Business Standard

Striking the right chord, online

Sohini Sen  |  Mumbai 

Shankar Mahadevan

The tech-age has given a new dimension to the guru-shishya relationship. It isn’t mandatory anymore to be physically present when your guru is teaching you the nuances of the ragas. Well, that’s what Shankar Mahadevan, acclaimed play-back singer has made possible. His online music school, launched a couple of months back, already boasts of 200 students!

Mahadevan, along with friend got in touch with to start the academy. The school uses Cisco’s WebEx Communication — a web collaboration tool to enhance easier web conferencing. “It has been my dream to start a music school. Initially, I planned to build a brick-and-mortal academy but after meeting Sridhar, decided to go for an online one instead,” says Mahadevan.

“There are a number of advantages of learning music online. Rather than limiting the experience to those in proximity to a physical school, the online Academy brings skilled teachers and high-quality learning to the homes of music enthusiasts anywhere in the world. Plus, music concepts are very well explained using multimedia, including live video conferencing as well as audio, video, text, and animations for practice,” points out Sridhar Ranganathan, Founder & CEO, Academy.

Virtual classes are offered for all the courses, but taught in different formats. Courses for hindi movie songs and devotional songs are offered in a self-study course format, allowing students to learn at their own time and pace. Self-study courses give students access to a student portal, the OM Book that includes a week-by-week study guide, unlimited singing practice with recording tools, and expert feedback on up to three recordings. Classical music, as well as select Hindi movie and devotional songs, are taught in an instructor-led course format. These include all of the self-study course features, as well as a weekly 30-minute class with a teacher and a group of students.

While students have to shell out $9.99 for the self-study courses, $59 for Hindi movie song courses and $299 for Carnatic and Hindustani vocal courses, there is no extra purchases to be made or softwares to be installed.

“WebEx is simple to use and has a navigation interface that allows one to start a Web meeting with the click of a mouse no matter what platform is in operation. The same applies for the academy — the student’s access to his/her classes during the session and even after review is available at the touch of a button. He can easily reach out to the academy’s website for previously held classes. With WebEx anyone can easily create and deliver customised multimedia online demos and presentations,” adds Kiran Datar, Managing Director, Cisco WebEx Communications, India.

The academy has invested in state-of-the-art recording studios and scalable and secure infrastructure. It also has an established team of teachers, executives from Yahoo and Dell, and experienced professionals in engineering, sales, marketing, customer service, and operations. Along with that is the cost of WebEx — which is a pay per use service. The licensing fee was $49 per month in which a maximum of 25 participants can take part.

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Striking the right chord, online

The tech-age has given a new dimension to the guru-shishya relationship. It isn’t mandatory anymore to be physically present when your guru is teaching you the nuances of the ragas. Well, that’s what Shankar Mahadevan, acclaimed play-back singer has made possible.

The tech-age has given a new dimension to the guru-shishya relationship. It isn’t mandatory anymore to be physically present when your guru is teaching you the nuances of the ragas. Well, that’s what Shankar Mahadevan, acclaimed play-back singer has made possible. His online music school, launched a couple of months back, already boasts of 200 students!

Mahadevan, along with friend got in touch with to start the academy. The school uses Cisco’s WebEx Communication — a web collaboration tool to enhance easier web conferencing. “It has been my dream to start a music school. Initially, I planned to build a brick-and-mortal academy but after meeting Sridhar, decided to go for an online one instead,” says Mahadevan.

“There are a number of advantages of learning music online. Rather than limiting the experience to those in proximity to a physical school, the online Academy brings skilled teachers and high-quality learning to the homes of music enthusiasts anywhere in the world. Plus, music concepts are very well explained using multimedia, including live video conferencing as well as audio, video, text, and animations for practice,” points out Sridhar Ranganathan, Founder & CEO, Academy.

Virtual classes are offered for all the courses, but taught in different formats. Courses for hindi movie songs and devotional songs are offered in a self-study course format, allowing students to learn at their own time and pace. Self-study courses give students access to a student portal, the OM Book that includes a week-by-week study guide, unlimited singing practice with recording tools, and expert feedback on up to three recordings. Classical music, as well as select Hindi movie and devotional songs, are taught in an instructor-led course format. These include all of the self-study course features, as well as a weekly 30-minute class with a teacher and a group of students.

While students have to shell out $9.99 for the self-study courses, $59 for Hindi movie song courses and $299 for Carnatic and Hindustani vocal courses, there is no extra purchases to be made or softwares to be installed.

“WebEx is simple to use and has a navigation interface that allows one to start a Web meeting with the click of a mouse no matter what platform is in operation. The same applies for the academy — the student’s access to his/her classes during the session and even after review is available at the touch of a button. He can easily reach out to the academy’s website for previously held classes. With WebEx anyone can easily create and deliver customised multimedia online demos and presentations,” adds Kiran Datar, Managing Director, Cisco WebEx Communications, India.

The academy has invested in state-of-the-art recording studios and scalable and secure infrastructure. It also has an established team of teachers, executives from Yahoo and Dell, and experienced professionals in engineering, sales, marketing, customer service, and operations. Along with that is the cost of WebEx — which is a pay per use service. The licensing fee was $49 per month in which a maximum of 25 participants can take part.

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