AMS Easy Methods 2007 CD - Teaching and Learning Methods

To teach and learn Indian classical music
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srikant1987
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#101

Post by srikant1987 » 14 May 2009, 10:21

I feel notating in excessive detail shall end creativity and flexibility in our musical system, and curtail its evolution.. Quite opposite of cmlover, I guess.

If children learn the skeletons and backbones of ragas from gurus and other masters, they will fill in more details according to their own aesthetics and creativity. This is true for children who have a passion for music, and wish to pour themselves out creatively in music. The other children need not learn music. Let them learn something else and do well in that field; let them excel in it.

If they learn ragas in 60-gamaka notations, they will definitely limit themselves to those 60 because that itself is a very large number. This is what children really interested in music will do. The others might even turn away seeing such a scary amount of detail, unless they are imprisoned by pushy parents.
Last edited by srikant1987 on 14 May 2009, 10:22, edited 1 time in total.
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manjunath
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#102

Post by manjunath » 14 May 2009, 12:52

Girish

You said " I have been reading Edward de Bono's "Serious Creativity" in which he mentions that it is more important to reward creative effort than just the results of creativity. I found this observation very practical.

If someone is trying to do something different, encourage them. They may fail, but they tried sincerely. If you don't find their work satisfactory, either help them improve it or move on if you aren't interested. But don't put people down."

1. I hope this is applicable for every one and not only for Akella ji. Akellaji wrote negative about a talented kid called Vinay Rahul( violinist) performed in the presence of MSG, at Chennai . Except one or two no other so called rasikas supporting akellaji are said that is wrong on the part of Akellaji. In the open forum he tried to kill the career of a talented kid. This boy is also happens to be the disciple of Akellaji. The boy's father has not followed Akella ji's advise to stop the education and concentrate in music . Irrespective of many negative attempts made by Akellaji, the boy continued in music. Akellaji doesn't like this to happen and openly tried to kill the boy's career. Please see the postings in general discussions - Invitation of Vinayrahul .

2. He disrespected most of the teachers in almost all of his postings saying they charge money and not teach properly. This is not right. Teachers have to look after their families and they do have their own plans in training the students. If really. Akellaji has served for the music can he name at least half a dozen of his disciples who learned under him for more than five years and they are "A" graded artists today.

I just want to know who can be called a True Guru. Can some one define this under a new thread " TRUE GURU" for the benefit of other up coming musicians.
Last edited by manjunath on 14 May 2009, 13:00, edited 1 time in total.
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msakella
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#103

Post by msakella » 14 May 2009, 13:00

Dear brother-member, cmlover, At this age and with this much of experience I must do only sensible acts which abundantly benefit our society. Even though many wish to do so it is possible only by the grace of the Almighty as nothing is in our hands. In my case, since my childhood, it has many a time been proved that I am able to do many such things only by the grace of the Almighty.

For example, while a door permits even people or bigger things to move from one side to the other along with air, a window permits only small things or small birds or small creatures to move from one side to the other along with air, a ventilator permits only air from one side to the other but nothing else. But any building-contracter without having prior knowledge of the difference between the door or window or ventilator cannot utilise the correct one in the construction of a building. By all this it should always be construed that while the first level of act is imitation the originality starts only later. Even in respect of Svarakalpana and Ragalapana, while many are telling that there are no easy methods at all in getting the ability of singing Svarakalpana or Ragalapana, I have made my own experiments upon a number of students who are handy in my Music College I was working and finally found a successful way out for this perennial problem. Having different kinds of opinions people are ready to confute but not to believe them as such novel things could only be experienced but not describable in terms of words.

As you wrote this system is more analytic shaping the aspirants more and more confident, courageous and creative. One of my vocal students, Chi. J.Shriram of 16 years of age who had recently appeared for the 10th class NOS (National Institute of Open Schooling) examination and who has been learning from me since last 4 years had already given nearly 30 successful music-concerts and I shall try to put some of them either in youtube or esnips and furnish the link here. amsharma
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Rasika911
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#104

Post by Rasika911 » 14 May 2009, 20:06

vasanthakokilam wrote:Rasika911, I agree you have a preference for the traditional method but you are jumping to conclusions about Sri. msakella's method. I am not sure if you have given it due consideration. Like a sculptor or a painter, it is not enough to just see the works of past masters. It gives you ideas and inspirations but you still need tools and techniques to bring out those ideas. That is one of the aspects that msakella strives to achieve in a predictable way. Yes, one can say you keep on painiting in random ways, pretty soon you will get the hang of it. That is one way. The other way is to teach students exactly the techniques involved in painting. I do not think that necessarily means you are curbing the creativity of the student painter.

