Season 2 Issue 1: A Sangeetha Samvaadham with Brindha Manickavasakan
Welcome to the second season of Sangeetha Samvaadham, a series of compact written profiles of Carnatic musicians by Ramaa Ramesh....
I'm a Carnatic vocalist, teacher and storyteller.
I combine 15 years of rigorous Carnatic music training from eminent gurus, plus rich expertise from my corporate background as an online trainer and coach, to deliver a unique Carnatic learning experience.
One of life's great pleasures is listening to a good story. Join me on an online story session as I bring to life Indian epics, myths and legends. Available for children aged 7-12 in the UK, European, Middle-Eastern and North American time-zones.
Once upon a time, there was an bright, curious little girl who fell in love with stories and music...
One morning in Madras, as a pigtailed bookworm child of six years old, I overheard a couple of girls learning to sing the basic swaravali varisais (first lessons) and asked my mother to enroll me in music lessons. My mother wasn't sure whether I was serious - so I begged and pleaded all day until No turned to Yes! That was the start of a lifelong journey....
Since then, I have had the privilege of learning from stalwart gurus such as AIR A-Grade artiste Smt Prema Hariharan, Sangeetha Kala Acharya Sulochana Pattabhiraman and most recently Kalaimamani Shyamala Venkateswaran who continues to mentor me. Some of my fondest memories are of sitting cross-legged in my my gurus' homes, listening to their experiences of learning from legends such as Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and Thanjavur Kalyanaraman; watching them lovingly make a note of a tricky saahithyam in my music notebook, and marvelling at their breadth of knowledge about this ancient art form. They inspired in me a passion for the pursuit of music coupled with a rigorous schooling in the practical aspects of Carnatic music.
Somewhere along the way, I read thousands of books (the bookworm being well alive!), went to university to study management, and a decade later found myself leading a training team for a leading finance company. Something however was missing... so after intense soul searching, I opted out of a lucrative corporate career and took my talents in coach and training -- to turn into a music teacher and storyteller.
Now as a way of carrying those years of grateful learning forward, I want to find and light that spark in learners of all ages who want to dip their toes into the never-ending ocean of Carnatic music.