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Bickram Ghosh to open music gurukul in Singapore, London

With the rising popularity of Indian music across the globe, top Indian percussionist Bickram Ghosh is now planning to open modern 'Gurukuls' for learning Indian music and dance forms in Singapore and London.

Started last year, the Bickram Ghosh Academy of Performing Arts has three centres in Kolkata at present where over 400 students learn music and dance.

"Indian music is very popular all over the world. There are foreigners who come to India to learn our music. So we are planning to open centres in Singapore and London within a year. London is particularly interesting because it is a melting pot of different cultures," Ghosh told reporters here.

The overseas centres are not targeted at the Indian diaspora but foreigners who are awed by Indian musical traditions.

Based on a modernised version of the traditional 'Guru-shishya parampara', these 'Gurukuls' or centres for learning performing arts would offer training in vocals, Rabindrasangeet, musical instruments like sarod, sitar, tabla and dance forms like Kathak, Odissi, Bharatnatyam, etc.

Ghosh, known for his collaborations with international musicians, including George Harrison and Pete Lockett, said his father and eminent tabla player Pandit Shankar Ghosh had also taught in music schools in France and Germany.

"We have very good teachers of Indian music in other countries. But we might have to send some teachers from here as well," the 48-year-old tabla maestro said adding that he plans to open around a 100 centres all over the country in the next few years.

"And within the next two years we will have 50-60 centres in cities like Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai," Ghosh said.

For admissions, age is not a bar as they welcome all, including kids to senior citizens.

"More than half of our present students are children but we are getting a good number of elderly people as well, many of whom had no prior training in music," Ghosh said adding that they are also in talks with universities so that the students can also get a degree or diploma on completing the courses.

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