One thing that many people do not seem to know is that manodharma aspects like kalpanaswarams are not entirely on the spot creativity. Kalpanaswarams require a lot of laya ability even more than swara ability ( contrary to what one may think intuitively ). Getting a great grounding in laya early on provides the fertilized platform on which the swara creativity can bloom later on. Strength in Laya gives you that confidence because that platform is not shaky so you do not mind standing on top of it, even jump up and down joyfully, even willy nilly, without any fear of falling.

It is like extempore public speaking. The exact words you speak on a given day may vary from the previous day but it still requires a framework which needs to be rehearsed at home.( barring some exceptional cases ). Otherwise it will be a jumble of incoherent ideas not fitting together well. But given a well rehearsed framework, you can see a public speaker improvise on the fly. Why? Because that well rehearsed framework gives that person the confidence to improvise.

It may sound like a contracdition but it is true. For unbridled improvisation, you need a well rehearsed platform/grounding.
Then please explain why we all went to music class for several years learning all the varshais, singing them in akaram, singing them in different ragams, learnt geethams, tens of varnams and krithis! I can say that doing the above will give you the best set of paint brushes on the market :)

If you would like to take shortcuts when building a structure, you may get away with it for a few days, you may get away with for a few weeks, you might even get away with it for several days but one day its all gonna fall on ur head! :)
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Rasika911
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#105

Post by Rasika911 » 14 May 2009, 20:08

srikant1987 wrote:
Rasika911 wrote:The best way to sing an alapana for karaharapriya is to learn several krithis in it, there is no better proven way. Other methods dont require manodharmam and the student will be simply packaging without having any idea what they are singing.
Listening to several good alapanais, neravals and svarams is also a good way to learn what kharaharapriya really is, imho.
I agree 100% this can be of great use as well. Semmangudi used to make his students listen to him sing alot and rarely used to ask them to sing along.
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Rasika911
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#106

Post by Rasika911 » 14 May 2009, 20:11

[quote="msakella"]Dear brother-members, Rasika911, vasanthakokilam, rajeshnat, cmlover and girish_a, Thanks to all of you for your sincere efforts in supporting my novel methods of teaching

Vasanthakokilam’s observations "Kalpanaswarams require a lot of laya ability even more than swara ability ( contrary to what one may think intuitively ). Getting a great grounding in laya early on provides the fertilized platform on which the swara creativity can bloom later on. Strength in Laya gives you that confidence because that platform is not shaky so you do not mind standing on top of it, even jump up and down joyfully, even willy nilly, without any fear of falling"
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Rasika911
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#107

Post by Rasika911 » 14 May 2009, 20:13

msakella wrote: In this respect I have also brought out 27 facets of Kaishiki-nishada alone in my above CD. All these things I did only as a start for doing such things but not to earn money or recognition or fame or titles or awards at all. Even though few people think that I never produce even a single disciple my disciples always shine far above many of their contemporaries as I always take every care in shaping them as a replicas of mine even without expecting any monetary benefit from any one of them.

In which way we train our kids to take out the ghee out of the milk, if the music-aspirants are also trained how to take out the element of Raga from the Varna or Kriti through the detailed knowledge of symbolised Kampitas and Gamakas it becomes easier to the aspirant to make Ragalapana also efficiently on his own. I always respect the stalwarts or teachers who strive hard sincerely and honestly in shaping their students just as their replicas. amsharma
The facets of kaishiki nishadam is best learnt without knowing it when learning krithis. When u become too aware of certain things it can go wrong. If u tell someone not to think about bananas when taking the medicne then what are they going to think about when taking the medicine?
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Rasika911
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#108

Post by Rasika911 » 14 May 2009, 20:15

cmlover wrote:You make lot of sense Sarmaji. Listening to one's guru or listening to stalwarts will make a student simply just imitative. On the otherhand your approach is analytic which will make them creative. Do give site references to your student's performances available on the net so that we can listen and assess their creativity in swarakalpana as welll as aalaapana.
I want to hear them sing alapanas as well, i know swara korvais can easily be taught but alapana will be interesting because the kid needs to have a certain strength in their voice and ability to sing gamakams clearly for this.


