5 Best Carnatic Vocal Classes and Lessons for 2024

Published: May 28, 2024

Carnatic Vocal Course by Brinda Radhakrishnan delivers the best Carnatic music classes that cater to learners of all levels.

The course explores the rich tradition of Carnatic music and enables students to master fundamental concepts and enhance local skills with precision and grace.

You can tailor your learning experience to suit your pace and preferences, making this course the ultimate choice for those seeking to explore and excel in Carnatic music.

Carnatic music is a traditional genre originating from South India, characterized by intricate melodies, rhythmic patterns, and rich cultural heritage.

People learn Carnatic music to connect with their cultural roots, express emotions, and experience the spiritual aspect of music.

The revenue in the traditional music market is projected to reach US$38.86 billion in 2024.

The demand for Carnatic music remains steady, with enthusiasts globally seeking to deepen their understanding and appreciation of this classical art form.

While job opportunities specifically in Carnatic music may be limited, skilled musicians can pursue careers as performers, teachers, composers, or music researchers.

In this post, we will walk you through the 5 Best Carnatic Vocal Classes to enhance skills and knowledge with high-quality instruction and resources.

List of the 5 Top Rated Carnatic Music Classes

Here’s the list of top 5 Carnatic music classes to enhance your skills and learn new techniques.

  1. Carnatic Vocal Course: An expert has carefully and intricately curated this course. It delivers concepts and skills for beginner—to advanced-level learners seeking to explore their musical abilities with complete flexibility.
  2. Introduction to Carnatic Music: It offers foundational learning, covering essential concepts like ragas, talams, and swaras. Students learn the basic exercises, enhancing their understanding of melodic and rhythmic structures.
  3. Carnatic Music Course for Beginners: This beginner’s lesson covers technical terms, melody, pitch control, and practical aspects. Tailored for beginners of all ages, it helps build confidence in singing and offers revision sessions for reinforcement.
  4. Basic Carnatic Vocal Lessons for Beginners: This beginner’s lesson introduces you to the ancient art form, focusing on traditional techniques and melodies. The instructor provides details on tuning, sitting postures, and various vocal exercises, including Janta Varisai and Alankaras.
  5. Beginners Guide To Carnatic Music: This beginner’s guide provides lessons on Carnatic music, covering basic terminology, sitting posture benefits, vocal exercises, and fundamental vocal sequences. Led by renowned musician Sikkil Gurucharan, the lesson offers clear instruction and valuable insights for beginners seeking to explore the rich tradition of Carnatic music.

Our Criteria for Choosing Carnatic Vocal Lessons

We evaluated each Carnatic singing lesson on a set of criteria to ensure they meet the requirements of the students.

  • Curriculum Depth: We evaluate the depth of the course, assessing its range of essential concepts, exercises, and practical applications to provide a well-rounded learning experience. 
  • Instructor Expertise: We consider the instructor’s experience and reputation, ensuring they have the necessary knowledge and skills.
  • Clarity of Instruction: We assess the clarity of instructional delivery, examining how well the instructor communicates complex musical concepts and techniques in a clear, concise, and engaging manner.
  • Student Feedback: We consider feedback and reviews from past students, considering their experiences, satisfaction levels, and success in learning Carnatic music through the course.
  • Accessibility and Flexibility: We evaluate the course’s accessibility and flexibility, considering factors such as the availability of course materials, ease of navigation, and options for self-paced learning.

In-Depth Review: 5 Best Carnatic Singing Lessons

Let’s explore each of these Carnatic music lessons in detail.

1. Carnatic Vocal Course

The editor’s perspective on this course

The SVP Academy’s Carnatic Vocals course offers a comprehensive curriculum covering the fundamental to advanced levels of Carnatic music.

The course is structured into four modules covering essential topics: Introduction to Carnatic Music, Talams, Melakarta Ragam, Geethams, Nottuswarams, Swarajathi, and Lakshana Geethams.

These topics are theoretical and have practical applications in Carnatic music.

The availability of study materials such as notes, textbooks, or supplementary resources enhances the learning experience.

Overall, this course delivers an exceptional learning experience for aspiring Carnatic vocalists.

Who should take this course?

This course suits beginners, intermediate learners, and advanced students interested in mastering Carnatic singing.

What topics are covered?

