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tablatime

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Reply with quote  #1 
i see where a couple of guys have made a slick self serving video asking other people to donate money to buy them a house for their dream of a music ashram in mexico where they can teach music in classes to mexicans for money.
classes? the music is properly learned one on one from the master. that's how i learned for thirty years from masters certainly not lesser than their teachers, pundits radhika mohan maitra, jnan prakash ghosh, buddhadev das gupta, and sunil bundo bosu. i never learned in a class, but sat directly with my teachers in their house or mine. the reason for classes is that the master is lazy or wants to make more money from students. none of the best musicians learned in classes. and money was not part of the mix for them.
if these guys have something valuable to teach why don't they just do it. you do not need a dreamy ashram, a room in a house is sufficient. that's what i have been doing daily since 2000 in mexico. i've taught many dozens of mexicans....sarode, tabla, sitar, violin, double bass, cello and flute.
some have made good use of the teaching. you can see juan and alvaro on youtube at.... sarodya....or hear them at soundcloud.com/sarodya. also, there is no charge to students and i loan them instruments when needed.
a gharana is formed from three generations of something different from the original teaching. so we have no ajijic gharana now. and there is no mexico gharana.
also, a reminder about my radio podcast at chapalaenvivo.com. it's called gharana music and there are very rare recordings aired. go to envivo and click pod archive. there are about twelve pages and the program is on many of them.
incidentally, this site, chandrakantha, is the only place i know of where i am listed, still new students continue to come.
also, our restaurant, "jasmines classic india," is on the plaza of ajijic if you happen to be in town.
thank you for your indulgence, michael robbins
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #2 
I am not sure why you are so cynical about their attempts to create a school of music in Mexico.
I also do not know why you assume that they only want to teach classes as opposed to individual lessons.
They teach mostly individual students, but sometimes group lessons are useful, especially if you have a visiting artist who wants to give a class, or in the case of absolute beginners.
Personally I hate group lessons and do not often partake in them, but no one is forcing group classes on anyone.

As for receiving payment for lessons, this is not weird.
This is not the old days with Maharajas footing the bill so musicians could keep a stable of students.
Some teachers do teach some devoted disciples without payment, but I have no problem paying a teacher for lessons.
Why would they do it for free.
Everyone has to eat.
No one is making huge piles of money teaching Indian Classical Music.
Most top level musicians charge for lessons, including musician of the level of Imrat Khan, etc.
The modern world of professional ICM musicians does not afford many a life of ease where they can keep students in the old way, free of charge.

As for the building, they certainly do not HAVE to house the school in that old character building, but it looks like the perfect place to have a school.
I thought the building looked awesome, and I fully understand the vision.
Do they NEED that building... no.
Would it make an awesome music school... absofreakinlutely.
Plus it is not some outrageous palace, it is just a really cool old building that need a LOT of work.

Why begrudge them their vision?
Why do you care so much?
Are you mad because they are encroaching on your turf?
I just don't understand the cynical grudge you have against two people who love to teach and want to support ICM in mexico.

You don't have to like what they are trying to do, but I assure you they are not doing it to get rich.
They just want to teach Maihar style music, to pass on the knowledge of their gharana.
They love to teach, and this is a cool dream.
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tablatime

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Reply with quote  #3 
hi, i don't disagree with you. teachers often need to charge money to live. i did for years. but individual instruction is of the most importance, especially right at the beginning when important habits are formed.
i was present around the ali akbar school in marin co. and i saw the classes taught there and there was obvious disrespect toward students, a hierarchy of favored students and as opposed to others, and money was more important than learning. no one was allowed in khan saab's house, and he gave talim that was not understood by the class (about twenty sitars and sarodes). one woman told us how, after paying much to the school for ten years decided to take the big bucks private sitting with khan saab. the private sitting consisted of three persons paying the big bucks. another class. the first thing ali akbar said to her was that she was not holding the jawa (pick) correctly. stunned, she replied "i've been coming here 10 years and this is the first i've heard of this?". after that she was shown no respect by the master.
i'm here 100% for the music and the proper learning of it. if these guys really have something to offer i am for them and their effort. but if it is the same scam as other so called schools, just to make money and further the hype about their gharana (do they know about the other gharanas), then give me a break, michael robbins
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #4 
I agree with you that large classes are not ideal.
I personally do not like them, and try to avoid them unless it is a "Masterclass" style group lesson with a visiting Master.
I can not speak for Khansahib, but I know many people that received great training at AACM.
They offer group classes, but they also have one on one private lessons if you want them.
Maybe another forumite with AACM experience will jump in and defend their process.
No one is being forced to take group lessons, but I think for some it is a cheaper alternative to private lessons.

