“Vijay is a true natural to the Sitar and a fantastic teacher. Since starting lessons two years ago, Vijay has made every effort to make his lessons accessible, enjoyable, and rewarding. He has taught me a wide variety of topics including classical, modern, and improvisation. Learning the Sitar with Vijay has been an absolute pleasure since I started and is always a high point of my week. It is a real privilege to have such a talented and committed musician as a teacher”
– Jimmy Pitt-Watson, London
“My 10-year-old daughter and I have been learning Sitar from Pandit Vijay Jagtap since November last year. From the very first lesson, we both came away feeling very peaceful. This is remarkable as my daughter had been learning the piano from other teachers for 6 years previous to this and would leave each lesson exhausted and frustrated. We are both very fussy about teachers, but we simply cannot fault this one. He’s kind, tolerant, patient, cultured, expert in his field and enjoys what he teaches.
He allows us to make mistakes, then reminds us after we’ve played. He doesn’t show any annoyance that we’re making the same mistakes again, but rather patiently repeats how we should play it properly – through an abundance of kindness. He’s an ideal teacher.
As for myself, since I was 13 I learnt the sitar on and off with different teachers, but have learnt a lot more in the last few months with Pandit Vijay Jagtap than I had previously. I also like how he is particular in what he teaches and at what point. He seems to have a set curriculum in his head and that inspires a lot of confidence in me. I would most definitely recommend this teacher. We are both really enjoying our lessons… so much so that I’m waiting for my next child to be old enough to learn from him too!”
– Vrinda Kishori, London
“I found Vijay’s style of teaching very clear, his manner very encouraging, and the atmosphere totally comfortable. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Many thanks, Vijay. I look forward to taking many more lessons from you in the near future!”
– Karmjit, London
“Thank you, Guruji, for all your hard work and continuing to teach the children via Zoom during this pandemic. Despite the challenges, the kids have thoroughly enjoyed your Tabla lessons”
– Sai School London
“Vijay is patient and takes you through each step. I like the way we sing together following the notation, just like reciting a song. It helps me to play the instrument better”
– Mohan, Medical Professional, England
“I found the first lesson very relaxed and focused. The teaching style was friendly and complexity was explained with simplicity. I was very pleased to have been able to learn a scale within the first session. I would recommend that first-time students add on additional time to the taster session if they want to get the best experience”
– Gurpreet G, Medical Professional, Cambridge, England
“Vijayji is excellent tutor and always make sure my daughter learns with full potential. Guruji also embeds cultural value and teaches with passion. Guruji teaches sitar with traditional methods which have been used over centuries in India. I am very happy that I found him. He teaches in a way which is clear and understandable for the student. His lessons are very informative and enjoyable.”
– Dr Ashwin, UK
“I feel blessed to have Vijay Jagtap as my teacher. I get inspired every day. Thank you, Guruji!”
– Tehreem Atif, Product manager, London
“Incredible Sitar playing. I love the sensitivity of your playing, and I would love to come and watch you play very much. Please let me know the next time you’re performing”
– Colin Gall, London
“There is something very spiritual about Indian classical music and my lessons with Vijay always tap into this spirituality, so that I finish each lesson feeling both calm and revitalised”
– Manish, Lawyer/Writer, London
“Thank you for the invaluable Riyaz session today. I am very happy to have attended as it inspires me to practice and play today. Best wishes”
– Maya, London
“Thank you for all your invaluable lessons. I totally enjoyed learning and performing my Tabla skills on various performances. Thanks for being my favourite music teacher. I will miss you!””
