Dr Priyanka Kashyap says that she started learning classical music when she turned 6. But then this is not completely factual. In all practicality, her learning started in her mother's lap. She grew up listening to her mother, who was herself a trained classical singer, humming perfect musical notes into her ears. With that kind of loving initiation into classical music, it was not surprising when 6 years old Priyanka started showing promising musical talent.
"The world of Hindustani classical is an ocean and there will always be new depths to dive into," says Dr Priyanka Kashyap, a PhD scholar in music and a classical singer who lives in Amrapali Platinum Society, sector 119, Noida. After years of being associated with Indian classical music, she says it is a devotion that changes a person from within.
Growing up in Muzzafarpur, Bihar, Priyanka's childhood was surrounded by music. Born to parents who were patrons of Hindustani classical, she always felt drawn to music. As a matter of fact, Priyanka's introduction to classical music began early in life. As per her, the love of Indian Classical singing and dance runs deep in her family. "My maternal grandfather was a lover of classical music and my grandmother always wanted me to be a classical dancer. I always felt a deep connection with music. On her wish, I started taking formal Kathak training when I was in class one." says she.
She continues, "My parent's transfer to another city brought a full stop to my Kathak training. Once there was a huge get-together at my home. My parents insisted I sing. That was the first time when I sang in front of a crowd. Everyone applauded and suggested my parents get me trained in classic singing."
After this, the path of music became her destiny. She took training in Hindustani classical from the late Shri Shrikant Poddar Ji. She was a guest lecturer in J.D. Women's College, Patna for 18years. She was also a radio and Doordarshan artist from Patna, she learned skills for recordings from Shree Sita Ram Ji, who is a top-grade radio artist.
Currently, she's also connected with Artium Academy of music in Mumbai where she teaches music. Priyanka believes that when it comes to classical music, you can never stop learning and training is a lifelong process. She is training in classical music at Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana of Hindustani classical music in Uttar Pradesh from Ustad Nadim Ahmed Khan and Ustad Aftab Ahmed Khan.
During her journey, she has been inspired by legends of Hindustani classical such as Ravi Shankar, Gulam Mustafa Khan Sahab, Ustad Bde Gulam Ali Khan Sahab, Amir khan Sahab or Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi, and Kishori Amonkar.
Performing Hindustani classical in front of an audience brings her immense joy. Her first public performance was at Harihar Kshetra Sonpur Mela, on Kartik Poornima. Priyanka still remembers the gush of applauses and the reverie of celebration and devotion that ran through her as she sang.
She says, "I love to sing with Tanpura and harmonium. Since childhood, I learned how to use tanpura and all its details. I feel lucky to have attained the wealth of music and carry it every day with me in life."
Apart from classical, Priyanka also enjoys Bollywood music. R D Barman's unique style of music pleases her ears. 'Mera Kuch saman' from Ijazaat is one of her favorite songs. She feels the song can create a whole atmosphere of romanticism and mysticism every time it is played.
Priyanka got married at an early age. She took a break from training due to family responsibilities. But, after some years, she has resumed her training. Her family has always supported her in her musical journey.
She believes that to have a long journey in music, it is necessary to learn the details of the Indian ragas. Priyanka says that today's generation is lucky to have more platforms to display their voice. "Our musical heritage is so vast and prosperous that there can never be a dearth of inspiration and learning. However, they must remember that there are no shortcuts in classical music. Students who are interested in this art must be ready to give in everything and never miss riyaaz."