I simply do not understand your comment, "(do they know about the other gharanas)"
Of course they know other gharanas, but what does that mean?
They are disciples of the Maihar Gharana.
Why would they teach another Gharana's style?
Why would they not promote their Gharana's style?
They have dedicated their lives to that style, and promoting it is to keep it alive.
By simply teaching they are promoting the Gharana.
I just found that a very strange comment, unless of course I misunderstood what you meant.
It does not make sense to me.

I think you put too much emphasis on the group lesson thing without knowing these musicians or their motivations.
You jumped straight in to skeptical criticism without cause.
I know Paul very well, and I know for a fact that the last thing on his mind is grubbing money from students.
If he was mostly interested in money, the last thing he would be doing is trying to start an ICM school.
ICM is not a pot of gold.
It is a lifelong dedication to a craft, and their desire to teach it to others comes from a sincere desire to spread knowledge and music.

Obviously we are not going to agree on this stuff.
You think the worst, but they are operating from good intentions.
I would just ask you not to trash their efforts without knowing them or their motivations.
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kalyan

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Reply with quote  #5 
Your story about the AACM is not too accurate. I Studied with Khansahib for a number of years and while I did not have many private one on one lessons with Khansahib ( I had a couple and was not charged anything)students were encouraged to get private lessons with the advanced students many of whom are very accomplished musicians in their own right. One of the strengths of the AACM is that any one no matter of talent experience or social status can attend. As a result there would be no possible way for Ali Akbar Khan to sit privately and monitor every step of progress for all the students. But a dedicated student had ample opportunity to avail themselves of the knowledge and experience of their senior gurubais in the form of private one on one lessons, just like the ones you provide.
Any one who attended the AACM was welcomed in to Khansahibs house many times, so that is simply a false statement.
I understand your dislike of large class environment for learning it is not for everyone, but for me some of the most profound musical experiences I have ever had were sitting in class the Khansahib so I would not trade them for anything. But I think any truly dedicated student recognized the need to augment their studies with some one on one instruction with senior disciples.
Kalyan

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kalyan

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Reply with quote  #6 
Just to add a little more info for every large group class that was taught by Ali Akbar Khan there was review class offered where an advanced student would go over the material in detail and the beginners would have a chance to play back one at a time and get more personalized guidance. And Khansahib was never a rich man, his salary from the school was very small compared to what teachers of much lower caliber at a university would receive and he spent much more time then they would have (till just about the day he died). So trashing him and his efforts seems (to me) a little petty and bitter.
PS just my opinion but attacking and bashing other people that are your peers even if you see them as competition is not a very classy way to promote your pure and humble teaching style. The whole Gharana wars thing is very old and boring.
Kalyan

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manjkhamaj

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Reply with quote  #7 
Actually Kalyan I just saw a video of a group class at the AACM, i would advise you to please carefully watch it. Carefully watch each and every student and try to decipher the sound coming out of each instrument. Ustad Ali Akbar Khan was a great musician and his musicianship is not in question here in this equation. If you look in the video you yourself will see in the back a lot of players are just lost and trying to keep up. Here's one example check out the sitar player then later the female sarod player on the extreme left is looks lost, and this is an advance class. There is a video of a beginner class where the atmosphere is much more scattered. I am not critiquing but the thread starter does have a point about the front row observation. :wink:
. Also the "gharana wars" you mention are actually fought by seniors of your own gharana. I have personally heard Ashish khan underhandedly trash Amjad Ali Khans gharana publicly on a mic before starting his performance. Decorum in this sense trickles up to down here.
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kalyan