– Laxman, London
“I tried learning Sitar from a few teachers before Guruji, but I always felt something is missing. It was never a fulfilling experience until I found Guruji. His teaching style is very simple to follow with the right balance of music history, theory and practical lessons”
– Tehreem Atif, Product manager, London
“Guruji is an inspiring and dedicated teacher who keeps me motivated and has created a great love for the Sitar within me”
– S. Bandyopadhya, IT Consultant, Reading, England
“I have been learning Harmonium and Hindustani Vocals from Guruji for four years now. He teaches each raag step-by-step and this helps me to learn the raag quicker. If I struggle with a musical piece during a class, Guruji gives me simple examples to help me understand”
– Varun Krishnan (in Year 5)
“I am Varun’s dad, and have accompanied Varun for the last four years in his music sessions. It is a privilege to be part of Guruji’s sessions, and gives me immense pleasure to accompany Varun in his musical journey. I highly recommend Guruji to any parent keen on introducing Hindustani music to their child”
– Krish Vasudevan, Software engineer, Bushey, England
“Learning to play the Sitar from Guruji has been one of the most rewarding aspects in my life and has opened a whole new aspect on Indian classical music. After over 10 years of learning, my journey still continues, but now also through the eyes of my son who too has started to learn to play the Sitar from Guruji”
– Bimal, London
“It is easy to see why Vijay is one of the most highly acclaimed British-based Sitar musicians. He is a committed artist who infuses sheer magic in his performance and mesmerises listeners with his beautiful compositions”
– Narendra Kumar
“Vijay Bhai is the most amazing person/guru I have ever known. The way he teaches the Sitar is beautiful, and very calming and easy to understand. Each process is taught so well. I feel so lucky to have him teach me!”
– Priya, London
“I had my first sitar lesson from Vijay on 18th July. He is an excellent teacher and great artist, and I was impressed by his style of teaching”
– Prachi, Ipswich, Suffolk, England
“Guru Vijay Jagtap-ji’s patient hands-on teaching makes music and particularly Sitar playing really accessible. Being able to receive one-to-one instruction over nearly two decades has been a privilege”
– Dr Ondrej Pribyl, IT company director, London
“I have been learning Sitar with Vijay for over four years, and I can now say that Vijay is one of the best teachers I have ever had. Not only is he a fantastic musician himself but he has a deep-rooted understanding of every aspect of Sitar music which he offers generously to all his students”
– Manish, Leicester, England
“Tonight, I had my first Sitar lesson with Vijay. It was one of the most amazing hours of my life. His calm persona put me at ease straight away and then, to top it off, I even got a cup of green tea 😊 Vijay tuned my Sitar and altered broken strings free of charge, and he is truly inspirational to be around. I wish more teachers out there could be like him”
– Adam, London
“Vijay Jagtap (Guruji) is not an ordinary music teacher. He is the best teacher one could ask for. He doesn’t teach you how to play Sitar with your fingers. In fact, Guruji takes you on a spiritual, musical journey. He teaches you how to breathe through the strings of the Sitar, and how to feel the rhythm in your soul. You don’t just get lessons in music, you get essence of life from him”
– Tehreem Atif, Product manager, London
“The lessons are structured to meet my individual needs and learning behaviour. I am a slow learner and he is always so calm and patient with me. He allows me to make mistakes, encourages me and shows me simple techniques to get back on track. He has helped me build a strong foundation and puts great emphasis on ‘practice’ and ‘discipline’ which are critical elements to learning music”
– S. Bandyopadhya, England
“Namaste, Guruji. Thank you for being an amazing guru for us”
– Tabla student, Sai School London
“Mr. Jagtap is a true diamond! I am SO delighted to have met him. I am taking Sitar lessons and am truly enjoying every session. He is SO kind that he offered to repair my sitar and I saw how professional and loving person he is! He is genuinely professional in many Indian instruments including my favorite Sitar. His teaching method is really excellent I learned the basics in a couple of sessions! I’m so grateful for his kindness!”
– Sarwar Haidari, Engineer UK
“Guru-ji Vijay Jagtap is not an ordinary music teacher. He is the ‘best’ teacher one could ask for. He doesn’t teach you how to play sitar with your fingers. In fact, Guru Jee takes you on a spiritual, musical journey. He teaches you how to breathe through the strings of sitar, how to feel the rhythm in your soul. You don’t just get lessons in music, you get essence of life from him.
I tried learning Sitar from a few teachers before but I always felt something is missing. It was never a fulfilling experience until I found Guru-ji. I have been learning Sitar with Guru-ji for over 4 years now and I have seen a gradual growth in my learning.
Guru-ji match the pace of the learner which is what I like the most about him. He is always so encouraging. He challenges me to grow and push myself even when I don’t believe in my abilities. His teaching style is very simple to follow with the right balance of music history, theory and practical lessons.
