Is Your Music Teacher Wasting Your Time and Money?

Read the following before you select your teacher. If you already have a 'teacher', you may want to find a better one.

Go to a concert, sit at the back and observe what happens when your teacher is performing. What are the people in the audience doing? Listening or leaving? Spell-bound or admiring the decorations? Are you able to enjoy the performance?

Do the same in concerts where your teacher's other students are performing.

A good teacher may charge a higher hourly rate, but will cost less money in the long run, as you will learn in much less time. You will progress very fast and the audience will want to listen to you when you start performing.

Is your teacher training you in an effective and efficient manner?

How much does your teacher know about the history of music in India?

Is your teacher aware of new developments in Indian music?

Is your teacher prepared to discuss new ideas?

How much does your teacher know of other forms of music?

Is your teacher one of those who is insecure to the extent of fearing that other forms of music will take people interested in Carnatic music away from Carnatic music?

Is your teacher one of those ill-advised people who claim that singing or playing other forms of music will make one less effective in playing Carnatic music? Professor P. Sambamoorthy, former Head of the Daparment of Indian Music, University of Madras, a highly respected authority on Indian music and musicology, has written numerous books that were, and still are widely used. In his Kirtana Sagaram Book 1, Professor Sambamoorthy inlcudes not only several western pieces in SaRiGaMaPaDaNi notation but also a discussion of Polyphony, Harmony and western music. Why? Because he knew the importance of understanding and respecting other forms of music. Does your teacher know this? Or, is your teacher scared of other forms of music?

Is your teacher one of those who claims that the Trinity of Carnatic music would not have approved of 'other' instruments? Muththuswamy Thikshithar (one of the Trinity) and his Guru not only studied western bands and Hindustani music but also had a hand in introducing a western instrument called the violin, which has since become inseparable from Carnatic music.

Has your teacher listened to AKC Natarajan's clarinet, Kadri Gopalnath's saxophone, Srinivasan's mandolin, Prasanna's guitar, etc. all playing Carnatic music?

You can learn from a good teacher. A bad teacher will not only waste your money and time but also will lead you nowhere.