VARANASI, INDIA, Aug 17, 2013, (by Meera Vohra, TNN): Music and language teachers from the city are holding e-classes for their students abroad. While e-classrooms are not a new concept, it's only recently that international students who used to come to Varanasi to learn music and Indian languages have turned to city-based gurus to teach them online. Binit Kumar Mishra, language instructor who runs a language school at Assi Ghat says "There has been a nearly 60% increase in my students since the time I opened up to technology. Though we have students from all over the world, a huge chunk is from the US.
Prof RC Panda of Faculty of Sanskrit Learning and Theology, Banaras Hindu University, has also given in to the "pressing demand from American, German and Japanese scholars for Sanskrit to study Sanskrit online." He adds, " After six months of study the students will be exposed to Upanishads, Manusmriti and other Indian ancient texts. In fact technology is an important tool to spread the language which is very compatible with it," he says.
Even the domain of classical music is gradually awakening to technology as some gurus are acquainting foreigners with the nuances of music through internet. Sitar exponent Debrat Mishra, who runs a music academy in the city, holds classes for his foreign students through Skype. "I have a lot of students from countries like the US, England, Switzerland and Japan learning both instrumental and vocal music online. ago,. "Technology has certainly proven to be a boon," says Anshuman Maharaj, a sarod exponent from Varanasi, who holds online classes. "Earlier, these students would travel to India, gain some basic knowledge about music, but would invariably lose touch with it on returning to their homeland, as they were not able to do riyaz properly. But with the advent of technology, I am able to monitor their daily practice of the instrument and point out their mistakes online. It has made life easier for these music lovers, who don't have to stay back in India to acquire proficiency in playing the instrument," adds Anshuman.
An important aspect of conducting e-classes is finding a suitable time to hold classes, keeping in mind that the guru and shishya are in different time zones.