LEARNING Online tools and resources give students from anywhere in world an opportunity to learn from experienced musicians. Rithvik Raja

Today, hardly a day goes by without using the internet as a source of information or learning. Especially when it comes to music, internet has become an exhaustive source of information across all genresWhen we look at the Internet with reference to Carnatic music, two things come to mind immediately: Skype and YouTube.

YouTube is the largest worldwide video sharing community today. There are a number of Carnatic music-related videos up there that the whole world is watching. Friends and relatives from other countries tell me that YouTube is their only source to get connected to Chennai.

All the Margazhi festival videos and updates are there on it within minutes. Personally, I feel the best thing about YouTube is that anyone from any part of the world can randomly stumble upon a Carnatic music video and get introduced to a new art form.

Learning online

The vintage recordings of masters are an inspiration to students and youngsters and they bring back fond memories to other rasikas. There are negative aspects with respect to quality of streaming and audio but, overall, YouTube adds another dimension to music.

A recent trend is learning music online through Skype and other web programmes. This has its uniqueness and shortcomings. Through this, many students across the world are given a chance to learn from experienced teachers. This also saves time and cost when compared to travelling to learn music. But, on the other hand, I believe this is an indirect and impersonal method of training. The one-to-one rapport and connection may go missing.

Skype is a hit among users, thanks to its easy navigation and user-friendly interface. Even a novice can understand and use effectively. Skype classes can also be flexible depending on availability and time differences. This helps people schedule accordingly and make valuable use of it.

Ultimately, it is a part of the learning culture in the West today and we need to see how best we can use it for our system of training in music without making compromises.

On the whole, the impact of YouTube and Skype is very obvious in today's world and it is up to us to make the best use of it .

Rithvik is the president of Youth Association of Classical Music .

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