Sitar Niketan is a result of Laila's lifetime dedication to sitar. She has twenty five years of experience in teaching and composing for sitar students. Under her guidance students train s individually and in a group to develop proper sitar playing skills and connect with the Indian classical raags and taals.
Our vision is to resonate and continue the rich musical heritage of South Asia through Indian classical music. Sitar Niketan is an oasis of culture where the universal language of music is taught to preserve and propagate the traditional form. Our desire is to broaden the students' musical horizon through collaborating efforts with other musical disciplines in performance.
Sitar Niketan follows the footsteps of the Senia Maihar Gharana (school of music) established by the legendary Ustad Alauddin Khan, father of sarod, legend Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and Surbahar legend Annapurna Devi and guru of international musical phenomenon, Pandit Ravi Shankar.
Sitar Niketan is my "Dream Come True"! It's a space where the peaceful resonance from the East is passed on to all who embrace its the energy. It is a great honor and privilege be able to continue the blossoming of the rich traditions of South Asia through the music intertwined with its rich culture.
Sitar and Indian classical music system are both complex in their respective structures and disciplines and it takes a long time to master both. It needs devotion, discipline and persistance to learn the raags and taals and their infinite interplay in ever-changing exchanges. The onward journey and challenge in learning the discipline teaches one to be humble, strong and focused. My own life experience with sitar and Indian classical music has strengthened my beleif that music and the arts have immense revitalizing and healing power. It helps to overcome the hurdles of life with calm and composure.
With that in mind, I am contunually inspired to teach and help my students to play the sitar to their best ability. I have developed new methodologies of teaching and performing for my students of all ages to help them play with confidence. I believe that a student can step onto the deeper realms only at her or his own will.
All along the COVID-19 Sitar Niketan has struggled and worked really hard to continue teaching, creating and presenting online student programs with full intensity and newfound creativity overcoming challenges of online tteaching and performances with a complex and unforgiving instrument like sitar! We even managed to raise funds twice for COVID-19 victims. The unifying energy among students of all ages and ethnic backgrounds is truly admirable and instills hope within me to continue in this difficult path with vigor.