The lessons are structured to meet my individual needs and learning behavior. I am a slow learner and he is always so calm and patient with me. He allows me to make mistakes, encourages me and shows me simple techniques to get back on track. He has helped me build a strong foundation and puts great emphasis on ‘practice’ and ‘discipline’, which are critical elements to learning music.
This year we have moved to online lessons due to Covid-19 situation. Guru-ji made the transition so seamless from face to face to online zoom class. He is very hands on with using latest technology and apps. He always encourages us to adopt new ways of learning and staying on top with technology.
I also regularly attend our weekly online ‘Riyaz’ group class. Guru-ji put great emphasis on ‘practice and ‘discipline’. I have seen a huge improvement in my learning and understanding of various techniques and polishing my Sitar practice.
I feel blessed to have as Vijay Jagtap as my teacher. I get inspired every day. Thank you Guru-ji“
– Tehreem Atif, Product Manager, London
“I first met Vijay-ji whilst at university in London in 2001. I was interested in learning the sitar and was looking for a teacher. After doing some research, I joined a sitar course at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London where Guruji was teaching. I learnt the basics of sitar at the time. Unfortunately, due to work commitments, I was unable to continue with the lessons.
However, the desire to learn the sitar has always been with me. Fast forward 17 years and I dusted off my old sitar book and got back in touch! I was delighted to learn that Vijay-ji was continuing to teach students. I initially started with weekly lessons travelling to London. These lessons were well planned, interactive and Vijay-ji’s teaching style made them interesting. To avoid the weekly commute into London, I moved to weekly lessons via Face-Time, with a once a month Face to Face Lesson. I was surprised by how well these worked out. Due to the current pandemic, I have now switched over to weekly lessons via Zoom, which works very well. I can honestly say that there is no difference compared to a face to face lesson. This technology and method of learning have provided me with a great deal of flexibility to schedule lessons around work and other commitments. Vijay-ji has a great setup for remote teaching with no loss in sound quality.
Vijay-ji has a friendly, interactive, and informal style of teaching. He is a calm and patient teacher. The lessons are never rushed and run on time. They are wide-ranging in their structure. For example, whilst learning the classical Indian Ragas, Vijay-ji will also teach light classical/Bollywood pieces. This variety adds to the overall experience of learning a new instrument and keeps the interest alive. To further enhance the learning experience, Vijay-ji has recommended several Apps which I use regularly for tuning the sitar, recording, tabla/tanpura accompaniment. Initially, I was concerned with tuning the sitar, however, this technology has made this much easier.
To complement the weekly lesson, I have recently joined a weekly Riyaz (practice) group with fellow students. These are shorter, half-hour sessions. Often in this busy world, finding time to practice can be a challenge. However, having a dedicated Riyaz session has helped me to achieve this goal.
Learning the sitar for me has been an uplifting and meditative experience. Vijay-ji is a fabulous teacher and will calmly guide you. I look forward to continuing this Journey with Guruji. My only regret is not having started earlier.”
– Suneth, General Practitioner (GP), Buckinghamshire, England
“I have been learning the wonderful musical instrument Sitar from Pandit Vijay Jagtap for the last 3 to 4 years. He is an exceptional teacher who can get the best out of all his students. I started out with no initial experience and was glad to know that he did not have any expectations from the students apart from a basic willingness to learn and enjoy music.
Learning the sitar from Guruji has been a completely enriching and satisfying experience for me. His style of teaching is very relaxed and he works with the strengths of the students. Not everyone is good at every aspect of music like some students may have difficulty with intonation while others might struggle with rhythm. Guruji is very observant and picks up the shortcomings and guides the students in such a way that they are soon able to master the concepts.
Writing Sitar notation can be quite challenging but with every piece of music, he provides extensive notes written in a simple manner that students and follow along. Many Sitar artists/teachers may be exceptional at playing but I am sure there aren’t any teachers as dedicated and patient as Guruji. He comes down to the level of the student to understand their difficulty or confusion and gives small little exercises to resolve these issues. He also provides recording of the music learned during the lessons.
