INDIAN MUSIC FORUMS

Sign up Calendar Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 2 of 3      Prev   1   2   3   Next
Mulamoodan

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 188
Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "goljawari"
I absolutely agree, 80-100 dollars per hour is what you pay for a great teacher. If you don't want a great teacher/performer to be teaching you, then of course there are many many 'other' options. But, in my many many years of experience with ICM, this is a good rate for hour lessons from Ustad Imrat Khan, or Ustad Irshad Khan. Lessons from these musicians could be worth much more than the amount they're asking. That being said, I don't have experience with online lessons, so I can't speak to the quality of the exchange, just shooting from the top of the dome...
GJW
Often for this $80, all they get is a taan, and students often vouch it is not worth it. For any form of arts, I will say that is an unjustifiable and immoral fee. A lot of people training under such people are forced by geographical constaints.
0
rex@sitar.co.za

Registered:
Posts: 674
Reply with quote  #17 
A specialized professional at the top of his/her career can charge $100-$150 / hour, in any field. It's a matter of supply and demand. Many won't or can't pay that, but many will. Why should musicians be valued less than doctors or lawyers?

The "indian mentality of doing it for free" (not my words!! ) comes from the days of royal patronage where part of the deal is that the master trains students. There was compensation for this, but it didn't come from the student, it came from the maharaja - it was like a scholarship program. The world is a different place now (although there are scholarships available for sitar study if you look for them. If you're in Canada, you can apply for a Shastri performing arts grant to sitar in India for a year).

There are still musicians in India who can afford to teach for free but they are either independently wealthy and do it as a social service or indirectly expect fees in round-about way from the students who can afford to pay.
0
Mulamoodan

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 188
Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "rex@sitar.co.za"
A specialized professional at the top of his/her career can charge $100-$150 / hour, in any field. It's a matter of supply and demand. Many won't or can't pay that, but many will. Why should musicians be valued less than doctors or lawyers?
Unfortunately, we are talking about fees paid by students out of their pocket, not corporations.
0
barend

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,098
Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "goljawari"
I absolutely agree, 80-100 dollars per hour is what you pay for a great teacher. If you don't want a great teacher/performer to be teaching you, then of course there are many many 'other' options. But, in my many many years of experience with ICM, this is a good rate for hour lessons from Ustad Imrat Khan, or Ustad Irshad Khan. Lessons from these musicians could be worth much more than the amount they're asking. That being said, I don't have experience with online lessons, so I can't speak to the quality of the exchange, just shooting from the top of the dome...
GJW
I don't agree. I have had many great teachers (in India and in Europa and also on guitar and bass) but I never paid that amount. I don't care if someone is famous or not. It still think is a lot of money for just one hour. Especially for online lessons.
0
arnabsarod

Registered:
Posts: 204
Reply with quote  #20 
Goljawari:
Quote:
I absolutely agree, 80-100 dollars per hour is what you pay for a great teacher. If you don't want a great teacher/performer to be teaching you, then of course there are many many 'other' options. But, in my many many years of experience with ICM, this is a good rate for hour lessons from Ustad Imrat Khan, or Ustad Irshad Khan. Lessons from these musicians could be worth much more than the amount they're asking. That being said, I don't have experience with online lessons, so I can't speak to the quality of the exchange, just shooting from the top of the dome...
GJW
Barend wrote:
Quote:
I don't agree. I have had many great teachers (in India and in Europa and also on guitar and bass) but I never paid that amount. I don't care if someone is famous or not. It still think is a lot of money for just one hour. Especially for online lessons.
The criteria that qualify someone as a capable teacher of HCM are as follows:

1A. Adequate taleem (ragas, compositions - my benchmark is at least 15 asthai-antaras per raga in at least 60 ragas, taught by a guru other than TDK Khan. It is quite rare to find HCM musicians these days who possess this quality)
2A. Solid riyaz (the ability to translate taleem into coherent and consistent performance)
3A. Ability and willingness to communicate taleem and the means to achieving performative competence

