Dr. Priyanka Kashyap says she started learning classical music when she was 6 years old. But that’s not entirely factual. In practice, his apprenticeship began on his mother’s lap. She grew up listening to her mother, who was herself a trained classical singer, hum perfect musical notes into her ears. With this kind of amorous initiation into classical music, it was no surprise that 6-year-old Priyanka began to show promising musical talent.
“The world of classical Hindustani is an ocean and there will always be new depths to dive into,” says Dr. Priyanka Kashyap, PhD student in music and classical singer who lives at Amrapali Platinum Society, Sector 119, Noida. After years of association with Indian classical music, she says it is a devotion that changes a person from within.
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Growing up in Muzzafarpur, Bihar, Priyanka’s childhood was surrounded by music. Born to parents who were patrons of classical Hindustani, she has always felt drawn to music. In fact, Priyanka’s introduction to classical music began early in life. According to her, the love of classical Indian song and dance runs deep in her family. “My maternal grandfather was a lover of classical music and my grandmother always wanted me to be a classical dancer. I always felt a deep connection with music. On her wish, I started to follow a formal training in Kathak when I was in first class.” she says.
She continues: “The transfer of my parents to another city put an end to my kathak training. Once, there was a huge meeting at my house. My parents insisted that I sing. It was the first time I was singing in front of a crowd. Everyone clapped and suggested my parents train me in classical singing.”
After that, the path of music became his destiny. She was trained in classical Hindustani by the late Shri Shrikant Poddar Ji. She was a visiting lecturer at JD Women’s College, Patna for 18 years. She was also a Patna radio and Doordarshan performer. She learned recording techniques from Shree Sita Ram Ji, who is a top radio artist.
Currently, she is also linked with the Artium Academy of Music in Mumbai where she teaches music. Priyanka believes that when it comes to classical music, you can never stop learning and that training is a lifelong process. She trained in classical music at Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana of Hindustani classical music in Uttar Pradesh from Ustad Nadim Ahmed Khan and Ustad Aftab Ahmed Khan.
During her career, she was inspired by classic Hindustani legends such as Ravi Shankar, Gulam Mustafa Khan Sahab, Ustad Bde Gulam Ali Khan Sahab, Amir khan Sahab or Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi and Kishori Amonkar.
Interpreting Hindustani classics in front of an audience gives her immense joy. Its first public performance was at Harihar Kshetra Sonpur Mela, on Kartik Poornima. Priyanka still remembers the flood of applause and the reverie of celebration and devotion flowing through her as she sang.
She says, “I love to sing with Tanpura and the harmonium. Since childhood, I have learned to use the tanpura and all its details. I feel lucky to have reached the richness of music and carry it every day with me in life.”
Besides classical, Priyanka also loves Bollywood music. RD Barman’s unique musical style pleases his ears. “Mera Kuch saman” by Ijazaat is one of his favorite songs. She thinks the song can create an atmosphere of romance and mysticism every time it is played.
Priyanka got married very early. She interrupted her training due to family responsibilities. But, after a few years, she resumed her training. Her family has always supported her in her musical journey.
She believes that to take a long journey in music, it is necessary to learn the details of Indian ragas. Priyanka says today’s generation is lucky to have more platforms to show off their voice. “Our musical heritage is so vast and thriving that it can never run out of inspiration and learning. However, they must remember that there are no shortcuts in classical music. Students who s those interested in this art must be ready to give their all and never miss riyaaz.”