I used to do face to face individual lessons before but we have now switched to zoom lessons during the pandemic. If anything, Guruji has been even better with his online instructions. He has used technology very effectively to enable the students to hear his Sitar without any lag, delay or disturbance. The lessons are always on time and very well organised. Apart from the practical lessons, Guruji always provides a wealth of knowledge on the theory, history and heritage of Indian Classical music. He has also taught me to tune the Sitar and how to fix any problems that may arise with the Sitar.
He chooses a good balance of Indian Ragas, Bhajans, folk music and Hindi film songs to keep the students enthusiastic and engaged at all times. He is a perfectionist and keeps encouraging the students to get the best quality of sound out of the Sitar. And it not just about playing the notes, it is centred around musical expression and interpretation.
Guruji also organises a weekly Riyaz session for his students. These are conducted via zoom and are a great success. These group lessons are an opportunity to not only learn the basic practising techniques but also to observe Guruji and the others and learn from each other.
Overall, Guruji is an inspiring and dedicated teacher who keeps me motivated and has created a great love for the Sitar within me. Many thanks.”
– S. Bandyopadhya, IT Consultant, Reading Berkshire, England
“I have been learning sitar music with Vijay-ji for over four years. My desire to learn stemmed originally from my childhood interest in Indian music (both popular and classical) and I can now say that Vijay-ji is one of the best teachers I have ever had. Not only is he a fantastic musician himself but he has a deep-rooted understanding of every aspect of sitar music which he offers generously to all of his students. Whenever I set out to learn something new I always look for qualities such as patience and calmness in my teachers – Vijay-ji has huge reserves of both and this means that I always look forward to our lessons because I will learn things in a relaxing and enjoyable environment. The different exercises and ragas we work on have not only enhanced my knowledge of classical music but have also helped me improve my technique and understand where my weaknesses lie. The classes are varied and enjoyable and Vijay-ji is more than willing to answer any questions.
There is something very spiritual about Indian classical music and my lessons with Vijay-ji always tap into this spirituality so that I finish each lesson feeling both calm and revitalised. More recently we have started Riyaz lessons which although challenging, have helped immensely with my speed and technique. The more I learn, the more I want to know and this is perhaps the best thing about my lessons with Vijay. I hope they continue for a long time. Thanks.”
– Manish-Lawyer,Writer. London
“I am Varun, and I have been learning harmonium and Hindustani vocals from guru-ji for 4 years now. I started off as a beginner when I was about 5 years and I have learnt many raagas, compositions, and popular songs. Guruji teaches each raag step by step and this helps me to learn a raag quicker. If I struggle with a musical piece during a class, guru-ji gives me simple examples to help me understand. My classes have always been face-to-face, however since the COVID restrictions have been in place, I have been learning via Zoom and my music sessions have been equally good. Guruji gives me simple instructions on how to connect via zoom and during lessons, the zoom setup helps me to focus easily.”
– Varun Krishnan (in Year 5) Varun’s dad
“I am Krish, Varun’s dad. I have accompanied Varun for the last 4 years in his music sessions, and it has been a privilege. All through these sessions, I have sat with Varun and have seen him progress from an absolute beginner to a stage where he has a good understanding of Hindustani basics and can comfortably recite several raagas, compositions, and popular songs. Guru-ji’s style of teaching – at its core – follows ‘Guru shishya’ parampara (the traditional style of learning music in India) but one adapted to contemporary times – to accommodate pupils from various backgrounds and at various levels by setting appropriate challenges as a pupil progresses. This blend in his style of teaching has provided Varun with the necessary rigour (essential to learning Hindustani classical music) and also allowing him to learn at a pace that is convenient for him. Not so surprisingly, having sat in so many of these music lessons, I have been enriched too – my grounding in classical music has grown that much stronger, and this in turn allows me to help Varun in his music practice. As a parent, it is a privilege to be part of Guruji’s sessions, and gives me immense pleasure to accompany Varun in his musical journey. I highly recommend Guruji to any parent keen on introducing Hindustani music to their child.”
– Krish Vasudevan, Software engineer, Bushey England
“Pandit Vijay Jagtap-ji is an exceptionally gifted and inspirational music teacher and has a profound holistic approach to his teaching.
