Here's what people are saying about An Ocean of Sound:
Allison has helped me fall more into love with Indian music, and has taught me things that have helped me better understand how to play it more skillfully myself. I've had a harmonium for ten years, but now I really understand so much more about chanting and playing and I'm excited to keep learning more as I dig into the music library packed full of songs to learn! - Paula Crossfield
It was such a wonderful course! I found the course very approachable. I was able to quickly learn chanting fundamentals and also love that at my fingertips are endless possibilities for building my skills and practice! After being intimidated by the harmonium for some time, I was so pleasantly surprised about how this class went and how interwoven into my practice playing the harmonium has become. - Lauren Thie
*Ten pre-recorded lessons + kirtan with Allison Dennis and lifetime access to the class video recordings
*Heart of Yoga School Chant Book: a fully transliterated chant book with mantras and chants
*Lifetime access to the Music Library with over 50 video tutorials and instructional charts: this exhaustive library has been compiled and organized for the past year and you will be chewing on this material for years to come as you build your repertoire of chants. Additional chants will continue to be added.
*The HoYS Sanskrit 101 course
Optional private session add-ons:
*As this course is pre-recorded, it is recommended that you add on weekly or monthly private harmonium and sanskrit tutoring sessions with Allison for as little as $50-100 per hour. This can help you stay on track with the practices, homework, and steady improvement from week to week.
Optional guest Teacher satsang add-ons:
Prem Sadasivananda on the topic of Sanskrit - sign up here
K. Sridhar on the topic of Indian music - sign up here
Dr. Robert Svoboda on the topic of Indian music, gurus, and cultural appropriation - sign up here
Who is this course for?
*Brand new beginners
*Anyone who wants to learn to read the charts in the Heart of Yoga School Music Library
*Westerners who want to bring more of India into their mantra or kirtan practice
*Mature and interested children, with some musical background, who want to learn kirtan music
*Those who love kirtan and want to be in satsang to deepen their understanding of kirtan music
*To learn at least one simple sanskrit chant on the harmonium and understand it's raga (what scale it's in), tala (rhythm), melody, pronunciation, meaning, and how to read the transliteration.
*To develop a shared vocabulary around Indian music and bhakti yoga, the yoga of love and devotion.
*To be open to and sensitive around how not to culturally appropriate Indian wisdom systems and religious practices. Understanding the culture helps you understand the concepts. We will collectively endeavor to understand this music as it is relative to India; her daughter so to speak.
*To better understand your voice and know what key you are most comfortable singing in
*To be introduced to a variety of traditional practices that are effective neuroplasticity exercises that increase focus and uplift the mind
*To better understand your loving nature as your core values are enlivened through singing.
*Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to navigate the Music Library and have the tools to comprehend the content
An Ocean of Sound:
Indian music is a vast ocean of sound and mysticism. I have but a sip, a drop that somehow entered my heart and started expanding through the guidance of my teachers. The drop I possess is an inexhaustible source of personal inspiration and healing meant for sharing. Based on my practice and experience, I believe this introduction will send your heart down paths of revelation and discovery. If this one drop of ocean I have isn't shared, it dries up for me, for you, and for the whole world. And so it goes.
Studying Indian music and sanskrit is like ascending a ladder up to the ancient mind by way of old sound wisdoms. We may be more technologically advanced from our ancestors, but their wisdoms are enduring, earthy, and rely on an ongoing interest in connecting to something bigger than the small self and the ego.
Indian music teaches how to listen and, for an already developed Western ear, it teaches us to listen differently in so many ways. What better medicine could we give the planet right now than the willingness to switch frequencies, listen, and be lifted up through our immersion in this ocean of sound?
What is Indian Music?
A math of emotion, Indian music weaves a sonic web that creates a somatic experience. A raga is a song, a story, or improvisation built on a foundation of notes. Tala is time, rhythm, or the field which gives the song her existence. Mixed around in this milieu of sound also lives the alluring shrutis, the notes in-between notes. Songs are expressions of desire colored by the sound of distances, just like our longing, grief, and elation. Indian music fills in empty spaces, vibrates, and has a direct effect.
What is Sanskrit?
Sound and oral transmission were highly revered in ancient India, and the Sanskrit language is a language built on the premise that sound is the meaning, it is the object itself. The religious texts of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism are all in Sanskrit. This is not a language of semantics where the word implies the meaning of something. Instead, Sanskrit is a language where the sound itself creates the meaning. Pronunciation is important as we want to create the vibrational meaning we intend.
What is a Harmonium?
The harmonium is a French instrument developed in the 1840's by Alexandre Debain. It was adopted by Indians and Middle Easterners because of its vibratory nature. Essentially a pump organ, harmoniums have reeds that create tones when air blows through. Unlike the voice and the stringed instruments common in Indian classical music such as the sarod and sitar, harmoniums can not create shrutis, the notes in-between notes.
How do I buy a harmonium for the course?
Please email my friends in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India at: [email protected] and mention that you are taking a course with K. Sridhar’s American student Allison. Ask Saptaswara Musicals about their money back guarantee if the instrument arrives damaged. I suggest a double reed harmonium without a coupler. At least seven stops. You don’t need anything fancy. With shipping it should cost $500-ish.