One hundred years ago a musical classroom might have been the beaten ground underneath a banyan tree or a simple spare room in a guru’s home. Sowmya Acharya, a dedicated student of Carnatic music, gave up her career in the IT industry to explore the possibility of having a global Carnatic music community on the net. Sowmya who had to move homes during her growing up years, was more than familiar with the pain of discontinuity in a student’s musical education.Sowmya initiated Acharyanet in order to ensure continued accessibility to high quality musical instruction from established gurus for music students.
With the founding of Acharyanet (www.acharyanet.com), an Internet-based Carnatic music learning community in 2009, Sowmya has combined her technical expertise and her passion for music. She brings her sensitivity to the perspective of the teacher as well as the needs of the student into the design of Acharyanet. The vision behind this site was to provide an all-year round forum where students globally could benefit from the knowledge of Carnatic music stalwarts such as Neyveli Santhanagopalan, Chitravina Ravikiran and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi. The site aims to preserve and propagate the specialties of different musical schools and the teaching methodologies which form the essence of each musical tradition. Instruction is carried out in a multimedia environment, which includes face to face tutoring via online services such as Skype as well as modular, learn-as-you-go video tutorials which can be downloaded from the website for a nominal fee.
The site caters to both vocalists as well as instrumentalists and is easy to use. The initial feedback from students has been heartening.
Says Sowmya “The student-teacher relationship is very special, more so in music, and often endures time and distance if cultivated in the right manner from the beginning.” Also on Facebook, the online registration for Acharyanet is free. As it continues to evolve, new services will be provided to facilitate an effective, innovative and engaging Carnatic music learning experience.