras
Thillanas and thukkadaas

Level 4:
Ragam thanam pallavi (specialized technique for thanam playing)

VIOLIN:
Level 1: 
Introduction to the vadhyam
Bowing techniques
Basic lessons
Training for co-ordination of both the hands while playing
Geethams,swarajathis

Level 2 :
Varnams
Simple and complex krithis

Level 3 :
Manodharmam
Ragam thanam pallavi
Other aspects of performing

FLUTE :
Level 1 :
Basic concepts about the flute
Blowing, fingering and breath control techniques
Abhyasa paatam (varisais,alankarams,geethams)

Level 2:
Varnams (Adi,Ata,Pada)
Small krithis
Complex krithis (Pancharathna, Dikshithar krithis)

Level 3:
Manodharma and pallavis

MRIDANGAM:
Level 1:
Principles behind the instrument
Posture and fingering
Basic sollus (tha dhi thom nam)

Level 2:
Farans
Different nadais,thalams
Simple korvais
Playing for krithis

Level 3:
Playing for RTPs,Thani, nadai changing, Koraippu,Mohra and theermaanams

7. Vidya Subramanian Carnatic Music Classes

Vidya Subramanian Carnatic Music Classes

Vidya Subramanian excellent communication skills, extensive performance experience, wide repertoire, international exposure and meticulousness make her one of the most sought after teachers of Carnatic music at the global level. Vidya Subramanian’s online Academy of Carnatic music welcomes students of all ages, locations and levels. Her  Raagarasika podcasts, attract music lovers from Indian as well as other cultural backgrounds to  reach out to Vidya to learn more about this art form.

Course outline via sample clippings:
Vidya Subramanian – Sample Audio Clippings

Vidya Subramanian – Sample Video Clippings

8. Acharyanet Carnatic Music School

Acharyanet Carnatic Music School

The website provides you an amazing opportunity for enthusiast of all ages to learn Carnatic music from legends like Neyveli Santhana Gopalan and many more.

Course Structure in various levels is as follows:

Basic

Varisais and Alankarams

Geethams

Swarajathis

Varnams

Popular Varnams

Rare Varnams

Krithis

Purandara Dasa

Oothukkadu Venkata Kavi

Thyagaraja

Muthuswamy Dikshitar

Other Composers

Manodharma

Model Raga Alapanas

Model Kalpana Swarams

Javalis & Padams

Thillanas

Bhajans & Tevarams

Laya

9. Radhika Krishna Carnatic Music School

Radhika Krishna Carnatic Music School

Radhika Krishna Online Carnatic Music School help students and aspirants of Carnatic music to learn the basics  of this art totally free. This learning page also offers interactive Mp3 audio files to learn and understand Carnatic music in a better way.

Course structure is as follows:

The objective is to help students and aspirants of carnatic music to learn the basics of carnatic music, that too totally free. This leaning page also offers interactive MP3 audio files to learn and understand carnatic music in a better way. Basic lessons of carnatic music are taught in the traditional systematic way. You can also contact Smt.Radhika Krishna back for any queries or doubts relating carnatic music lessons or carnatic music learning. The basics of carnatic music are based on a swara system. To start learning carnatic music, the student should train himself/herself with the voice training sessions called varishas. Varishas are swara (notes) patters that train a student to handle a particular raga to equip him or her to learn carnatic music. It also initiates the students to the concept of tala or rhythm. There are mainly three types of basic varishas. They are  Sarali varisha,Janta Varisha, Madhyastayi & Tarasthai Varishas

10.Ravindran Academy Of Music

Ravindran Academy Of Music

RAM  launched this new programme GOS, ( GURUKULA OVERSEAS) A high standard teaching course offered to students living abroad and other parts of the country online through skype. The skype classes are “ one on one” basis with duration of 1 hour.  RAM  also conduct exams online with professional musician judging the students via skype and the certificates will be provided in the grand music festival conducted by the school every year before the elite audience.

Online classes for:
Carnatic Music Percussion
Vocal Mridhangam
Veena Ghatam
Violin Kanjira
Flute Morsing
Keyboard Konnakol
Harmonium Tabla
Guitar Dolak
  Drums

This is obviously not an exhaustive list, but these indeed would assure quality classes which you can take at your convenience. A good and informed decision on these would someday assure you to see your hobby transition into a passion and then  possibly a  successful career.

All the very best 🙂

About the author

Team Urban Tree

Urban Tree are the creators of magnificent homes in Chennai. Urban Tree is committed to creating world-class homes featuring innovative new styles that are meticulously integrated into every aspect of modern day living.

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