The following concepts will be covered in this class:

  • ⁠Introduction to Carnatic Music
  • ⁠Detailed exercises to strengthen the foundation
  • ⁠Introduction to the different types of Talams
  • Concept of Melakarta Ragam
  • ⁠Geethams
  • ⁠Nottuswarams
  • Swarajathi
  • ⁠Lakshana Geethams

Who is the instructor?

With over 25 years of immersion in Carnatic music, Brinda Radhakrishnan blends tradition with innovation as an instructor.

Her journey, steeped in the Gurukulam tradition and enriched by exploring Hindustani music, has shaped her profound understanding of vocal intricacies.

As a senior professor at the Shankar Mahadevan Academy and an Academy expert at Aritum Academy, her expertise in music education is evident.

Brinda’s performances spanning two decades reflect her passion and commitment.

With a mission to redefine learning, she aims to bridge gaps in music education, offering a platform that harmonizes tradition with modernity for an enriching learning experience.

What does social media sentiment tell us?

According to the reviews posted on the SVP Academy, students have stated that Brinda is not just a teacher; she is the embodiment of patience and humor.

Some students say her classes are enjoyable and engaging, meeting every student’s needs and requirements. Under her guidance, students have learned an incredible amount, all while sharing laughs and smiles.

Neela Gowru, a student of the Carnatic vocal course at the SVP Academy, posted a review saying her classes are enjoyable and engaging.

Source: The SVP Academy

2. The Complete Carnatic Foundation Course

the complete carnatic foundation class is taught by pratibha sarathy

The editor’s perspective on this course

The Carnatic foundation class is a valuable resource that offers a structured roadmap emphasizing key milestones and progress techniques.

It provides practical insights and tips for mastering fundamental aspects such as breath control, shruti accuracy, multi-raga Alankarams, Gamakas, and translating songs into Swaras.

Additionally, the emphasis on comprehensive ear training and multi-raga practice helps in holistic musical development.

Clear audiovisual presentation, close-ups of techniques, and interactive elements enhance the learning experience.

Overall, the classes are designed to consider areas for refinement and enhancement for Carnatic vocals to meet the diverse needs of learners.

Who should take this course?

This course is ideal for individuals of all levels.

Specifically, it is suitable for:

  • Beginners
  • Experienced vocalists
  • Enthusiasts

What topics are covered?

The topics covered in this class include:

  • Sa-Pa-Sa Exercise: Utilizing the Sa-Pa-Sa exercise to improve breath control and vocal stability.
  • Shruti Precision: Perfect each note’s placement (Shruti) to ensure accuracy and resonance.
  • Multi-Raga Alankarams: Practicing alankarams in multiple ragas to better understand swarasthanas and raga differentiation.
  • Gamakas: Exploring the intricate melodic embellishments (gamakas) that add richness and depth to compositions.
  • Translating Songs into Swaras: Developing the ability to translate kritis into swaras, enhancing understanding and expression of compositions.
  • Thalam Coordination: Maintaining thalam coordination while transitioning between speeds to ensure smooth performance.
  • Sangathis: Understanding the underlying swaras and their expressions is key to achieving clarity in sangathis and unique variations within kritis.
  • Introduction to Carnatic Music: This course covers the fundamental concepts and principles of Carnatic music, including ragas, talams, and geethams.
  • Voice Culture Training: Techniques for developing and enhancing vocal abilities, including breath control, tone quality, and expression.
  • Melakarta Ragams: Understanding the concept of Melakarta ragams and their significance in Carnatic music.
  • Geethams, Nottuswarams, and Swarajathi: Exploring different musical forms and compositions to broaden repertoire and enhance musicality.
  • Lakshana Geethams: Studying Lakshana Geethams will deepen my understanding of ragas and their characteristics.

Who is the instructor?

pratibha sarathy is the instructor of the complete carnatic foundation class

Pratibha Sarathy has expertise in diverse genres, including Bollywood, Western, and regional music traditions.

Her journey as a vocalist reflects her versatility and innovation, which is evident in her pioneering approach to music learning.

She shatters conventional boundaries, presenting traditional forms like Carnatic music through a fresh lens that resonates with enthusiasts and learners alike.

This transformative vision seeks to empower music lovers to transition seamlessly into music learners, creating a community bound by their shared passion for music.

Pratibha’s distinctive style blends logic with creativity, infusing her teachings with a sense of logic that enhances understanding and retention.