P.S Sorry about the string of posts i dont know how to multi-quote :(
Last edited by Rasika911 on 14 May 2009, 20:15, edited 1 time in total.
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vasanthakokilam
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#109

Post by vasanthakokilam » 14 May 2009, 20:45

Rasika911, I provided my response to you without realizing that your question was rhetorical and intended for some dry debate on teaching methods ( vidandavAdam ;) ) . I am not qualified to engage in a debate on teaching methods. All I can say at this point is instead of dismissing this method off hand, give it due consideration over time, then come to a judgement.
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msakella
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#110

Post by msakella » 15 May 2009, 01:27

Hi all. The easy methods I found out in teaching music are the proven methods for me and may not be for one and all and I shall not compell anybody either to believe in them or follow. Mainly basing upon the results only these methods are finalised that too in the interest of the poor aspirants but not to make a show before other teachers or Vidwans however great they are. More over, I am always ready to give these details to any person having a positive approach without expecting anything, in turn, from him, believe it or not, as all these things are showered upon me by the Almighty only and I sincerely believe that they are all the property of anybody being the incarnation of the Almighty Himself but nothing else. But, if any person, by any reason of his own, responds in a nagative way, I shall be compelled to stop responding accordingly. That’s all. amsharma
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Nick H
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#111

Post by Nick H » 15 May 2009, 08:56

I wonder how many musicians have made any particular study of the methods and practice of teaching?

From what I understand, partly from fellow forumites, the tradition in Carnatic music is one of simply being around and absorbing.

Even though my mridangam guruji brought up students to professional level while he was still in Chennai, I know that, once he moved to UK to take up full-time employment as a teacher, he came to completely re-assess his art and method of teaching.

msakella has, obviously, made a deep study of the arts and methods of teaching as well as the art of music.
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msakella
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#112

Post by msakella » 15 May 2009, 12:45

Dear brother-member, nick H, You are absolutely correct. In shaping our kids just as replicas of ours we should re-assess ourselves first and proceed later. Had all our elderly musicians took each and every care in efficiently symbolising our various facets of oscillations of notes in evolving the system of notation writing for documentatioin and also evolve periodically the methods of teaching flawless and fruitful the entire music-field would have been in a different way producing a number of talented teachers who, in turn, ably serve the society efficiently. amsharma
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sr_iyer
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#113

Post by sr_iyer » 15 May 2009, 17:28

Rasika911,

While I have no disagreement with the fact that learning good compositions enhances one's understanding of a raga, there are certain aspects (my humble opinions) I would like to indicate below --

1. Learning compositions in a raga is not the only way to build up an ability to sing/play alapanas. As a counterpoint, consider the nagaswara vidwans over ages. Playing expansive raga alapanas for hours together pre-dates the trend of playing of compositions on that instrument (I believe before the Tiruvizhimalai brothers, playing a lot of kritis on the nagaswaram was not very prevalent; of course, there were a few nagaswara vidwans whose kriti repertoire was significant but there were many who did not learn compositions - I believe the mainstream practice previously was ragam rakti and pallavi on the instrument).

2. You say "what use is it to know a ragam without knowing any krithis in it?". Though I can understand your sentiment, I beg to disagree, given the paradigm of the raga system of Indian classical music. My opinion is a kriti/any-composition (however great and classical) is an instantiation of the raga. Understanding and exploring any raga can stand on its own and need not be only in the context of the composition which (may) follow(s). This perspective, of course, is not limited to the presentation style in concerts.

3. It is not difficult to find cases of persons rendering good alapanas without knowing many kritis in that raga. Nor is it difficult to find people who can sing kritis of various levels of complexity quite well and yet deficient or diffident in rendering alapanas. Yet, I agree with the popular sentiment that learning kritis enhances the ability to render good alapanas. My humble viewpoint (not original :-) is as follows. The ability to sing an alapana is akin to building up the ability to speak a language. Learning, say, several poems (or, compositions/kritis in the realm of music) cannot guarantee the ability to build up the ability to speak a language (sing an alapana). Speaking a language dynamically or singing an alapana needs the (intuitive or conscious) cultivation of the skill of expressing meaningful thoughts in real-time and conformance to grammar, connecting them appropriately, presenting a micro and macro picture of the content. Once this skill is built up, a new perspective opens up, of being able to cull out great thoughts from the corpus of poems/kritis to make the spoken language or the rendered alapana richer. Absence of the aforementioned mentioned skill may handicap people, not allowing them to tap out of the corpus of ideas in the poems/musical-compositions to fit it in the right context of their speaking/alapana.

