About The Members Lessons
Bansuri Bliss Members Lessons are live sessions that take place online via Zoom eight times per month. All Bansuri Bliss Members are invited and encouraged to attend these lessons, which are at least an hour long.
During the Bansuri Bliss Members Lessons, you will:
– Learn new ragas and talas (melodies and rhythms);
– Meet other flute players;
– Gain musical inspiration and ideas.
– Be able to ask questions about bansuri and Indian classical music;
– Receive direct feedback on your playing; and
– Be immersed in a formal system of learning (Hindustani Sangeet) that has ancient roots and has proven effective for countless bansuri students, many of whom started as absolute beginners.
“Attending lessons will bring a lot of improvements. Both group lessons and private lessons are essential!”
— Bansuri Bliss Member Suraj Sonar, India
Dr. Kerry Kriger teaches raag Bhinna Shadja to a group of students via Zoom, June 21st, 2020.
Beginner classes take place online every Saturday at 8am Los Angeles time.
Bansuri Bliss Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger leads an advanced class online every Sunday at 8am Los Angeles time.
These lessons take place on Tuesdays at 6:30pm Los Angeles time (that’s Wednesday morning in India!) and have a more informal “anything goes” style. All members are encouraged to attend.
All Bansuri Bliss members are welcome and encouraged to attend all the classes.
About The Beginners Classes
Lessons are led by advanced students of Bansuri Bliss Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger. Each instructor is a Bansuri Bliss Member who has spent significant amounts of time practicing and attending lessons, and who has demonstrated a solid understanding of the fundamentals of bansuri and north Indian classical music.
Lessons focus on the essential knowledge that beginner bansuri players should acquire, including:
– Breath control and how to hold a bansuri;
– Becoming acquainted with important scales that have relatively easy fingering;
– Learning scale exercises and how to incorporate them into your daily practice;
– Understanding the basic structure of a composition in north Indian classical music;
– Playing compositions in well-known, traditional ragas;
– Holding a steady beat;
– Understanding teental, the most important rhythm worldwide;
– Playing with tanpura and tabla accompaniment
Students have the opportunity to play and get feedback on their playing. Dr. Kriger occasionally drops in to these lessons to provide tips, answer questions and play music.
“Earlier this year (2022) I sourced a bansuri and started searching YouTube videos to practice what I knew in western flute. I came across @Kerry Kriger videos and decided to give the academy a try! I have been enjoying learning in structured manner and appreciate the effort in this detailed setup at nominal fee 🙂 Took my first zoom class last week and enjoyed it. Hope to meet the rest of the community in the upcoming zoom classes soon 🙂”
— Amar Gandigudi
Bansuri For Absolute Beginners class with Dr. Kerry Kriger and students, June 16th, 2020.
About The Advanced Classes
Attendees are assumed to have a basic understanding of bansuri fundamentals (which can be easily acquired through the multitude of archived lessons available in Bansuri Bliss Academy, and through the Saturday and Wednesday beginners classes described above).
The format of the advanced classes varies week to week, and often consists of Dr. Kriger:
– Teaching a raga, composition or exercise he has not previously taught;
– Exploring various forms of improvisations, such as taans, jhala, alap, and ornamentation;
– Reviewing and expanding upon important lessons he has taught in the past;
– Answering questions and taking requests from students;
– Asking students to play what they just learned or something they have been working on, and providing direct feedback on their playing;
– Inviting special guests to attend and share their knowledge. These are often musicians that Dr. Kriger has learned from, or with whom he has performed or collaborated.
Tabla wizard Hindole Majumdar makes a guest appearance to teach Bansuri Bliss students the fundamentals of rhythm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I attend the advanced lessons if I am a beginner?
YES! While you may not understand everything that gets taught, you will become familiar with the music; train your musical ear; gain a larger vision of what lies ahead of you; and almost certainly improve your understanding of Indian classical music. During the advanced lessons, you will expand your mind and pick up what you can, be that inspiration or knowledge.