I would broadly classify teachers in the following manner:

1B. Those who possess ample taleem of ragas and compositions and are willing to construct practice material which will demonstrably transfer technical skills to a student while simultaneously inculcating good musical taste and a flair for ragadari. (This breed of musicians is extremely rare, and each continent has one or two such persons, with a marginally greater concentration in India. These musicians are generally reluctant to tour frequently unless the balance of money and prestige is really good.)
1B-a. Teachers who possess attributes 1A and 2A, but not 3A
1B-b. Teachers who possess all three (desirable mix)

1.5B. Those who possess ample reserves of raga knowledge and aesthetics, but lack (or have lost) the technical capabilities to translate them into music. (Such musicians are also very rare, and provide very good guidance to very advanced students, and although they might have lost their chops, are still full of insights, not only on the music, but also on how to execute it.)

2B. Those who possess good technique sans any understanding of ragadari, but are able to construct reasonably pleasing performances because of their outstanding control on the instrument/voice (about two-thirds of touring musicians fall in this class, and even among them, there is considerable discrepancy in the level of performance).
2B-a. Within 2B, there are people who are sincere in their intent to transfer their skills in exchange of money
2B-b. There are others within this category who think of teaching merely as a way to build up a following.
2B-c. Another sub-category is those who do not charge their students any money, but extract, instead, a lifetime of servitude and sycophancy, and not so infrequently, sexual favors. This is generally a much higher price to pay than any dollar or rupee amount.
2B-d. There are musicians who represent an intersection of 2B-b and 2B-c.

3B. Those musicians who possess neither adequate taleem nor the technical skills to build a student from the scratch to the highest levels of proficiency (or to create a solid performance), but get around the world as "touring artists" because there exists a demand for low-budget HCM concerts in the West, patronized largely by religious/spiritual groups. (This group constitutes about a third of touring musicians.)

In my analysis, it is nearly impossible for a newcomer who is neither a solid HCM listener nor seriously initiated into a comparably rigorous system of music, to distinguish between 1B, various classes of 2B, and 3B. One can generally reach a satisfactory conclusion about 1B and 2B-a teachers after a few lessons and objective assessment of their own progress.

1B teachers are generally not keen on signing on students unless they show a modicum of talent and willingness to work hard. Once they accept a student, they are willing to work as hard on the student as the latter does on his/her music. 2B-a teachers, although not quite as selective, will also demonstrate equal sincerity towards the endeavor of teaching, and truly care about the progress of their wards. These teachers usually feel that the level of proficiency demonstrated by their students after a period of instruction is a reflection on themselves, so they take this job very very seriously. Consequently, paying top dollar to such teachers is worthwhile. I am not going to drop too many names here, but paying $100 for an intensive private session to Ustad Shahid Parvez or Pt. Budhaditya Mukherjee for sitar is fair game (as long as one knows what to get out of them). There are others who are comparable value for such money who are not necessarily top names in the touring scene.

1B-a teachers are not worth the money because they might be top performers but are not sincere teachers.

2B-b, 2B-c and 2B-d are generally avoidable, but must be dealt with with the utmost caution when there is no other teacher available. Fees to be paid to such individuals must also be negotiated hard until one arrives at a mutually agreeable price.

3B is totally avoidable, but this category of teachers do infest Varanasi and other centers of all-in-one "mystical tourism" (of music is an important subset). There has been a rapid increase of the number of 3B in the last 20 years, and this malaise has spread to centers of serious music like Calcutta and Mumbai as well.

MOTIVES OF TEACHERS

There are several 1B-b and 2B-a teachers who take to teaching as a serious pursuit because teaching brings in, for whatever reason, a considerable portion of their income. So while these guys don't charge as much as the globetrotters, paying them $50 a lesson (not per hour) can yield mutually satisfactory and beneficial results. Gurus such as Pt. Vikas Kashalkar, Arijit Mahalanabis (Both 1B-b), etc, won't leave any student dissatisfied with either the content, technique or the sincerity of their efforts.