His patient and softly spoken mannerism makes even the absolute beginner completely at ease in his lessons. The ‘bite size’ approach to his method helps make the very focused lesson tailored to the individual students’ level of ability and experience.
The teaching technique is very tenacious and helps accomplish lesson targets, although it is always integrated with lots of jovial fun and, my personal highlight, a brief demonstration of his very individual style of playing the sitar.
The bond between the teacher and student is something that I cherish very much.
My learning journey continues and feel that the goal post is always moving with every lesson, but it is a challenge that I enjoy and am blessed to have you as my guru to guide me.
After over 10 years of learning, my journey still continues, but now also thorough the eyes of my son who too has started to learn to play the sitar from Guruji. This experience has opened up a unique and philosophical aspect of classical music learning.
Learning to play the Sitar from Guruji has been one of the most rewarding aspects in my life and has given me a deeper understanding of Ragas and has opened a whole new aspect on Indian classical music.”
– Bimal, London
“We are very privileged to have Pandit Vijay Jagtap who is not only a Great Sitar performer but in it true sense he is a very dedicated sitar teacher. Vijay-ji follows a GHARANA( a particular style of music) which has been running in his family. I have been learning sitar from him for about 15 years and can confidently say that his teaching skill is second to none. Firstly he is very kind to his students & at the same time he maintains a strict discipline. He knows the weaknesses of individual students and pays full attention to current and improve it. He gives good tips for Practicing and his recent Riyaz sessions and online learning from Zoom video has been very successful. I have been so much benefited that it has given me a new impetus to go higher and higher. I feel the learning atmosphere is very enjoying and helpful in achieving the level within a good time.
I have no hesitation in recommending my friends and colleagues those who are interested, to join his online lessons which are of great value.
– Prakash, Medical Specialist, Reading England
“I regularly attend the weekly online Riyaz group class. Guruji puts great emphasis on ‘practice’ and ‘discipline’ and I have seen a huge improvement in my learning and understanding of various techniques”
– Tehreem Atif, Product Manager, London
“When I had my first lesson with Vijay my intention was to have a one off class, but in that first hour I learned so much and I understood there was so much more to learn that I immediately signed up for 10 classes. It’s been a little over a year and I can say that I have progressed quite a lot. As a teacher, he has amazing qualities, he’s very patient and calm and always explains things in a way that I can fully understand them. At the same time he is willing to push me beyond my limits so that I can gradually achieve my fullest potential. I can say that I have found my Sitar teacher with Vijay and I can’t wait for many many more years of practice with him.
Love the Riyas lessons is a chance to connect with my teacher and other fellow practitioners, it provides formal structure and knowledge.
The Online lessons have been amazing, I was a bit sceptical at first but I found out that I could learn as well this way, as in a physical class. It’s an amazing tool that really helped me through the difficult time of having to isolate. The video and audio quality are superb!”
– Santiago Alegrett, Sound Engineer, East London England / Venezuela South America
“Ustad Vijay Jagtap-ji is an excellent teacher. His passion and love for music is manifested through his teaching. I have had the pleasure of being mentored by Ustad Vijay Jagtap-ji and I am very grateful for the support and also the constructive criticism that he has given me, over the years, to polish my Sitar playing technique. Ustad Jagtap-ji rejoices in his students’ progress in grasping concepts and always lays out his teaching in a well-structured and organised manner, to ensure a maximum learning experience for his students. Furthermore, he keeps morale high and boosts his students’ confidence and belief in their musical capacities. I look forward to future classes with Ustad Vijay Jagtap-ji.”
– Sienna, Medical student London England
When I had my first lesson with Vijay my intention was to have a one off class, but in that first hour I learned so much and I understood there was so much more to learn that I immediately signed up for 10 classes.
Mr. Jagtap is a true diamond! I am SO delighted to have met him. I am taking Sitar lessons and am truly enjoying every session. He is genuinely professional in many Indian instruments including my favorite Sitar. His teaching method is really excellent I learned the basics in a couple of sessions! I’m so grateful for his kindness!
We thank you for the music you played 'for us'. How truly delightful it was and it was a magical moment for us to hear it.
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