Should I attend the beginners lessons if I am advanced?
YES! If the subject matter is easy, play it perfectly and help your fellow bansuri players. One of the best ways to learn is to share your knowledge. Listen how others play. What did they do well? What would you suggest to them? What does the instructor suggest to them? How can you take a simple line of music and expand on it, improvise on it, or vary it? How can you apply the knowledge to other scales, ragas or rhythms?
How can I best prepare for lessons?
Do recordings of the lessons get posted in Bansuri Bliss Academy?
Many of the Sunday lessons get recorded and added to Bansuri Bliss Academy. Often though there is a significant amount of time that passes between recording and publishing, due to the amount of time it takes to edit video. We are working on processing the queue of archival lesson recordings to ensure that the majority of recordings do make it to the site.
The Saturday and Wednesday lessons do not usually get recorded, as they tend to focus more heavily on instructors listening to students play, and many beginner students prefer to not be recorded.
As of May 2021, the Bansuri Bliss Academy archive holds:
– 72 hours of video tutorials;
– 50 hours of audio tutorials; and
– 244 pages of downloadable PDF’s
In other words, you will always have plenty of material to practice!
Do I have to play during a lesson?
No, you are welcome to just sit back and enjoy. But you will get more out of the lessons if you do play when given the opportunity. Benefits of playing include:
– Direct feedback on your playing so that you know what to stop doing, what to focus on, and what to do more of;
– More comfort playing in front of people (a reduction in performance-related anxiety); and
– Positive encouragement from Dr. Kriger and Bansuri Bliss Members.
“Thanks Kerry, I just came from work. Like usual, it’s comfort to me to just listen to you.”
— Abdellah Ait Benali, France
Do you offer private lessons?
Bansuri Bliss Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger gives private bansuri lessons online. Note though that for the same price as three private lessons, you could gain access to over 100 Bansuri Bliss Members Lessons!
So your first step is almost certainly to attend the Bansuri Bliss Members Lessons. There is a reason they exist: because they work as a low-cost, highly effective method of transmitting the bansuri knowledge to dedicated learners.
Bansuri art by Bansuri Bliss Member Monica Valer of Italy.
How Non-Members Can Attend The Bansuri Bliss Members Lessons
If you are interested in attending these lessons but are not yet a Bansuri Bliss Member, you can either:
– Become a Bansuri Bliss Member to gain immediate, ongoing access; or
– Complete the Bansuri Bliss Expression Of Interest Form. Once we receive your expression of interest, we will send you an invite to attend an upcoming lesson, during which you will learn some music and can determine if the lessons are right for you.
More bansuri art by Monica Valer, who occasionally teaches the Beginner Classes!
Watch A Recording Of A Bansuri Bliss Members Lesson
Many of the Bansuri Bliss videos on YouTube are excerpts from Bansuri Bliss Members Lessons. The video below differs from most of those in that rather than showing Dr. Kerry Kriger teaching something specific, it features Bansuri Bliss Members (i.e. students) playing ragas and getting feedback. On top of featuring some fabulous music, you will get to hear and learn from different bansuri players, from the absolute beginner level up through highly skilled artists. Enjoy!
Recorded May 8th, 2022, featuring Dr. Kerry Kriger and bansuri players from California, Delaware, Portugal, India and Ukraine!
What you will never get from a YouTube video is feedback, because the video creator does not hear you play and cannot correct your mistakes (which likely are abundant, pervasive, consistent and easily recognizable to the trained ear). Without feedback, improvement is slow or non-existent. With feedback, improvement is rapid.
During Bansuri Bliss Members Lessons, you have the opportunity to play and receive feedback on your playing. You will also get to hear other bansuri players and learn from what they do (or don’t do) well. Even if you choose to not play, you will gain a deeper understanding of classical music. We invite you to join us!
Bansuri Bliss Member Ralph Schaedler plays a melody during the August 14th, 2022 Bansuri Bliss Members Advanced Lesson.