Revival of Sitar Project
The Project “Revival of the Sitar in Goa” started as a pilot project in 2011 with the aim to inspire the age group of 10-16 years (5th to 10th standard) towards Hindustani classical music and to introduce traditional music forms, sitar as one of the instruments. This Project is planned as the beginning of the “Revival Project” in Goa, creating awareness and exposure, regarding the rich traditions and cultural forms of Goa, to school students.
Modern History of Sitar
The Sitar became known in the Western world through the work of Ravi Shankar beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In 1956 he began to tour Europe and the Americas playing Indian Classical music and increased its popularity there in the 1960s through teaching, performance and his association with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and rock artist George Harrison of The Beatles. This was the beginning of Indian classical music getting global recognition opening up a new paradigm for classical musicians from India.
Sitar in Goa
Goa has been housing several musicians and talented artists who have not only represented the state at an international level but also received accolades and honours world over and brought the state musical glory and pride.
Abdul Karim Khan (b.1915) belongs to a hoary tradition of music. He is the fifth generation of musicians in the family. His father was the immortal Sitar Ratna Rahimat Khan, a Hindustani classical Sitar player of the Bande Ali Khan (beenkar) Gharana.
In 1962 he joined Karnatak College, Dharwad as a lecturer in Sitar and retired in 1975. In 1978 he joined Kala Academy, Goa, on insistence of Chief Minister Pratap Sing Rane and trained many persons there till he retired in October 1992.
Among his notable disciples are Rekha Karkal, Yograj Naik – who is a gandaabandhan disciple and an approved artist of AIR, Goa, Priya Kamath and Arundhati Despande, who runs Sitar classes in Belgaun.
Currently in Goa only a handful of trained Sitarists are carrying forward the practice of traditional methods in Hindustani Classical music.
Yograj Naik has been in the forefront of reviving the sitar by continuously performing “Revival of Sitar series” in Goa, around the country and globally. For the last decade he has been teaching free of cost at his residence, continuing the lineage of Guru-shishya parampara – traditional teaching methodology.
The premise: Goa
Music in Goa mainly developed in the holy and spiritual environment of the temples.
With current new age music trends of pop, rock and dance the traditional forms of music are dying a slow death. Most people are not even aware of their rich musical heritage or the clubs and spaces that were community gatherings – full of energy.
Goa being a global hub of art and culture, with a strong history of traditional forms of Classical music becomes an important state to showcase and pilot “The Revival of Sitar Project”.
The context: Schools in Goa
For any revival project, outreach and awareness are important tools the spread the project. Schools can be centres for introducing the Sitar as one of the traditional instruments.
“The Revival of the Sitar Project” will go to all kind of schools in Goa targeting the 5th to the 10th standard students and conducting workshops and sessions to inspire students to learn the instrument and take up this traditional form of music.
Aim of the project
- to inspire the age group of 10 to 16 years (5th to 10th standard) towards Hindustani Classical music
- to introduce traditional music forms, sitar as one of the instruments
- To conduct introductory Sitar sessions (90 min) in 300 schools in 3 years. The pilot project will target 50 schools in 1 year. Each session will have a module of introduction to the instrument, popular songs played on the Sitar and traditional ragas
- There will be a team of 4 musicians (Sitar, Tabla, Keyboard and Octopod) to break the notion of the serious environment around Classical music and give a feel of classical instrument fusion with modern instruments. The students would get to use the instruments to get a feel of it.
- To inspire minimum of 300 students (larger version), 1 student from each workshop to take up Sitar/ other classical instrument to perform, teach and keep the tradition alive.
- To conduct minimum 1 workshop per week, targeting different schools, identifying schools taluka wise and the days available
- The key of the workshop is to also allow parents to attend the sessions, as this will help students to pursue it with the approval and encouragement of the parents
- To facilitate and guide students to train and come for regular classes depending on the location they stay
- To create a website and a centralized database of students and teachers in different locations, music schools – government and private. This will help in keeping the students abreast with updates and also encourage interaction between them.
- To organize larger performances at schools and colleges, promoting Classical music in Goa.
- To organize every Monday Revival of Indian Classical Music (Revival of Sitar Project) at different venues in Goa.
- To organize a 3 day workshop MASTER CLASS (riyaz) and performance at Kala Academy, Ravindra Bhavan inviting the stalwarts of Sitar and other classical musicians.
- This will be the beginning of Revival Project in Goa, creating awareness and exposure, regarding the rich traditions and cultural form of Goa to school students
- Creating the next generation of Sitar players to carry the tradition ahead.
- Creating Sitar teachers for various music schools in Goa planned by Ravindra Bhavan and Kala Academy. This will help generate jobs for musicians and allows them to share their knowledge and influence young minds
- To perform in Goa and other parts of the country and world as Indian Classical music is highly respected and there is a great demand for live performances.
- Creating livelihood to the existing Sitar makers and repairers
- Take Goa, “the land of music” to other parts of the world with its rich culture and history of artists.
Yograj Naik has been teaching since the last 10 years at his residence, presently there are 15 students, who are regulary learning under him, from different parts of Goa, India and globally. He has already conducted a few pilot projects.
The 1st workshop was in Vividha High School, Navelim, in which 40 students participated – out of which 22 students were interested in learning Sitar.
The 2nd workshop was organized by Samrat Club of Sakhalim in Progress High Scholl with 30 students.
“The Revival of Sitar Project” is looking for sponsors to realize this venture.