4. Lastly, from these columns, I have been a silent rasika of the logical and systematic thought-process manifesting in Sri Akella's posts - as Nick points out, it points to deep study and ripe experience. I hope we can avail of many more excellent writings of his in the field of music pedagogy, talaprastara and violin playing, among others. (In this specific instance, I am not aware of his process of teaching alapanas and would be interested in knowing more about this. In my humble experience, rendering alapanas came intuitively -- with some instrumental skills informing vocal thoughts -- and 'teaching' raga alapana to others in my limited experience has required effort and patience.)

Sorry for this long post, much of it quite basic!
Last edited by sr_iyer on 15 May 2009, 18:14, edited 1 time in total.
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vasanthakokilam
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#114

Post by vasanthakokilam » 15 May 2009, 18:37

Good explanation sr_iyer. I was a bit troubled by Rasika911's implication that Sri. msakella's method is a short cut and it lacks strength. My impressions are of course diametrically the opposite of that, I believe his method involves building a great foundation. But others of course can have different opinions, that is perfectly fine. But what troubled me a bit is when such scholarly work, arrived over decades of analysis and experimentation, is dismissed off hand without a serious look at what it is all about. Your explanation provides the necessary context to understand his method for all of us.

I encourage rasikas and musicians to take the time to learn about sri. msakella's method at a deeper level. Plenty of material is available, he has written extensively about his method here at our forum, in addition to making his entire work available for free to everyone.
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sr_iyer
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#115

Post by sr_iyer » 15 May 2009, 19:23

Thanks vasanthakokilam. As you point out, Sri Akella's methods are very rigorous and rich and I have been very impressed with his writings.
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girish_a
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#116

Post by girish_a » 15 May 2009, 20:07

When I looked at the easy methods download page in Sangeethapriya, there were so many downloads that I was a little overwhelemed. Is there a guide that explains how one should go about learning the methods?
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manjunath
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#117

Post by manjunath » 15 May 2009, 20:36

Girish ji,

Purchase his books and CDs.
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msakella
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#118

Post by msakella » 15 May 2009, 20:56

Dear brother-members, sr_iyer & vasanthakokilam, Thanks a lot for understanding and supporting the novel methods of teaching music I am bringing out.

In this method, even while learning Varnas some rhythmical exercises and some easy-muktayis in terms of Mridanga-jatis and also in terms of Svaras in different Ragas, Sampoorna, Shadava & Audava forms have to be practised for some time and then after finishing some typical vocal exercises Ragalapana has to be started in a phased manner. This entire process takes between 6 to 9 months. Presently I have one Vocalist of 16 years of age and another Violinist of 24 years of age who have rigorously been trained in this system. Now, trials are being made to upload some of the excerpts of Ragalapana of the Vocalist within a few days for reference. amsharma
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msakella
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#119

Post by msakella » 15 May 2009, 21:04

Dear brother-member, girish a, In this mp3 CD, AMS Easy Methods-2007, along with 481 audio files there are 17 pdf files (9 of English and 8 of Telugu) in which you find all the details to learn music on his own enabling the aspirant living even in a far of place from our country progress easily and quickly but with rigorous and regular pratice. amsharma
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Rasika911
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#120

Post by Rasika911 » 16 May 2009, 07:24

I want to make it clear that I didn't just have a go at msakella's methods for the sake of doing so, it's just too much for me to comprehend. I think if msakella had brought together his innovations together with the traditional way of teaching our music it would have been a little easier to digest for people like me with very superficial knowledge.

I have seen msakella's page on sangeethapriya and I agree that its a great resource for any carnatic music aspirant (althogh if some of the varnams had been sung with sahithyam it would have been even better so i could have learnt them :)

I do not doubt that msakella has done alot for carnatic music without expecting anything back in return and I respect that however, his generalised comments about gurus was not appropriate especially when coming from someone in his position. Gurus have great respect in our music system and deserve that respect. Every guru will have his/her different styles of teaching and if msakella wants people to repsect his method he should repsect other peoples as well even though it may not be what he believes is the right way. Suggesting that gurus only teach music for money ect. can be avoided in my humble opinion.

