Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More Musical Musings

Today, I came across this article in the online edition of The Hindu, discussing some of the pros and cons of online gurukulas, as the author, Rohan Krishnamurthy, likes to term it, for music. So fascinated is he by the phenomenon, that he is dedicating a few years of his life to researching this for a PhD program.
" I became fascinated with this radically new system of techno-pedagogy and chose to pursue it as the topic of my PhD dissertation, focusing on the realm of Carnatic percussion (mridangam, ghatam, kanjira, and konnakol vocal percussion). I arrived in Chennai in August to conduct ethnographic fieldwork to study the musical, social, and cultural impact of virtual music lessons in Carnatic percussion."
Let me suggest at least a few other possibilities, other than the usual suspects, of why some would want to rigorously pursue online lessons other than the admitted serious and honorable ones enumerated in the article.

(1) Keeping up with the Krishnans syndrome. ("Oh dear, they have little Anusha already singing raaga alapanais in online lessons with ____ (insert name of famous Chennai singer) twice weekly. Shouldn't we try to get Madhavan mama's uncle's nephew's wife, who is a student of _______(insert another famous singer) to take Skype lessons for our budding genius. Let's see who will take the prize at the next Cleveland Aradhana competition for pallavi singing!"

(2)  The pleasures of learning music in your pajamas, or whatever you wish to wear, without driving miles and miles back and forth, spending a whole day in your peregrinations to acquire musical moksha. Actually, the traffic situation in some places has gotten so bad, that teachers do online lessons with students who live only a paltry 20 miles away, instead of 20,000.

(3) It's the perfect excuse to bow out of attending that pesky soiree. ("Sorry, Mami, I will not be able to attend. Anusha has a two hour music Skype class that evening, time difference problem, you know...")

(4) It gives the techie-NRI crowd ample opportunity to brush up on the appropriate terminology, which can be dropped, along with names at the latest pot-luck party.

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