“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”
If you’re seeking music lessons for yourself or your child, you’ve come to the right place!
I am a London-based music teacher with more than 35 years’ teaching experience, and I have taught hundreds of adults and children of all ages, from complete beginners to advanced students.
I offer lessons in Sitar, Tabla, Harmonium/Keyboard, Hindustani Vocal, and Tanpura, face-to-face and online. Please go to the appropriate tab to find out more specific details about the instrument you would like to learn and the teaching I provide.
As I mentioned on the home page of this website, my approach isn’t as academic, analytical, or examination focused as most other music teachers. However, I can provide graded examinations if required. I believe that learning music should be a fun, adventurous, life-enriching experience, not a chore. To that end, I have developed a very personal form of teaching that engages the heart and soul as much as the mind.
Why did I want to be a teacher, when performance is so much a part of my lineage and my background?
Over the years, many people have asked me that and my answer is always the same: because I have loved music since my very earliest memories, and apart from the immense joy and satisfaction it gives to the musician and their audience, I have also seen the many additional benefits that learning music can bring.
I don’t just mean the well-known ‘non-musical’ benefits like discipline, motivation, problem solving, and cognitive skills, among many others.
I’m also passionate about the immense benefits music brings to our mental and physical health. Learning and playing an instrument is a social activity that makes us more empathetic and emotionally aware. It calms us down, makes us feel more balanced, reduces stress and depression, and reaches parts of the brain that nothing else can. Numerous studies have shown how learning to play an instrument can protect the brain against dementia and help speech processing and learning in children with dyslexia. There’s evidence that even listening to music can help the brain recover more quickly after trauma.
As a student recently said, “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.” A lot of my students have told me that.
Music really is one of the most wonderful gifts the universe has given us. And that’s why I am a teacher.
I have a formal education in music and I hold “Masters in Music Sitar (M.Mus)” from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, in India. I have been trained in traditional ‘Guru Shishya Parampara’ (you can find out more about that on my ‘My story’ page), and yet my method is very unique from the usual conservatory-style music teaching. I am a registered Sitar examiner for Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, India, which is a leading institute engaged in education in Hindustani Classical Music and a reputed examining body in the field.
Although I have a very informal teaching style, I do appreciate how graded music exams provide students with an invaluable framework by which they can celebrate their achievements and measure their progression from beginner to advanced. If a student wishes, I can prepare them for examination boards accredited by Ofqual to award graded exams up to 8th grade and diploma qualifications in music within the UK’s national curriculum.
My approach is ‘learn by ear’, which is supported by music notation sheets.
My teaching includes traditional Hindustani Ragas, improvisation, alap, traditional compositions, taans, jhala, popular folk music of India, Bollywood film songs, Fusion, and much more.
My method is most appropriate for students who are truly interested in learning how to play music with their chosen instrument, as opposed to those who just want to memorise compositions or finger patterns. It can be rigorous and challenging, but I will always make sure it is enjoyable and that the student ends the session feeling happy and satisfied with what they have achieved.
As my student, you set your own learning pace. Where practicing is concerned, I already know you will do your best because you are committed enough to study with me, but I also appreciate there are times when life can get in the way. If that happens, it isn’t a problem. We will work around it.
Where you live is also not an obstacle. For online sessions I use Zoom, so I can teach you in the comfort of your own home no matter how far away you are. I have taught online students all over the world and, as you will appreciate, the current COVID pandemic has made online teaching more important and popular than ever. I will send you simple joining instructions to help you get set up and connected quickly and easily and, if you like, we can do a free trial session to make sure you are comfortable before finalising the lesson.
I am experienced, reliable, and will do everything I can to ensure you gain maximum benefit and pleasure from your musical teaching. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.
It is wonderful to wish, hope, and dream that you will accomplish amazing things in life, but nothing is ever accomplished until you take that first step. If mastering the magical music of India is your dream, do something amazing and take your first step today.
“In our culture we have such respect for musical instruments, they are like part of God” – Pandit Ravi Shankar
If there’s anything you’d like to know about my work or the services I offer, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you, and I’ll do my best to reply to your message as quickly as I can.