I hope you are having a great summer!
I have some news on the Piano front – JoyTunes, the makers of Piano Maestro, recently announced they will no longer be able to continue offering full access to the app on free accounts for students and will be introducing new membership plans. Pop songs, method books and other licensed content, plus home access will become premium as they can no longer continue to absorb the royalty payments. They also announced the new version will have tons of new exciting songs, as well as 5 new method books from top publishers. You can see the full details separately on the handout.
I have chosen to continue to subscribe for my studio as a gift to you so your child can continue to have full access to the entire app. This means your child will be able to play all the fun licensed pop songs, exercises and content both in the studio and at home on your iPad. Your child will be able to seamlessly move between their home and my device, syncing their progress. I’ve seen in my studio that the kids that use Piano Maestro really progress faster!
I often get asked these questions by prospective parents.
a) What use are these certificates?
Answer: What use are no certificates? Jokes aside, most admissions are based on all round excellence. I know of my son’s friend who pretty much was a school topper. He did not make it to an Ivy School of his choice? Why? All brain and no art.
b) Are these certificates recognized?
Answer: It is times like this I thank this phenomenon called the Internet. Click here to find out more.
c) Why should I do these exams? I know I can play and that’s all that matters.
Answer: Presenting a certificate is one option. The other is to lug your guitar to all interviews and do an impromptou gig and hope that everyone has the time to see you set up and tune and do a sound check. Choice is yours.
Oh, I nearly forgot to mention. 6 of our students appeared for these exams at various levels. All of them passed with distinction. Like to see your name on one of these babies? Call or email us. (732) 451-7929
So, we’ve turned a full circle. We started Bharata Kala in a small nook. Then we went in for a large space paying tons of money on rent; not to mention insurance costs, maintenance costs, communication costs and what not. Cost to benefit ratio? Zilch. Nada. Duck. To cover overheads, we spent more bucks on several marketing tools and the costs kept climbing. So we decided to bite the celery stick. Packed our instruments, mics and everything of value and set up the Studio in my basement. Surprise, surprise, not one of our clients dropped out. Everyone embraced the change and some were even very supportive to the move. The oft asked question was, ‘why did we not do this earlier’. Our stock answer, it was an idea whose time hadn’t come.
So, just a few adjustments need be made. I have listed them as under:
- Street parking, driveway parking restricted to two cars. If you remember, we had the same two slots at our commercial address
- There is a separate entrance at the left side of the building (while facing the building) Please use that entrance.
- The door is open during our working hours. In the event you find the door locked, please ring the bell.
- You are welcome to wait at our Studio but we have a better idea. There are grocery stores (Subzi Mandi), CVS Pharmacy, Dunkin’ Doughnuts and several other such attractions. Use your 30 minutes wisely! There is also ample parking at these facilites.
If some of you have anything to add, please do post on our Facebook Page. We would love for you to please leave a comment on our Google Page.
Here is a link you will not regret opening – it is a rare treat.
MS Amma (as she is fondly referred to now) did her 1st recording, when she was a kid of barely 10 years! (1926)
She came back from school & was eager to go out and play; But her mother, Madurai Shanmuga Vadivu, seized an opportunity and made the kid sing a Tamizh Song (Maragatha Vadivum);
Shanmuga Vadivu played the Veena along with the daughter who sang;
This was recorded by Oriental Records!
Nanda and I were scouting around for rare gems to be featured on our weekly on-air live television show when we first heard this rare recording of MS Amma when she was barely 10 at the home of late Sri Sundaram. IAS and his calm and lovely wife Padma whom he has since immortalized in his elegies on Padma.
Not just this song. We heard the voice of the Mahatma on an antique gramophone.
We sat in spellbound silence when he recounted tales of his great, good and different days as a civil servant until he voluntarily retired from service at age 51.
The Sundarams had an awesome collection. Not just music, books and collectibles from all their travels and postings.
No visit, and we made three, was ever the same. And we never came away empty handed. He filled our minds with rich tales and strong views. Quaint humor and quotes were his hallmark. He authored essays and books. In fact, my friend and I were privileged to receive his book, Essays and Reviews. With an invitation to review and critique it! We never dared to. It just remains a treasured relic along with others of the period. Thanks Nanda, for leaving it behind with me.
V. Sundaram was a lover and keen student of Carnatic Music. He was a trained Mridangam Player and had a large collection of rare Carnatic Music records.
He also had a rare and magnificent collection of rare audio voices of great statesmen and men of history, scholars, philosophers and poets of international fame. A keen collector of South Indian art, he has donated several bronzes and other art objects to the Madras Museum.