Want to get better at kirtan? Here’s one great way

Let’s start with a disclaimer or two, shall we?

I’d love to go to this. But two things keep me from already registering: My abject fear of trying to play a harmonium and/or singing kirtan in front of people and the note about “Basic musical experience recommended.”

That, even though I sang in a band in high school and probably do have a basic musical background.

Still. Talk about being repelled and attracted to something. And that something is: a kirtan workshop with Sangita Yoga, who will be the sacred music performers (I still hate that word in this case) at the 2013 Confluence. Here’s more:

Sunday October 7th, 2012
Ram Nivas Healing Home in La Costa
Carlsbad, CA
India’s beautiful tradition of kirtan chanting can be a form of yoga when its musical and spiritual foundations are understood. The workshop will focus on these foundations while giving you hands on instruction with instruments in a friendly group setting.  Whether you are an experienced kirtan musician or new to chanting, the workshop will help you take your kirtan experience to a deeper level.  Set in the lovely Ram Nivas Healing Home with a delightful staff, the day will be informative and experiential.  You will leave with a deeper and broader understanding of kirtan (and the know-how to start playing!).
Topics Will Include:
Instruction in Voice, Harmonium, Tabla, Cymbals, and Tanpura
Bhakti Yoga: The Foundation of Kirtan
Raga: India’s Art of Melody
Tala: Rhythms of India
How to Lead Kirtan

I mean, come on, that’s awesome. And both Naren — who so thoughtfully answered our questions here — and his frequent band partner, Janzel Martinez, who was part of the event we covered, will be leading the workshop. And it is limited to 25 people. The cost is just $55 — you can register here. (Do so; fill it up before I can find the courage and thus save me from myself.)

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

3 thoughts on “Want to get better at kirtan? Here’s one great way”

  1. Don’t worry, Steve–you’re not alone. Just about everyone–yes, everyone–that comes to us for lessons, classes, or workshops, is afraid to even attempt to sing, or play the harmonium. (Drummers, however, love to start rockin’ right away). But the way we approach it is the same way it’s done in India…”If you can speak, you can sing.” In the West, we develop tons of inhibitions around singing; kind of like walking around Vons in underwear. But India has a system of connecting us to our own voice–the most intimate and awesome instrument on the planet. We approach it in a yogic way–and as you know, yoga is natural to humankind. So we encourage everyone to muster up the courage to come to us so that we can help them discover their unique voice. So far, we have a perfect record–everybody connects more deeply with their voice and therefore with sacred music and kirtan. The effort is little compared to the often life-transforming results. Jaiastu!

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