Core Sessions: Yoga and Indian Classical Music and Dance

The Syllabus

The Syllabus in the first Level is designed to charm & lure you to go to second Level (in second year), which will focus more on specific art, literature, theatre of your choice. The third Level (in third year) will aim at performance skills & behavioral aptitude for Indian Culture. Keeping in view of LICP objectives, the syllabus is specifically devised for you by expert committee of USF in consultation with the Gurus.

In level One, you will be introduced to the beauty and charm of Indian Classical Music & Dance.

Syllabus for Classical Music & Dance Sessions

Coaching for 4 Hours : 9.00 AM to 1.00PM  for Five Days a Week

Eleven Art Faculties offered

  1. Vocal: Khayal & Drupad
  2. Instruments: Tabla, Sitar, Sarod, Harmonium, Flute, Violin
  3. Dance: Kathak, Bharat Natyam & Odissi.

The Guru

USF appoints the Guru for each art faculties. Teacher is called Guru in traditional Indian parlance. The Gurus have 10-15 years of authentic, traditional training and have mesmerized the audience in concerts like Malhar Aavishkar over the years. They are thorough in grammar of classical music and also in techniques of stage-performance. Gurus teach in English language.  Gurus will also guide the participants to buy the instruments, CDs, if desired. The Gurus will impart theoretical and practical knowledge.

This is the basic syllabus for all participants for 4 weeks. If the Gurus find a participant having a higher level of accomplishment, he/she shall be introduced to a higher level. The syllabus is flexible to suit the participants. You may focus only one Discipline if you have deeper interest. With a view to have understanding and appreciation of different art-disciplines you will have the option to learn any four faculties in 4 weeks i.e. one per week. However, we suggest you to opt for one art faculty per course to get a deeper understanding.

Classical Dance

Syllabus for Bharat Natyam

Introduction to the special features of Indian dance particularly Bharata Natyam.

  • Its two important components - Nritta (rhythmic dance) and Nritya (interpretative dance).
  • The technique : the basic stance, arm position, exercises.
  • Adavu-s : Basic steps, movements 5/6.
  • Combination of basic steps into small Jati-s ( dance units ).
  • Tala, Laya : the rhythmic language of dance.
Syllabus for Kathak

This 4 week training module has been designed keeping in view the participants of LICP, assuming that they will have had little or no training in Kathak, but will have been introduced to the dance form via you tube videos before enrolling for the program.
Tuition period: 4 hrs a day for 4 weeks (2 sessions of 2 hrs each with a break in between). This will include both practical and theory lessons. Participants will be required to practice their everyday lessons on their own in their free time during the program.
Audio recording of the entire syllabus will be made available at the end of the program.
The course will comprise of the following :

  • Vandana : Ganesh Vandana + depiction of other Gods —-In four beat cycle.- (Krishna, Shiva, and Durga) of the Hindu Pantheon
  • 5 sets of basic hand movements and feet positions used in Kathak in set patterns to familiarise the participants with the grammar of the dance form.,with five small tihais and five SAM stances as the ending pieces.
  • 10 commonly used Mudras and their usages,. The participants will be involved to find more usages from their daily life routine.
  • 1 Uthaan, Natawari (2 in madhya laya and 2 in drut laya), 1 Kavit, 3 GintiTihaai
  • Abhinaya : depiction of a simple story based on Mudras learnt during the early part of the course.
  • Gat : 1 Nikaas, Ghoonghat and Flute.
  • Footwork : Single, Dugun, Chowgun, 3 prastaar (variations) and 3 Tihaais. The participants will be involved in finding the sam and denoting that with a clap.
  • Theory : History of Kathak, introduction to Kathak aesthetics as applied to dance, We will show some vdo clippings to familiarize them with Kathak performances. Technical terms, introduction to Indian music system (Taal, Theka,Sam, Laya, Aavartan, Tali , Khali etc), Teentaal introduction, introduction of instruments used in Kathak. Information about Legendary kathak dancers and their work.
Syllabus for Odissi

  • Overview of the Classical Dances Forms of India
  • Purpose of Classical Arts in India
  • Basic History and evolution of Odissi
  • Basic elements from Abhinay Darpana & NatyaShastra : Hasta mudras,Nritta, Nritya and Natya and core shlokas.
  • Body Training Exercises
  • BhumiPranam
  • Basic Stances of Odissi
  • Exercises in Chowka(Square posture) and Tribhangi (Thrice Deflected Posture)
  • PadaBheda & Basic Bhangis (foot positions and stances)
  • Basic concept of rhythm : matra, laya, tala, avartan etc
  • Basic Talas and recitation of syllables


