The Benefits of Learning Carnatic Music

Karnataka Sangitam or Karnataka Sangita also spelled as Carnatic Music is a commonly practiced system of music in South India. You will also find this form across the modern states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka. Having evolved across Hindu traditions, Indian classical music comes with another subgenre that Hindustani Music, primarily practiced in North India. Carnatic music places a lot of emphasis on vocalizing and compositions are meant to be rendered in the gayaki or singing style, even if played on an instrument. The most popular choice among most other traditional art forms, especially for those from South India, children from the region are initiated into it, from a noticeably young age. While parents who have learned Carnatic Music as they grew wish to pass on the captivating art to their children, there are others take to learning the vocal art form as a way of connecting with culture, and tradition. Even today, this ancient art form is revered as it simultaneously flourishes, around the world. Benefits of learning Carnatic music ​ There is not one, but several benefits of learning Carnatic music. While the art form does require rigorous training, it does not stop anyone from venturing into its known waters.

Benefit #1. Carnatic Music is a Stress buster

We all know that music by itself soothing and is scientifically proven to calm you and in many cases lower blood pressure. Mundane thoughts tend to disappear when you learn Carnatic music with all tenacity and focus. Learners have to maintain disciplined regimens so that they feel the benefits, which are akin to yoga or meditation. Singing by itself involves regulating the flow of breath in and out of the body. Alongside the sound energy of Nada Yoga and its vibrations, Carnatic Music evokes positive physical and spiritual influences, relieving you of all stress. Development of motor skills and hand-eye coordination in children Carnatic music in its instrumental form comes with many advantages for kids, who can refine their hand-eye synchronizations and motor skills. Both hands have to be used thus enabling the young ones to induce musical thought frames that are in parity with perseverance, discipline, and patience. It is not unusual for a Carnatic music learner to develop talents in related areas such as other physical activities, sports, dance, etc.

Benefit #2. Carnatic Music Hones your brain function

Carnatic music learners tend to possess improved and sharp brain functions, such as hearing, memory, etc. the effects of which are enduring and protect the brain from the depredations of aging. The learning helps dedicated students develop a keen sense of listening, internalize, introspect, and execute tasks with utmost precision.

Memory plays an extremely important role in learning parts of pre-composed and improvised Carnatic music. Around 1000 compositions are expected to be committed to memory especially if you are a good or professional musician. An intrinsic knowledge of more than 200 ragas along with their movements and scales is imperative to anyone learning Carnatic music. Good memory is a prerequisite to learning Carnatic music.

Benefit #3. Carnatic music improves Math skills

Melody and rhythm play an equanimous role in Carnatic music. The integrity of these two elements is extremely important for performance. These must be well-nurtured and developed to progress in the skill.


When learning compositions, you should also be able to visualize and internalize the notes and their positions across a rhythmic structure. The same applies if you are trying to improvise on an existing plate, which is known as Kalpana swaras where solfa syllables are used for improvisation. These modifications could be simple or advanced in concepts often erupting in the form of mathematical patterns, thus giving the whole presentation a cerebral tone. It should come as no surprise when a Carnatic musician cooks up formulae in the mind instantly and may even score well in mathematics.

Benefit #4. Carnatic Music improves concentration

Improving kelvi gyanam or your reasoning abilities, the practice of learning from your Guru or master involves keen listening, for a serious Carnatic learner. Nuances across pitch, melody, gamakas or oscillations and tempo, must be differentiated with precision.

Furthermore, the musician should also be able to distinguish between Ragas, which is the crux of Carnatic music. This means the learner must develop a perception of calibrating the aesthetics and identify tiny shades of variations between sounds. Carnatic music practiced over several years, develops the learners’ auditory skills are highly developed and even benefits when hearing difficulties arise in old age.

Benefit #5. Carnatic Music improves Cultural Understanding

Mythological references are sprinkled across Carnatic music, which initiates students into the key allegories of their tradition. When songs are set in the backdrop of temples it stimulates the student both spiritually and architecturally. For instance, both Srirangam and Mylapore provide questions and answers through Carnatic music, thus creating a powerful connection between the renderer and the listener. Ragas are also instrumental in evoking moods at particular times of the day and transports the singer to regions that resonate peace.

Benefit #6. Carnatic Music improves Perseverance

Carnatic music takes perseverance to a different level as it requires discipline and hard work. A learner overrides all challenges and presents the smallest piece with absolute exactitude and even makes it look effortless while stirring the souls of the listeners around. The more they practice, the more the maturity and the better evolution of performance skills. When you feel like giving up that is when you must pick yourself up and continue with your endeavor and that is also how perseverance is built.

Benefit #8. Carnatic Music improves Self-expression

Providing abundant scope for self-expression and creativity, Carnatic music intrinsically allows the vocalist (and even the instrumentalist) to express themselves fully in a piece that might have been rendered a thousand times before. Creativity makes room for different accents and styles thus providing learners avenues to produce unique pieces of their own. As a result, the singer develops a personality that is vibrant, and dynamic and possesses intense knowledge accumulated across years of dedicated learning. Carnatic music provides learners innumerable opportunities to express themselves.


At the Raaga School of Music, our students learn through in-person and live online with highly respected teachers with a very rich musical lineage.

Joys of Learning Carnatic Music Lessons
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it is an absolute joy to see my daughter perform on such a big stage. I am proud of her. thank you raaga school of organizing such an amazing student concert

~ Sreevidhya Balasubramanian, Proud Parent

A parent's perspective

As parents, we are always looking for ways to help our children reach their full potential. One way to do this is by exposing them to our cultural traditions at a young age. When we ask parents of our students why they want their children to learn Carnatic and Hindustani music at such a young age, their responses typically fall into the following categories.
  1. Cultural exposure: First and foremost, parents want to expose children born and brought up here in the US to get exposure to a rich cultural tradition with a deep history and heritage. By exposing toddlers to this type of music, we are helping to instill a love and appreciation for culture in them at a very early age.
  2. Enhanced speech: Most children that grow up in western societies are not able to pronounce quite a few of our syllables – especially rolling the ‘r’s, etc. Learning Carnatic and Hindustani music requires children at an early age to practice these producing these sounds that are unique to our Indian languages.
  3. Improved cognitive development: Studies have shown that early exposure to music can help improve a child’s cognitive development. This includes areas such as memory, language, and spatial reasoning — irrespective of the type of music — Western, Chinese or Classical Indian music.
  4. Increased creativity: Both Carnatic and Hindustani music are art forms that encourage creativity and self-expression. By exposing toddlers to this type of music, we are helping to develop their creative minds and encouraging them to think outside the box.
  5. Improved focus and concentration: Most importantly, learning Carnatic and Hindustani music requires focus and concentration. As toddlers practice and perform, they will develop the ability to focus and concentrate, which are helpful in all areas of their lives.
If you are interested in learning more about how to get started with introducing your toddlers to Carnatic or Hindustani music lessons, please reach out to us. We invite you to come observe one of our Tiny Tots classes to evaluate if we have the right program for your Tiny Tot.

Why Learn at Raaga School

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Tiny Tots Performance

We are very proud of all our Tiny Tots that prepared and performed at our Annual Student Concert

Come try a lesson with us. See if we are the right school for you.

Most of our students that attend a trial class are inspired to learn Classical Indian Music.