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "manjkhamaj"
Actually Kalyan I just saw a video of a group class at the AACM, i would advise you to please carefully watch it. Carefully watch each and every student and try to decipher the sound coming out of each instrument. Ustad Ali Akbar Khan was a great musician and his musicianship is not in question here in this equation. If you look in the video you yourself will see in the back a lot of players are just lost and trying to keep up. Here's one example check out the sitar player then later the female sarod player on the extreme left is looks lost, and this is an advance class. There is a video of a beginner class where the atmosphere is much more scattered. I am not critiquing but the thread starter does have a point about the front row observation. :wink:
. Also the "gharana wars" you mention are actually fought by seniors of your own gharana. I have personally heard Ashish khan underhandedly trash Amjad Ali Khans gharana publicly on a mic before starting his performance. Decorum in this sense trickles up to down here.
This is an advanced class but all students were allowed to attend so there are players of all levels in attendance. But it is tailored to the more advanced players it is not supposed to be easy . If you miss a line or get lost you wait till you find your place then try to keep up. Again for this class there would have been a review class where anyone who felt like they did not get the info could have more refined help. It would be impossible to to decipher the sound coming of any particular instrument in a video like this but the overall sound of the class is pretty consistent, at least when they are playing back the fixed sections of the composition. If you see a person that is lost it may be that they just missed a beat, or were not present last week so have not had a chance to learn the material ,or are just not at the level where they can keep up at that pace. I don't see this as evidence that the class is a waste of time and all the students are being ripped off as suggested.

I was not trying to imply that any particular gharana is more responsible for the gharana wars thing I was just saying it is a silly distraction that has nothing to do with music. To say " just to make money and further the hype about their gharana" seems to like an unnecessary swipe at musician just because they learned from a different linage. I know there are significant differences in approach from the varying schools but there are many more similarities and we are really on the same or similar path so why all the animosity? I mean for someone to automatically dismiss another musician because " you studied from Bhudadev I studied with Ali Akbar or he studied with Amjad " in the scheme of things are very similar paths and I would think would automatically bring us closer together because we are literally just about 3 generations from being gurubais. And I think that any particular students own personal level of talent and dedication will make them excel or lag at least as much as the styles of their teacher.

Kalyan

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manjkhamaj

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Reply with quote  #9 
Kalyan my post did not endorse the bad mouthing by the thread starter to AACM. My feelings are whether a big or small class lets be thankful a 70 year old maestro is bringing one of the most esoteric music to the masses. Big or small classes at least it's there. Reading the thread compelled me to you tube some videos and the purpose of making my earlier post was to point out a specific. I was not making a global judgement by any means. I have immense overall respect for AA Khan and AACM, it's one of a kind, a model institution in itself. As far as the "gharana wars" are concerned you are right about the source being the same, yes as a rational person I agree with you, but lets face it most people are not rational. Talk about the lack of rational critical analysis I commented on the sarod thread about a post about Pt. Vasant Rai. A poster uploaded some old recordings of the maestro and I was shocked by the lack of enthusiasm from other members. Im sure even you probably did not give a bother based on your conditioning on what is "good or bad" . Listening critically I feel Vasantjee was one of the very best sarodyas yet his recordings receive the cold shoulder purely based on my judgement because of him not beign of any dynasty and he was a hindu gujarati....double whammy not khan and not bengali :roll: :roll: And so in this extremely insular world of hindustani music he was equivalent to the albino chimp in the gang. I pointed out our audience is a emotional one not a analytical one. Had lakshman posted rare recording by ali akbar khan or amjad ali khan even the uninitiated would have clicked the listen purely based on name cache. So in the same note the gharana wars are not rational, but yet they exist.
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kalyan

