SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Priority registration for the Spring-Summer semester at the Scarsdale Adult School began on Monday, and new classes include a series of lectures about Hindustani classical music.
Amita Ajmera joined the Adult School staff last fall and introduced students to basic Indian and Hindi music during her course, “Learn to Play the Sitar.” New classes next semester include “Folk Dances of India,” and “Folk Dances of India for Families,” which will serve as an introduction to Indian dance.
According to Ajmera, Indian classical music is melody-based as opposed to Western music, which is harmony-based. Many students find that learning Indian music is comparable to learning a foreign language, she said.
In addition to the basics of Indian music, students also learn how to master the half lotus sitting position while balancing the instrument on their toes. Members of the class built up stamina as the class progressed, and most could hold the position for a full half hour of playing by the conclusion, Ajmera said.
“I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to get to play and handle a sitar and even learn something about sitar music theory,” Stephen Rogowsky, one of Ajmera’s students, said. “It’s an instrument I have always enjoyed listening to, but had never even gotten close to. To hold and play one was a real treat.”
Classes are filled on a first come, first serve basis, and a hard copy of the new catalog of classes should be in mailboxes by the end of next week.