My Journey so far of learning Bansuri

My name is Arun Kumar. I am a Statistician currently based in Boston (MA) working for a Pharmaceutical company. 

I wanted to learn flute (Indian Bansuri) since childhood. The sound of flute always sounded divine to me and drew me towards it. But I could not pursue it due to other priorities. In 2016, I finally felt that I could devote some time to learn flute. I wanted to learn flute from someone who is already accomplished and is willing to teach online. I learned about Venuganapriya academy of music after intensive web-search. I contacted Shri Venugopal Hegde Ji, and he agreed to teach me even though I could not even blow sound out of a flute at that time. I have now been learning flute from Shri Venugopal Hegde Ji for four years. The journey has never been easy for various reasons, but it has its rewards when one overcome those challenges. Even small things such as blowing a sound out of a flute, playing both low and high notes, and going from P to M, and M to P can be draining. Also taking even half an hour time initially to practice regularly can be tough for professionals.  But you have to know that everyone has to go through these experiences and overcome it. Patience and support of your teacher will help you.

After learning how to play all notes, we started learning Alankaras from sheet. Classes were of you listening to your teacher playing the Alankaras and you playing it back. Teacher will give you advice on what went right and where to improve. We then moved to Ragas and also switched to bigger flutes. Each time a change occurred, it felt like doing everything all over again. But you have to realize that while taking bigger step, you will face similar challenges you have overcome before. It is only progress, not regress. After an year or year and half of playing from sheet,  we switched to improvisation where your teacher will play directly to you (no sheet to fall back to) and you have to play it back. It is another phase that could take 3-6 months to adjust. This is probably the last phase where beginner's problems are felt. After this step, learning becomes much more smoother. I now play E scale flute and have touched multiple ragas. Flute has become an integral part of my life. I do not play flute just to practice lessons but also to relax in the evening after a day of work. I can not imagine a life without flute.

Whenever I think of this Journey, I realize that your love for the music is the most important things that keeps you going. Continuity of practice even when you are not doing well is key to overcome challenges. Having a supportive and patient teacher like Shri Venugopal Hegde Ji helps immensely. I look forward to learning flute from him for a longtime.