Here's where you can learn non-classical music

Contrary to the notion that light or non-classical music does not need proper training, many teachers say they prefer students with a classical base.

Light music is a genre which, teachers say, does not require as much rigour as classical music, neither is it as rule-bound or rigid. For people who simply want to sing songs for their own enjoyment or want to gain expertise in a non-classical genre, learning semi-classical music is a good option. Age is no bar for learning, so it’s never too late to start. 

Metrolife spoke to a few music schools in Bengaluru that teach non-classical genres of Indian music and here’s what they had to say.

Sadhana Music School

This music school was the first light music school in the state, says artiste and teacher Manjula Gururaj. On June 21, they completed 28 years. The semi-classical wing of Sadhana Music School teaches folk, bhava geethe, bhakti geethe and other forms of semi-classical and light music. The school has more than 200 students above the age of 12 learning light music.

“‘Light music’ is an incorrect term because music is anything but light. That’s why we call it Sugama Sangeetha,” Manjula emphasises. “I start my courses with omkara and pranayama to cultivate the voice so that it can adapt to any style of singing.”

She also does a course on ‘Techniques in Singing’ which focuses on breath control, pronunciation, expressions and pitch training. 

Contact: 080 22976961
Address: #54/1, East Segen, Puttanna Road, Parallel to DVG road, Basavanagudi.

Sangeet Sadhana

“Semi-classical is not a different technology altogether,” says Anindita Mukherjee, founder of Sangeet Sadhana School of Music and Art. “You need to develop the tonal quality of your voice to understand the different ornamentation structures associated with different forms of music.”

At Sangeet Sadhana, students get a foundational classical training before they learn semi-classical music. “All those who have developed expertise in their particular genre of light music have a classical base,” Anindita says.

Contact: 99002 51018, 96204 01420
Address: #720, 9th main, 4th Block, Koramangala.

Sri Veenavani Music School

A music school holding 28 world records, Sri Veenavani Music School also has a light music course which currently has more than 45 students. “Just like in Carnatic, light music too has a foundational course. We begin with this foundation and then start off with small songs,” says Girish Kumar, faculty.

“Light music is vast, but songs by C Ashwath and Mysore Ananthaswamy are more popular.” This school also teaches semi-classical genres like devaranama.

Contact: 98866 59845
Address: #1531, 25th Main, 27th Cross, 2nd Stage, Banashankari.

Shruthi Sangeetha Vidyalaya

This school teaches both classical and light music. While the classical classes are one-on-one, the light music classes are conducted in a group. Classes are held once a week for one hour. There are two batches -- one for ladies and one for children.

“For the light music class, I choose students only if they have a classical foundation. Otherwise, it becomes difficult for them to understand the nuances of the songs,” says Anupama Rao, founder and teacher.

Contact: 99001 20604
Address: #181, 1st A Cross, 2nd Phase, 4th Block, BSK 3rd Stage.

World Music Conservatory

The light music course in this music conservatory takes place in batches. An assortment of students from all genres - Carnatic, Hindustani and western - are selected. These students are trained in songs from many languages including Hindi, Kannada and Tamil. At the end of 2-3 months, the students put up a performance.
Classes are conducted twice a week. At the end of the batch, the students can choose to stay in that batch or complete that course. In addition to the regular instructor, they also get guest faculty to teach the students.

Contact: 96862 68115, 080 23448400
Address: #42/4, East Park Road, between 17th and 18th Cross, Malleswaram.
 

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