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "manjkhamaj"
A poster uploaded some old recordings of the maestro and I was shocked by the lack of enthusiasm from other members. Im sure even you probably did not give a bother based on your conditioning on what is "good or bad" . Listening critically I feel Vasantjee was one of the very best sarodyas yet his recordings receive the cold shoulder purely based on my judgement because of him not beign of any dynasty and he was a hindu gujarati....double whammy not khan and not bengali :roll: :roll: And so in this extremely insular world of hindustani music he was equivalent to the albino chimp in the gang. I pointed out our audience is a emotional one not a analytical one. Had lakshman posted rare recording by ali akbar khan or amjad ali khan even the uninitiated would have clicked the listen purely based on name cache. So in the same note the gharana wars are not rational, but yet they exist.
Actually I thought that was a posting about a radio broadcast that I had already missed by the time I saw it, any time I have seen an active link to the music of Vasant Rai I have eagerly explored it and I love his playing. In truth I have looked quite a bit on Youtube for his music( and for his son Satyam) but have not been able to find much. I think that his seeming lack of notoriety may be in some part due to a lack of published recordings. Weather that was a result of shunning by the larger community or just that it was not his style to record and promote his own studio recordings I have no idea. But I have never heard anything but praise for him or his playing in the circles I have traveled though admittedly he is a senior and well respected member of the Maihar gharana so that does not really discount the gharana wars thing. I think the lack of enthusiasm you see is in general what you find in the sarod forum not just directed at Vasant Rai. But I don't think it is fair to assume what my "conditioning of whats good or bad "is or what I could give a bother about though.
Kalyan

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AndyR

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Reply with quote  #11 
It's evil Andy folks, I followed siddharths posts and ended up seeing this. Couple of things here! First of all lets talk about Ali Akbar Khan and his school. Ali Akbar Khan started to learn this music as a 3 or 4 year old kid, many a times forcefully, he was beaten and forced to practice for hours and hours while other kids were playing with toys, this is a man who wanted to be a pilot as a teen but had to forgo his dreams and become the musician he became and what fucken musician he became fellas? This is a man who left his country and travelled all the way to a foreign land to spread his fathers music at the cost of his own comfort. This is a man who showed up to teach a class rain or shine, in sickness or pain, he showed up....way until his last breath. He's a much better man then we all can ever be. Trust me he did not do this for money, I'm speaking from personal experience. He invited my brother to teach him, he taught him for FREE, let him stay at the school, would bring food for him for almost a year till Pranesh and Shirshir Medusa Karna had to fuck it up and my brother may not have been perfect patrick either. I saw the video...ok siddharth it's normal to miss a avartan, it would probably happen to anyone, and most of the people sitting may not the brightest of lightbulbs either, remember they are students! and hence will make mistakes dude! Tablatime I can promise you if i play something and ask you to play it back, you'll make mistakes thats how you learn. I knew Ali Akbar khan personally and know his son Alam who is the head instructor of the school trust me, Alam could easily make much more money if he did something else. SO tablatime drill this into your skull, THERE IS NO MONEY IN ICM, copy this and blow it up and put it on your wall, this will be your mantra from now on. Now lets get to my dad...jeeez listen my old man died at 42...Did anyone know who Ravi Shankar was when he was 42?? end of discussion. No body in this music is famous! Zakir was a normal curious guy when I was growing up, the tea commercial got him famous, not his tabla playing. Ravi Shankar grabbed on to George Harrisons balls like his life depended on it and that got him exposure and got him famous and that fame came well after 50. Look at ashish khan he's a heck of a player..no one knows him! Lets hope the dorothy braids do the magic for him at this point. Last Last point, you said ali akbar khan would charge "big bucks" for private lessons. Do me a favor will you call Itzak Perelman the violinist and ask him for a private lesson, please do that...you'll answer your own question. Have a nice day folks
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AndyR

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Reply with quote  #12 
Also wanted to add that this art is hanging on a thread of life, in this day of modernism and globalism no one is really interested in ICM it's on it's death bed so instead of putting other people down why not work with them and try to breath some life in to ICM.
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manjkhamaj

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Reply with quote  #13 
Got what you are saying, I actually did not mean to critique the video at all. Being in the tech field we tend to overanalyze things to a fault Matter of fact I am the biggest fan of khansaab, and I am actually visiting andy in nyc right now and he helped me correct some misconceptions with my view on my comments and right now and he has given me some of the finest recording of khan saab. He also took me to alams concert and introduced me to him and alam is the most gracious and humble person.
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