One problem that someone might encounter is that when faced with a lack of talent (and of adequate hard work to make up for it) can cause a teacher to become disinterested. In such a case, ethics demand that the teacher tell the student that s/he is not progressing and that there isn't much hope either, and that s/he should discontinue. Unfortunately, as long as the greenbacks keep coming in, most teachers are reluctant to ask a student to leave, however poor the talent/work-ethic.

1B-a teachers are avoidable because to them a student is nothing more than a network marketing node.

In any case, paying Shafaatullah Khan $80-90 for a lesson isn't worth anyone's time. One would have to be demented to consider doing so. Our basic problem here is to generate a mechanism by which one can distinguish between genuine teachers of HCM (minority) and (for the lack of better words), riffraff (vast majority). I will now try to outline some ways of doing so.

A GOOD TEACHER WILL

1. Start the lesson by stating an objective for that particular session, such as the attainment of proficiency in a particular skill, exercise or melody.
2. Always check frequently to ensure that both s/he and you are on the same page.
3. Correct you every time you stray from the thread, but without resorting to disrespect.
4. Allow you to record the lesson for reference, and once they are satisfied with the way you have internalized the task, provide precise notations so that you have more than one source to cross-check in case of any doubts.
5. Not digress from the focus of the lesson unless an impulsive deviation adds more value than originally intended, or to accommodate for a difficulty faced by the student which s/he had not perceived earlier.
6. Entertain questions about the effectiveness of the exercise in delivering results when practiced correctly for a specified number of hours over a period of time.

OBVIOUS GROUNDS FOR REJECTION OF A POTENTIAL HCM TEACHER

1. They talk more about themselves and their feats than the music
2. They thrust upon you the responsibility of recruiting more students/followers
3. Learning objectives and priorities are not demarcated clearly at the beginning of a month
4. Teacher does not explain to you the purpose of a specific exercise, or, if they do and it does not work, refuses to answer questions
5. In spite of your most earnest efforts, you fail to sing or play slow passages/exercises in tune and time after two-three months of instruction (this may warrant scrutiny of the teacher or introspection about your capabilities)

This thread is actually inspiring me to write a better organized, more comprehensive article on the need to conserve HCM in such a manner that enables rigorous dissemination of music and the technique to execute it, with specific records of the benchmarks that inform the aspirations of every generation of music makers. My apologies if some of my statements were too candid. My intention has only been to demystify, not to launch any personal attacks.

Cheers,

AC
0
Mulamoodan

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 188
Reply with quote  #21 
Well, I can spot each of my teachers somewhere in the list.
And am pretty sure everybody can, too..
0
barend

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,098
Reply with quote  #22 
I think it is a bit of useless and exagerated to categorize teachers in such categories.
When you take lessons from someone you just have to get that 'click' with the teacher and get along with him/her. Of course the teacher has to know his art but you will know that if you are up to that level.

And if you are not living in India you don't always have all the options. Simply because there are no teachers available to some people.
0
arnabsarod

