275 Church Street, New York, NY 10013 (212) 925-8270
Study With La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela
In 1970, Pandit Pran Nath (1918-1996) established his first school, the Kirana Center for Indian Classical Music, in New York City. Under the direction of his disciples, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, the Kirana Center continues to provide a unique opportunity for musicians and students of both Eastern and Western music to study singing and the art of raga according to the method of Pandit Pran Nath. Pandit Pran Nath was the foremost disciple of Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan Sahib, acknowledged master of the Kirana gharana, which descends from the legendary Gopal Nayak (c. 1300) of the Dhrupad Govarhari gharana, also known as the style of Krishna.
Vocal music training differs from instrumental training in that the singer’s own body becomes his or her instrument. For this reason, all instruction takes place on an individual basis; each student is taught according to the structure of his own body and its capabilities. The nature of the teaching is entirely practical—the student learns by imitating phrases sung by the teacher. From the first lessons, the student sings with the accompaniment of the tambura. This ancient instrument, literally worshipped in our tradition, provides the harmonically rich drone tones which are the basis for intonation development. In this method, all elements of the work—voice production, breath control, ear training, pitch recognition, intonation, rhythm, and special vocal techniques such as ornaments (gamaks)—are woven together and taught concomitantly with the knowledge and differentiation of raga. When the student begins to learn compositions, Marian Zazeela provides tabla accompaniment. In addition to voice and raga,Marian Zazeela teaches khayal style tabla, which she learned directly from Pandit Pran Nath and his first tabliya in the U.S., K. Paramjyoti, specializing in the serene vilampits and madhyalayas.
For instrumentalists, one of the best ways to study raga is first to learn the intricate sargam patterns of the alap of each raga with the voice, and then to apply this knowledge to their instrument. After the student becomes familiar with the basic alap patterns, the lessons can continue on the instrument, if the student’s instrumental technique is sufficiently advanced.
The teaching is open to students at all levels, beginners through advanced, amateurs and professionals. This approach, with its emphasis on perfect intonation, profound musical feeling, and the historically spiritual orientation of the Kirana style, can be of great benefit to those who want to improve their musicianship, as well as those who want to pursue this particular branch of musical knowledge.
As the first western disciples of Pandit Pran Nath, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela have performed and taught the Kirana style of Indian classical music since 1970. They accompanied Pandit Pran Nath in hundreds of concerts throughout the world. In June 2002, La Monte Young was conferred the title of Khan Sahib by Ustad Hafizullah Khan Sahib, the Khalifa of the Kirana Gharana and son of Pandit Pran Nath’s teacher, Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan Sahib. In 1999, Jung Hee Choi became a disciple of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in the study of music and art, with the classical Kirana tradition gandha bandh red-thread ceremony in 2003. Since 2007 she has been a teaching assistant at the Kirana Center.
Individual Lessons with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela
Fees: $150 per hour, with a two-hour minimum
If you are interested in studying, you may fill out the form below and return or mail to:
Kirana Center for Indian Classical Music, 275 Church Street, New York, NY 10013
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