We are living in a changed world. Our children attend school online, they meet their friends online. Music schools in Kolkata, some old and some new, have also risen up to the challenge and adapted their programmes to suit virtual learning. This brings to everyone, all over the world, an inroad into a more holistic education. As everyone struggles to embrace the new norms of being housebound, perhaps music can bring solace and comfort. It can heal, reassure, inspire as well as educate.
The Calcutta School of Music has moved their classes online since the lockdown. The students have welcomed the change and their response has been excellent. The school has also put together a virtual concert, uploaded on their website, with excellent performances from all the students learning online. The renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty has, through his music school Shrutinandan, also started live streaming classes. These classes are attended by over 100 students from 12 countries.
Sangeet Vidhyalaya is the online branch of Divya School of Music. It provides training in vocal and instrumental music as well as dance and other performing arts. They also offer flexible time schedules for all international students.
The online music learning portal Sangeetaloy offers music classes that are specially designed for individual needs, based on one’s ability and interests. Sangeetaloy started with five-year old Hridaan. A penchant for music, a melodious voice, and a willingness to learn. As his parents recognised this, they were eager that their little boy learn Indian music. Living in the United Kingdom, it wasn’t easy for them to find him a mentor. While on this mission, looking for options, Hridaan’s mother Sangeeta Aditya founded Sangeetaloy. They offer classes for Hindustani Classical, Ghazals, Bhajans, Rabindra Sangeet or even Bollywood tunes.
“I feel we are different from the other online classes in the sense that we cater our lessons according to individual capabilities,” says Aditya.
There are music lessons for children, which start from the tender age of three. The experience can help the child build their self-esteem and rhythmic time management capabilities through fun and music. Then beginners hoping to take their first tentative steps into the magical world of music, can learn basic concepts and master the essential skills. The course spanning 24 weeks, includes voice exercise, voice development, concept of tempo and taal. There are similar lessons designed for students with basic knowledge, for students with high level knowledge of music as well as professionals who want to hone their skills. Sangeetaloy also offers a “voice repairing programme” for those with vocal problems.
All the courses are supervised by Guru Santiranjan Chakraborty, an expert in classical dhrupadi music and has 35 years of experience. His repertoire also consists of special skills at repairing troubled voices.