Voice culture and singing methods form the core of the course
Also taught are yoga, personality development, physical fitness, and the science of music
A five-year plan for musicians
Vidwan R K Padmanabha thinks long-term. He has just announced an annual summer camp for serious students of Karnatak classical music.
This is part of his effort to bring the great maestros of Karnatak classical music face to face with talented young musicians in a well-structured and creative environment. Each year, students will stay with the gurus at Vadiraja Bhavana, on the outskirts of Bangalore, and learn the finer aspects of their art.
Thirty students will be chosen, and their progress monitored closely. Each camp lasts five days. The first camp begins on May 9, 2002. The camp is timed in such a way that students can put their summer holidays to full use in learning and interacting closely with accomplished musicians and fellow-learners.
Musicians between 10 and 16 years are eligible to apply. "They should have passed the music junior exams conducted by the State board," Padmanabha told The Music Magazine.
He wants selected students to show a commitment to learning, and attend the camp all five years. This will help senior musicians evaluate their skills and help them along.
So is it just for singers or can instrument players participate too?
"Vocal music gets primacy," says Padmanabha, "but instrumentalists are welcome too."
What does the annual camp teach?
Voice culture and singing methods form the core of the course. The camp will also have modules on yoga, personality development, physical fitness, the science of music and public speaking.
The cost of running five camps (including honorarium for gurus, and the cost of students' food and stay) works out to an average of Rs 45,000 a student. Parents of selected candidates will only have to pay a subsidized Rs 10,000 (to cover all five years). "The rest of the funds will be raised from music lovers and well-wishers," says Padmanabha.
Padmanabha is acclaimed as one of the foremost singers in the Karnatak music tradition. His work in restoring the works of Mysore Vasudevacharya and Vadiraja have won widespread praise. He is also the moving force behind Vadiraja Bhavana, a Rs 1-crore shrine devoted entirely to music. His warm music, his vision for young musicians, and his generosity in sharing his knowledge have won him friends and admirers the world over.
For more details contact: Sreemad Vadiraja Aradhana Trust on phone (+91) (080) 659 3454.
Published on 23 April 2002
to the editor