Her ability to bridge the gap between tradition and innovation captivates students, making complex concepts accessible and engaging.

As a result, Pratibha emerges not only as an instructor but as a mentor and guide, inspiring her students to explore music with curiosity and enthusiasm.

What does social media sentiment tell us?

According to the reviews, students find the exercises relevant to improve listening skills. They appreciate the visual notes and clear melodic explanations and recommend these classes to others.

priyanka suresh, a student find the carnatic foundation course exercises relevant to improve listening skills

Source: VoxGuru

3. Carnatic Music Course for Beginners

carnatic music course for beginners taught by vijayalakshmi venkataraman

The editor’s perspective on this course

This lesson introduces Carnatic music, catering to beginners, as it emphasizes technical terms, melody, pitch control, and practical aspects, making it accessible to all ages.

While it is unsuitable for advanced learners, it provides a solid foundation for further study.

The lesson explores various aspects of Carnatic music, covering technical terms, melody, pitch control, sitting posture, hand usage, and confidence-building.

Moreover, the lessons focus on building confidence in singing, regardless of voice quality, and incorporating revision sessions for topic reinforcement.

Who should take this course?

This course is best suited for children above the age of 8 years.

This course is ideal for students looking to take their first steps into the world of Carnatic Music.

What topics are covered?

The topics covered in this course are:

  • The 7 swaras
  • Basics of ragas

Who is the instructor?

vijayalakshmi venkataraman is the instructor of carnatic music course for beginners

Vijayalakshmi Venkataraman is a multifaceted individual, blending her passions for music and technology seamlessly.

With over 25 years of experience in Carnatic music, her journey began in childhood, nurturing a deep-rooted connection to classical traditions.

Prior to founding Gaayak, she honed her skills as a software developer at Zoho Corporation for over a decade.

Now, she channels her expertise into crafting an innovative and enriching musical learning experience, fusing the realms of music and technology.

What does social media sentiment tell us?

According to the comments on YouTube, the lessons offer clear explanations, helpful tutorials, and the platform’s effectiveness in teaching beginners.

Users find it a quality resource for music education. Overall, the sentiment reflects satisfaction, gratitude, and a desire for continued learning.

The Carnatic music lesson for beginners by Vijayalakshmi Venkataraman offers clear explanations and helpful tutorials

Source: YouTube

4.  Basic Carnatic Vocal Lessons for Beginners

The editor’s perspective on this course

Basic Carnatic Vocal Lessons for Beginners offer an immersive journey into the ancient and traditional art form of Carnatic music, exploring its rich history, key elements, and unique features.

Through detailed lessons and expert guidance from the instructor, beginners have a solid foundation in Carnatic vocal music, focusing on traditional techniques and melodies.

The lessons emphasize tuning, sitting postures, and a variety of vocal exercises such as Janta Varisai, Sarali Varisai, Dhattu Varisai, Geetham, and Alankaras.

These exercises help build vocal proficiency and understanding of Carnatic music fundamentals.

You’ll learn the basic Carnatic music lessons, vocal exercises, and traditional techniques.

The course videos feature demonstrations and explanations by the experienced instructor. The clarity of instruction and presentation style facilitates learners.

The lesson provides a valuable introduction to Carnatic vocal music for beginners, offering a blend of traditional teachings and practical exercises.

Who should take this course?

This course is ideal for beginners interested in learning the fundamentals of Carnatic vocal music, focusing on traditional techniques and ancient melodies.

What topics are covered?

The courses covered in this lesson include:

  • Tuning & Sitting Postures
  • Basic Lessons for Beginners & Range Exercises
  • Janta Varisai
  • Sarali Varisai
  • Dhattu Varisai
  • Geetham
  • Alankaras

Who is the instructor?

s sowmya is the instructor of basic carnatic vocal lessons for beginners

S. Sowmya is a well-known Carnatic music singer with a rich musical background. She began her musical journey under the guidance of her father, Dr. Srinivasan, and later honed her skills under the tutelage of Dr. S. Ramanathan and Smt. T. Muktha.

In 1998, she co-founded Carnatica, an institution dedicated to promoting classical music and dance through instruction, archival work, talent search, and other related activities.

Sowmya’s contributions to Carnatic music extend beyond performance; she co-authored the first comprehensive reference CD-ROM on Carnatic music, Nadanubhava, and serves as a visiting professor at the Advanced School of Carnatic Music at the Music Academy Madras.