Registered:
Posts: 204
Reply with quote  #23 
Barend wrote:
Quote:
I think it is a bit of useless and exagerated to categorize teachers in such categories.
Exaggerated, yes, but not useless. And exaggeration is necessary at times to make a point when participants in a debate do not realize how bad the situation is.
Quote:
When you take lessons from someone you just have to get that 'click' with the teacher and get along with him/her.
'Clicking' personally with someone does not necessarily make the quality of learning very good. Your teacher might be an extremely nice guy and yet not know what s/he is taking about. OTOH, they could be an asshole, and yet a credible expert with effective teaching methods. I've seen both kinds from close quarters. There are also great musicians who are wonderful people and teach very well. In my experience, the latter constitutes a small minority of the current set of professionals.
Quote:
Of course the teacher has to know his art but you will know that if you are up to that level.
One does not necessarily start learning with a whole lot of discernment about an alien art form. The "alien" bit applies both to the average Indian who is actually pretty far removed from HCM, as well as a foreign student. Since learning music is not the exclusive reserve of those who are "up to that level", there ought to be guidelines and benchmarks that help the layperson decide on what makes a good teacher.
Quote:
And if you are not living in India you don't always have all the options. Simply because there are no teachers available to some people.
Which is precisely why we're talking about making effective use of technology to bridge the geographical gap. As Mulamoodan said earlier, it makes perfect sense to look beyond the offerings of your geographical area (especially if these are sub par) and find solid professional help across the seas.

Cheers,

AC
0
soul1newyorkcity

Registered:
Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #24 
This has been a really awesome thread to read as I am somewhat new to all of this... I would love to hear what some of you guys think are the BEST teachers out there and if any of these teachers do teach via Skype...

Soul
0
ram.sitar

Registered:
Posts: 104
Reply with quote  #25 
Hi All,

Recently I have started to offer distance lessons via skype.
Please check either of the links below for details:

https://sites.google.com/site/ramprapanna/online-lessons
http://ramprapanna.webs.com/onlinelessons.htm

__________________
Thanks & Regards,

Ramprapanna Bhattacharya
http://ramprapanna.webs.com
0
jaan e kharabat

Registered:
Posts: 1,401
Reply with quote  #26 
If anyone's interested in singing lessons via skype from a highly respected teacher and performer, they can contact me through PM and I'll get them in touch with him.
__________________
If there are just ''six tones'' in an octave [sic] then why have frets for tones that don't exist?
0
sitariya

Registered:
Posts: 70
Reply with quote  #27 
I learn authentic vilayat khani baaz from my guru Ust Rafat Khan ( ganda bandh disciple of Ustd. Vilayat Khan/Pt. Arvind Parikh ). He is highly respected musician and teacher in Mumbai. He is also pretty reasonable. Please contact me if anyone interested.
0
mizrable

Member
Registered:
Posts: 84
Reply with quote  #28 
Ive had alot of success with skype teaching. This technology is amazing! I teach for a rate of $20/hr. I play Maihar style. I studied at the Ali Akbar College of Music. If anyone is interested please PM me also my email is in the teachers listing. I also teach every week privately in Brooklyn NY and Chapel Hill NC for the same rate.
Viswas Chitnis
0
rajpuranik

Registered:
Posts: 116
Reply with quote  #29 
There are about six sitar instructors teaching on Skype through http://www.worldmusicguru.comWorldMusicGuru (along with about 70 teachers of other ICM vocal/instruments). Each teacher sets his own rate, but they are all pretty reasonable.

Most are professional sitarists who can teach all the way up to advanced lessons, including Abhik, mentioned earlier in this thread. He has now settled in New York, and is an excellent performer, along with being a really nice guy.

The effectiveness of Skype lessons depends on the quality of the equipment being used - mainly a "VGA at 30 fps" webcam and reasonably fast internet connection.

By the way, I'm expanding the site to all instruments and styles. I'm sure many of you are pretty good at some western instruments as well. You are welcome to join as a teacher of guitar, banjo, whatever you want.

Regards,

__________________
Raj Puranik
http://worldmusicguru.com
Learn music online
0
Sanjeeb

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 439
Reply with quote  #30 
Hi,
I am thinking of giving Sitar Lessons via Skype in the near future.
If anyone is interested please send me a PM, or contact me by email: sundayin@yahoo.com
Regards
Sanjeeb Sircar
http://www.sanjeebsircar.com

Edited – Just got my PayPal account in place and I am ready to start.
Wouldn’t be charging much.
Skype address is:
sanjeeb2
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.