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Anuja Kamat on her channel Out of the Shruti Box.

Anuja Kamat on her channel Out of the Shruti Box.

By Suanshu Khurana 

About 14 km from the famed Jog Falls in Karnataka is Siddapur, a sleepy little village nestled in the Western Ghats. For years, its resident, Prakash Hegde, struggled to learn the flute, an instrument that caught his fancy at a young age through radio recitals in the ’80s. “But there was no teacher in the vicinity,” he says. So in an attempt to educate himself, Hegde, 40, travelled on a rickety bus for 45 km everyday to reach Dharwad, a land that nurtured musicians like Pt Bhimsen Joshi and Gangubai Hangal, among others. He learned to play the flute from his guru, Venkatesh Godkhindi.

That was in the early ’90s. Now, the Bangalore-based flautist is making an effort to assist others who have a desire to learn music but not the means. He has created YouTube videos imparting basic flute lessons through Octaves Online, a YouTube channel started by three software engineers who are also music enthusiasts. “These are for anyone interested in learning the flute, but especially for those who can’t pay. You can sit at home and go through these lessons, unlike me, who struggled for training in music,” says Hegde. His lessons begin with the basics regarding posture and the right way to hold the flute, and go on to alankaar, alaaps and compositions in ragas such as Yaman and Bhopali, which are simpler in structure and form. The lessons have generated a lot of interest, and Korti is being contacted by students from Europe and the US.

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Credit: indianexpress.com