Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dance, music learning goes online!

Times are changing. Earlier, it was distance learning in traditional education. Now, it is learning music and dance online! Especially by those Indians who stay abroad but want to keep their ties with the rich cultural heritage of their country intact. Video conferencing via Internet, 3G technology, YouTube and many such mediums are increasingly making this trend popular.
Gone are the days when music and dance were learnt in Gurukuls. Poorva, a scientist in Chicago, who took a fancy for music after a surgery, learnt it for a while in Patna. She told TOI, "Music helped me a lot in my recovery, and now that I am going back to Chicago I would be taking my lessons from my guru via video conferencing. I am taking along with myself lots of his CDs and DVDs so that I can practice music there by my own."

Jaspreet Kaur, a vocal singer who learnt music here for two years from 2001 and is now settled in Australia after her marriage, keeps in regular contact with his guru here with the medium of webcam.
Rajiv, a singer and director of Ninad Centre of Arts, an NGO that teaches music and dance, says most of his students who have moved out of Patna, maintain regular contact either via phone or Internet, "I even e-mail some of the recordings to my students as required, said Rajiv, adding, "Technology has changed the whole scenario of learning music. With the invention of digital instruments like tanpura, tabla and nagma machine, learning music and dance at home has become very simple. Students can practice even in absence of qualified instrument players." These instruments are available in market for Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000.
Vikrant Pandey, 14, currently studying at Oshawal high school in Kenya, had taken three-year vocal music training during his stay in Patna. He now uses various DVDs, YouTube and mobile phone to learn music. "Whenever we have to give any performance in Kenya, we sing on phone to our teacher and he guides us from Patna. Technology has made it possible for us to continue and learn music without many compromises."
Shefali Mishra, who has done graduation in Kathak from Patna and is now doing MBBS at Kolhapur, said, "It is difficult but various videos available at YouTube make it easy. Now, when we have 3G-enabled mobile phones, we can even see our gurus performing live for us and teaching us 'mudras' and explaining each time we make a mistake. Skype is also a big relief."
Neelam Chaudhary, a famous Kathak dancer and disciple of Pandit Birju Maharaj, says, "Learning music and dance in the initial or final stage is possible by such mediums. But to get full 'talim' through such media is impossible. For perfection, teacher's guidance and company is necessary." Chaudhary, a senior government official, also runs a dancing school for youngsters in the city.
Another famous Kathak dancer from Patna who is now settled in London, Stella Uppal has set up a dancing school in which some of the city youngsters take dance classes by applying modern technology.

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