With her extensive experience and dedication to the art form, S. Sowmya continues to inspire and educate aspiring musicians around the world.

What does social media sentiment tell us?

The comments on the YouTube video lesson express gratitude, admiration, and appreciation for the teaching, presentation, and coaching provided.

video lesson express gratitude, admiration, and appreciation

Source: YouTube

5. Beginners Guide To Carnatic Music

beginners guide to carnatic music by sikkil gurucharan

The editor’s perspective on this course

Beginners Guide To Carnatic Music lessons explore the ancient origins and fundamental concepts.

Through a structured curriculum and engaging content, learners are guided through basic terms, sitting postures, vocal exercises, and fundamental vocal sequences.

It includes exploring the benefits of sitting posture in Carnatic music and breaking down basic vocal sequences.

These insights provide valuable context and practical techniques for learners to enhance their understanding and practice of Carnatic music.

The topic includes basic terms, sitting posture, vocal exercises, and fundamental vocal sequences.

The course videos provide clear demonstrations and explanations, facilitating learners.

Overall, the lessons include all the technicalities and nuances of this art form and the basic warm-up exercises.

Who should take this course?

This course is for beginners.

What topics are covered?

The lessons cover a range of topics related to Carnatic music, including:

  • Exploring its ancient origins and fundamental concepts
  • Understanding key terminology associated with Carnatic music
  • Exploring the benefits of proper sitting posture in Carnatic music
  • Learning simple exercises to train the singing voice for better production
  • Exploring fundamental vocal sequences and creating interesting patterns using notes
  • Understanding the breakdown of each vocal sequence through demonstration and audio for additional practice

Who is the instructor?

sikkil gurucharan is the instructor of beginners guide to carnatic music

Sikkil Gurucharan is a leading musician and a youth ambassador for Carnatic music

A prime-time artist during the Chennai music season and a recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar Award, Isai Peroli, Shanmukha Sironmani, a TOP grade recognition from All India Radio.

He also worked to broaden audience appeal by creating collaborative projects with world-renowned musicians while retaining the spirit of the art form.

In 2015, Gurucharan received a Nehru-Fulbright Excellence Award and was in residence at UC Davis between January and April 2015.

He is also a visiting faculty at Florida International University for their Tamil and Tamilar Diaspora studies initiative.

The collaborative album “Miles from India” was nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Album at the 51st Grammy Awards.

The magazine India Today featured him among 35 Game Changers under 35 in India.

The Tamil Nadu Government conferred its highest honor of Kalaimamani on Gurucharan in 2020. He has also been part of two feature films Sarvam Thaala Mayam and Putham Pudhu Kaalai.

What does social media sentiment tell us?

The comments on the lesson video express admiration for his teaching style and the opportunity to learn techniques.

Comments on the Carnatic video lesson express admiration for his teaching style

Source: YouTube

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Carnatic singing hard?

Carnatic singing can be challenging, but you can learn with dedication to practice and a natural aptitude for music.

Am I too old to learn Carnatic music?

There is no age limit. However, starting at a young age can have its advantages regarding time and flexibility. Adults can also excel in learning Carnatic music with dedication, perseverance, and passion.

In fact, adults often bring life experiences, maturity, and discipline to their learning process, which can enhance their understanding and appreciation of the art form.

What is the best way to learn Carnatic singing?

The best way to learn Carnatic music includes:

  • Find a Guru (Teacher)
  • Structured Learning Programs
  • Self-Study with Resources
  • Practice Regularly
  • Attend Workshops and Concerts

How long will it take to learn Carnatic singing?

If you understand things well, practice regularly, and have a positive attitude, you might take about six months to become really good at these exercises. Having the right mindset is super important when learning music.

Conclusion

The demand for Carnatic music as an art form continues to thrive globally as enthusiasts seek ways to learn intricate melodies, rhythmic structures, and profound cultural significance.

These best Carnatic Vocal Classes provide a structured approach to understanding Carnatic singing, which is good for beginners and advanced learners with diverse learning opportunities.

It covers essential concepts such as ragas, talams, and swaras and offers practical exercises to enhance skills and techniques.

Led by expert instructors, these courses offer valuable insights and guidance to students looking to explore the rich tradition of Carnatic music.