New e-learnings at music schools

New e-learnings at music schools

Some had never explored online classes before. They now feel virtual is here to stay

Many musicians began offering online classes during the lockdown, and believe they will continue virtual teaching even after offline classes return.

M K Ohileshwari, guitarist and singer, used to hold classes at her academy in Rajajinagar. She switched to the online medium when she realised it would be a long time before students could return in person.

With Vikas Naregal teaching tabla and Shree Artha teaching keyboard and guitar, the Ohileshwari Art Foundation is convinced online teaching is here to stay.

“Children below 12 found it difficult in the beginning but we made offline videos to make their learning easy,” Ohileshwari explains. Online classes are working well. Teachers can pinpoint and correct mistakes, and students are preparing better before they take a class, she says. “We sometimes conduct group online classes to encourage students to play together and take inspiration from one another,” she says.

Classical for all

Imparting lessons using the Internet is not new to Keerthana Rao, a Carnatic vocalist who has been offering a 15-day music course through WhatsApp since September last year.

The interest in online classes increased during the lockdown, including the students who were already learning from them. “My intention was to make classical music accessible to anybody with or without a musical background. I send a recording, giving a gap after every line for the student to repeat after me without having to pause the audio,” she says. At the end of each day, the student replies with the entire song sung and Keerthana gives her feedback.

Interim solution

For Supriya Raghunandan, well-known sugama sangeeta and playback singer, online classes are helpful but not a substitute for face-to-face classes. “It is not the same as being physically present in a room. We have to make do with online classes for now because of the circumstances,” she says. Poor quality of audio and video and power cuts have disrupted some of her classes. “I am not a big fan of this medium but nonetheless we are able to help students keep in touch with their practice,” she says. 

Teaching uninterrupted

Sangeeth Thomas, keyboardist who performs live and is well-known as a studio sessions artiste, was initially hesitant about giving virtual lessons. He has been teaching Western piano and keyboard for 15 years, and started individual online classes after the lockdown came into effect.

“In the beginning, it felt different, but I’m happy with this process. Thanks to technology, the classes weren’t halted by the pandemic,” he says.

Growing interest

Karthik Bhat has always been conducting online classes for students in the USA. The lockdown has forced him to do the same for his Bengaluru students as well. He says the biggest hurdle to new learners online, especially beginners, was to go out and find a tabla when all shops were closed.

“I have lent two or three tablas to new students. Since the lockdown started the demand from people to learn music through online medium has definitely increased,” he says. 

Online music classes 

  • Ganesh Desai (sugama sangeeta)  98452 16091
  • Supriya Raghunandan (sugama sangeeta)
  • Keerthana Rao (Carnatic vocal) 81979 10717
  • Sangeeth Thomas (piano, keyboard) 98805 70605
  • MK Ohileshwari (guitar) 6363 7 69859
  • Karthik Bhat (tabla) 95356 95552

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