Gharana is a traditional style and a way of teaching and performing Indian classical music. This style is many hundreds of years old and has been passed down from master to student, from generation to generation. Out of the many Gharanas or styles, one of the most prominent ones is Benaras Gharana. It is also called Varanasi Gharana. Over the years, the Benaras Gharana has produced many outstanding vocal, instrumental and dance performers. Like many traditions and the great Indian cultural heritage in general, this method of performing music is being threatened due to the lack of dedicated teachers and students.
The Guru-Shishya (teacher-student) relationship which was the hallmark of this system is breaking down. If this tradition is not maintained, very soon it may exist only in textbooks. Pandit Shivnath Mishra and his family have descended from a highly talented musical lineage of Benaras Gharana going back several generations. In order to preserve this heritage, so precious to India, and make it accessible to students, Pt. Mishra and his family decided to create the Benaras Gharana Baccha (The Children’s Project).
For foreign students who are committed to studying seriously, we offer the unique and unprecedented opportunity to learn styles of Indian classical music that were previously inaccessible to them as they were passed down through family lineage or from Guru to Shishya through the Gharana system, therefore only the privileged few could ever learn them. In our Academy, we have a family atmosphere very much like the ancient Gurukul education system in India. The Teacher and Student develop a personal relationship with one-to-one lessons, rather than a classroom programme where many students learn together, but little individual attention is paid.