Mrs. Vineeta Tembe
Although I had begun learning classical music at the age of 8 from a couple of music teachers in my school, my real training got a kick-start at the age of 11 under the tutelage of Mrs. Vineeta Tembe. It was with some effort that I got introduced to her, as my parents were not aware of Hindustani music teachers in the area where we lived and there were also unsuccessful attempts to approach a well-known teacher. But Mrs. Tembe accepted me as her student with great love and compassion and took it upon her to be my mentor and guide in this journey of music.
Being her only boy student, I was the recipient of special attention and she made sure that I got all the minor details about singing right without compromising on any of them. It was under Mrs. Tembe that I learnt the comparative study of all the Raags and also the ability to verbalise various terms and concepts associated with Hindustani Music. She also taught me the nuances of harmonium, the Indian version of the keyboard. Under her guidance I completed the Sangeet Visharad degree in both vocal and harmonium, a private bachelor’s degree.
Mrs. Vineeta Tembe
After more than 10 years of training under her, Mrs. Tembe suggested that I should train under a male Guru, who would also be a performing artist. She then took me to Pt. Prabhakar Karekar, a very well-known performer of Hindustani Classical Music. Just as Mrs. Tembe, Pt. Karekar lovingly accepted me as his disciple and helped me build on the initial grounding provided by Mrs. Tembe. He particularly dealt with the aspect of performing on stage and many intricacies associated with it. One of the important lessons that I learnt from him was how to interact with the audience during a performance and to present a smiling face at all times.
Pt. Ramesh Prem & Mrs. Geeta Prem
As my musical journey continued, I felt the need for a specific training in voice culture and voice projection. As it is said, if the desire for a Guru is pure, then the Lord guides you to the right person without you realizing. This is exactly what happened as I met with Pt. Ramesh Prem and Mrs. Geeta Prem. Pt. Ramesh Prem is a Vichitra Veena player and Mrs. Geeta Prem a Hindustani vocalist, both of national repute. They carefully nurtured my voice, especially with regard to maintaining the voice quality and not to compromise it at any time. They taught me several techniques which would enable me to perform not just pure Classical music, but also the lighter genres of music with equal efficiency.
Thus, my Musical Journey (Swaryatra) continues and inspite of not learning from my Gurus directly at this point of time, they have given me so much to work on that the journey that it is going to last a lifetime and more. I owe all my achievements and success to my Gurus and none of this would ever have been possible without their able training, guidance and mentorship. I pray to the Lord almighty to give me the strength and the ability to continue on the musical path shown by my Gurus and to never lose my focus during this most enchanting and blissful journey.
My most humble salutations to my Gurus.