It has been more than a year since I wrote here last. I’ve always had a lot going on, and this past year has been no exception. Ajay and I moved to London in February 2013. Living in a developed country has been an amazing experience, made more amazing by Ajay who has always been my best friend and unflinching partner in all of life’s ups and downs.
I’ve become ‘domesticated’ in many ways–something I abhorred at one time. Between college/work and my music projects, TV, writing, etc. I had no time to do mundane activities like helping mom in the kitchen or doing any household chores at all. But over the past year, I’ve learnt to cook, do household chores and manage everything else that ensues from working a 9 to 5 job and running a home. I have enjoyed the experience immensely, and I’m happy I agreed to move–London has opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities and opportunities.
In Chennai and in London, Carnatic music has been an integral part of my life. On a few occasions, I have even mulled over the possibility of quitting my job and focusing on music full time, but my desire to multi-task and excel at multiple things (pompous as it may sound, it has been my primary motivator in all my activities!) always comes in the way!
Be that as it may, one of the many things about Carnatic music that has fascinated me is its teaching methods–ever since I started learning from Shashi sir when I was in 10th standard. Before Shashi sir, I learnt from a mama who came home every weekend–but I hated Carnatic music then. It was Shashi sir who taught me to love Carnatic music and since then I have written a lot about his teaching methods. (See this post.)
Over the past year or two, I have done considerable work on making Carnatic music interesting for kids (and adults). I know that Carnatic music can be a lot of fun, and believe strongly that the teaching method employed should be innovative and must foster creativity in the student, from the very first day of classes. I have evolved a method of teaching that relies on activities that encourage the student to think and be creative, while simultaneously having fun.
Teaching Carnatic music has come almost as a natural consequence to living in London. So this January, I will be starting Guru Kripa, a school for learning Carnatic music the fun way, in Ilford, East London. If you want to get in touch with me, please write to me and I will be happy to help you in any way I can.
Guru Kripa is my humble offering to my guru and God, vidwan Shri K.N. Shashikiran, to whom I owe my love for music and the little gnaanam I may have gained over the past 12 years. I’m deeply thankful to him for offering me a part in his numerous projects–it has been a truly rewarding, enriching and unforgettable experience. To you, my guru, I humbly offer Guru Kripa.