Ocean of Sound:
a Kirtan & Chanting Teacher Training
with Vedic Counselor & Musician Allison Dennis
Lifetime access to the extensive material in the Music Library & Chant Book
A 3 Month Kirtan & Harmonium Exploration for *30 people only*
All levels are welcome
6 Sundays @4pm ET for Kirtan (2hrs) and Q&A (1 hr)
2 private sessions with Allison - 1 hr each
3 Q&A sessions - 1 hr each
- reading the charts, reading sanskrit transliteration, using a metronome and iTablaPro
- bhakti, devotion, cultural appropriation, daily sadhana
- leading kirtan, streaming kirtan, writing your own chants
3 Kirtans led by Allison + Satsang & Stories - 1 hr each
3 Play-Along-Kirtans + Group Harmonium Instruction: Hybrid event - all are welcome live & in person - 1 hr each
Access to Allison through text/video/voice message + optional homework assignments to speed up your progress
Optional weekly video check-ins on progress with corrections and notes from Allison
Music Library with over 80 video harmonium tutorials + notation charts for harmonium
Chant Book with over 100 fully transliterated mantras, chants, bhajans, & stotrams
Who is Ocean of Sound for:
- You want to chant more regularly and/or refine your chanting practice.
You play the harmonium or want to learn to play the harmonium and sing
- You'd like to improve your harmonium skills and your ability to play and sing in Indian Rāgas
- You need guidance around composing kirtan music
- You need logistical advice on how to live stream kirtan music
In your private sessions we can focus on:
- How to play the harmonium
- How to read the charts in the music library. It's easy!
- Building your repertoire of kirtan music, stotrams, or bhajans
- Sanskrit Pronunciation
- Indian raga scales for harmonium and vocals
- Voice opening practices
- Coaching on how to lead kirtan
- Coaching on how to optimize audio to avoid distortion when live streaming your kirtan
- Learn a song you love but aren't sure how to play it?
What Chanting can do for your wellbeing:
- increased focus and attention
- mood regulation
- decreased effects of anxiety and depression
- increased levels of serotonin, dopamine, and GABA in the brain
- stimulates the vagus nerve and activates the parasympathetic nervous system functions of rest and digest
- social cohesion and strengthening of community
- aid in our ability to overcome emotional challenges
The Music Library:
Includes over 80 video tutorials focused on playing the harmonium + transliterated pronunciation. The songs are those Allison learned at ashrams, chants she composed, and songs learned as upayas on the suggestion of her mentors.
The Chant Book
The transliterated chant book mentions authors for longer form songs when known. Many Indian composers wrote beautiful songs and denied any credit, instead giving authorship to a more well known name so that the song would have credibility and have more likelihood of being sung.
The path of discovery
If you know how to read the charts, then you will be able to read the charts in this music library right away and suit them to your own voice. If you need help reading the charts or with basic instruction you can work one on one with Allison on this or save your technical questions for the Q&A's. Some chants are quite simple and you’ll be able to play them straight away. Others will take more practice of scales and development of your ear and listening skills before you can play them.
If you want to pronounce Sanskrit well, listen to more Indian artists. Here’s a list of some favorite Indian and Pakistani vocalists to listen to for pronunciation and vocal technique. Check them out on YouTube or Spotify.
- Kishori Amonkar
- Jagjit Singh
- Mehdi Hassan
- Swami Haridhos Giri
- Subhadra Desai
- Shruti Sadolikar
- Kaushiki Chakraborty
- M.S. Subbulakshmi
- Anup Jalota
Senior Dagar Brothers
What is Indian Music?
Kirtan music is relative to classical Indian music, though it doesn’t have to be expressed this way. Folk interpretations and bhakti centric practices are accessible to anyone. Some of you may be interested in diving deeper into Indian rāgas. Others may prefer to keep things simple. Both are great approaches.
When putting all the pieces of the library together, a metronome is essential. Any free app or old school metronome will do. I use iTablaPro.
What is Sanskrit?
Sound and oral transmission are highly revered in India. Sanskrit is not a language of semantics where the word simply implies the meaning of something. Instead, Sanskrit is a language where the sound itself creates the meaning. To this end, pronunciation is very important.
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.
How do I buy a harmonium?
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. A double reed harmonium without a coupler with at least seven stops is all you need. You don’t need anything fancy. With shipping it should cost $400/500-ish.
Reflections from Ocean of Sound Students:
"This course inspired in me, a deeper connection to the healing benefits of Indian music and with that, a deeper connection to the heart opening aspects of singing and playing the harmonium. Allison's teachings are well paced and clear. Her teaching style is heart based and you can easily feel her love of the practice through the screen. And don't even get me started about the MUSIC LIBRARY! I am so grateful to have found Allison and this program.Ocean of Sound is a brilliant resource for anyone wishing to explore the truly bottomless ocean of bhakti."
-Sri Devi Melissa Urey
"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 it 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