Also I am sorry if i had offended anyone in my previous posts.
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msakella
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#121

Post by msakella » 16 May 2009, 08:21

Dear brother-member, Rasika911, Being one among all the teachers how can I disrespect any other teacher? Never. It is also shameful to do so. I do never disrespect any honest, sincere, efficient and loyal teacher at all and also I always expect all the teachers should be revered as Gurus in true sense and save the prestige of all such other Gurus. But, the teachers who are inefficient, dishonest, insincere and disloyal may feel otherwise on my comments for which I can’t help. Of course, feeling otherwise is very easy than reforming himself to serve our community properly. My main aim is to serve our community honestly until my last breath.

I have also been one among all the teachers being inefficient but never insincere, dishonest or disloyal. In fact, now, I feel that I had successfully shaved (but not saved) all my students in the first half of my service of 16 years and, only after some introspection, I could do little justice to my post as Lecturer in the second half of my service. More over, I am not that clever to evolve all these novel methods of teaching our music on my own but the Almighty made me all that great by making me do all these things like ‘mookam karothi vaachaalam’. I have received all these things from HIM and I am giving them back to HIM who remains in all these beings around me. THAT’S ALL.

I have no enemies and even brother-member, manjunath is not my enemy not to respond. Had he gone through all the minute details of the previous incidents he would not have written anything against me in which way even Haribabu, the father of Vinay Rahul, did never curse me even in the midst of his misunderstandings. amsharma
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raje
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#122

Post by raje » 16 May 2009, 10:06

Hi,

I have been trying to access the files posted on the link but get an error. Is the download site down?

Thanks
Raje
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msakella
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#123

Post by msakella » 16 May 2009, 14:03

Dear brother-member, raje, The website ‘eSnips’ is working properly and the link of the audio files is http://www.esnips.com/web/AMS-Violin-Demos amsharma
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manjunath
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#124

Post by manjunath » 16 May 2009, 17:52

Akellaji,

Sorry if I am bothered you with my write-ups . I know you are a Ideal personality. If you see my postings initially , i have given lot of respect for you and your suggestions. I have many relatives in Hyderabad , Vijayawada in A.P. I heard lot from few good musicians about you , Mr.Haribabu and his son. As per as my knowledge , from the people i heard Mr.Haribabu is your right hand and that is the reason you encouraged and trained his son in music. When I heard great about this boy in hyd/vijaywada , i really wanted to see him but couldn't. I saw him one day in a hotel near begumpet . I was with hectic schedules and could not talk with him since he was already on the stage . In the last few years I saw many kids performing in classical arts. But some have i found some extraordinary skills in this boy. When I saw his Chennai invitation in the forum ,i really felt like be there in chennai. It was too short time for me and was already in Delhi. Again I missed the boy. I only felt bad for your writing about the boy . As a Guru you should have to correct and encourage these type of children even if they do any mistakes. Because, now a days talented children are not showing interest in learning classical music /arts and Vinayrahul parents seems to be positive in encouraging him. This is where True Gurus should think and act rightly and encourage children continuing in learning our classical arts.

Recently ,One of my friend Mr.Anand without referring my name called Mr.Haribabu from states and invited Vianyrahul to perform in the states. It seems Mr.Haribabu told him that money is not the matter,My son has to balance studies and music and at this time i do not want to distrb him by sending to states. This is what exactly said by his father . I have requested My friend Anand to organise his concerts in next July/August'10. Akellaji, Vinay Rahul's father seems to be a sincere person in doing things. You should not discourage such people. At the same time your posts againist teachers also pained me lot. I know personally , the life styles of many teachers and musicians . No government or society shall help them out in their problems and at the same time senior people like you disrespect them. In my opinion these teachers are only safe guarding our music and culture . Our arts are reaching to many people through these teachers only. Musicians like you should help them out in keeping up their standards. Instead of supporting them, person from same community disrespecting is not good. It is my feeling. If you can't help them, do not trouble at least. I heard from the people that you are impatient and short tempered. My suggestion to you, if you really want to serve the society, please be patient , listen to others and coolly suggest your ideas and methods. Do not jump to conclusions and discourage musicians. Sorry if i am written any thing wrong. This is what I heard and wanted to tell you instead of writing in the forum every time. Try this and see the results.
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msakella
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#125

Post by msakella » 17 May 2009, 01:14

Dear brother-member, manjunath, As I did never disrespect private teachers at all but salaried teachers among whom many are not loyally performing their duties in the absence of any academic supervision and also as it is not etiquette to write all unnecessary histories in these columns I would like to stop this discussion here. Of course, I am always ready to prove my innocence at any time. amsharma
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