Syllabus for Dhrupad Vocal

  • Introduction to the instrument – ‘Tanpura’, as the base of singing, on which the students will be taught,
  • Learning the basics of Indian classical vocal music, which will cover the notes and their different combinations which are specially taught in ‘Dhrupad’ of ‘Dagar Bani’ tradition.
  • Understanding the basics of Svar(Notes), Shruti(Microtones), Raga(Melody), Taal(Time cycle), Bandish(Poetry)
  • Introduction of ‘Alaap’ (in different speed – slow, medium, fast – called as Vilambit, Madhya, Drut respectively)and training of the syllables of ‘Alaap’ which are specially used in Dhrupad singing
  • Understanding the Taal system (time cycles) in Dhrupad and introducing Chautal, Tevra and Sool Taal
  • Bandish in one of the above said Taal.
  • Understanding the performing aspect of Dhrupad vocal which will include ‘Alaap’ in different shades of the Raga, and singing Bandish with Pakhawaj.
Syllabus for North Indian Classical Vocal Music

  • Introduction to the Swara concept: Shuddha, Komal, Teevra, all the 12 notes.
  • Introduction to Alankaar and its various types and significance.
  • Application of voice in Hindustani system.
  • Three Ragas with detail information: Aroha, Awaroha, Pakad vadi samvadi etc.
  • Introduction to That and Ragas: the concept and its scope.
  • Teaching compositions in the 3 Ragas (Sthai, Antara) and their system of elaboration
  • Introduction to Taal and the concept of Aavartan in the Hindustani music system. Incorporating this knowledge with the compositions taught.

Musical Instruments

Syllabus for Sarod

Introduction of the Sarod.

  • Basic anatomy of the instrument.
  • Brief history of the instrument.
  • Sitting postures, balancing of the Sarod on self.

Similarity and difference between the Indian and Western system of music (scales)

  • Basic Sargam (with their full names).
  • Chromatic and the diatonic scale. (Flats/Sharps). (shudh, komal, tivra swaras)

The Ten parent scales (Thaats) : Memorizing

  • The intial ‘raga’ would be Raga Yaman.
  • The scales, norms and the system of Raga Yaman.
  • Basic explanation of the Raga.

Positions of the hands, Finger-technique.

  • Being a fret-less instrument, the student will have to acquire the proper positions of the notes and their respective points (entirely on judgement).
  • Basic Aroha/Awroha (Ascending and Descending) notes of Raga Yaman.
  • Ten main exercises (Alankaars, Paltas)
  • Basic formation of the ‘Gat’ (Musical composition) (Contents).
  • Concept of Taal (Rhythm) : Initially Teen-Taal.
  • Concept of Taal (Rhythm) : Initially Teen-Taal.
  • Performing Ability.
Syllabus for Sitar

Introduction to the instrument

  • History of the instrument
  • Structure of sitar

Introduction to Indian classical music

  • Importance of Naad (tone).
  • Importance of Sur (musical notes).
  • Importance of Laya (pace).
  • Importance of Taal (rhythm).
  • Importance of Raag (melody).


  • Some Alankar
  • Exercises for right hand and left hand
  • Elementary compositions (Gat, Toda-s) in three Ragas.
Syllabus for Tabla

  • Preliminary introduction to the instrument- Its structure i.e Daya , Baya , Pudi , Shayi, Vadi, Gatthe , Chat, etc.
  • Its ideal sitting position, hand position, hand movements and stress points.
  • Introduction to the language of tabla – Syllables, Words, sentences, Composition.
  • Some basic compositions- 3 to 4 kayad’s and 1 rela with elaboration.
  • Further compositions – 4 thiyayais 1 tukda 1 paran the participant will be introduced to the technique of these and acquire considerable practial knowledge of these.
  • Theka – 3 to 4 theka’s of different talas.
  • Understanding the principles of – Avartan ( Rhythm cycle ) , Sam – The focal point of the cycle.
  • Learning to play Tha-dugun (single, double tempos) with considerable fluency.
  • Exercise phrases.