A Stress Buster, An Alternate Career, and A Hobby With Multiple Dimensions


Girl playing the veena. Source: Source: https://www.udemy.com/course/carnatic-music-for-beginners-p1/


By Sai Kotagarlapalle​


              TAMPA  – Music teacher, Physical therapist and a mother of 2, Mrs. Sunitha Saravanan, teaches Carnatic music at the Hindu temple of Florida and was also working as a physical therapist. She wants to give kids a new skill: Singing. She  has been singing since she was 4 and she started learning from her aunt. She decided to pursue the career of physical therapy and worked as a therapist till 2017. Mrs. Sunitha’s friend motivated her to also pursue the career of teaching music. She was hesitant at first but eventually gave in. She started with 2 students and now, she has over 100 students! 

Veena, one of the Carnatic music instruments along with violin, mridangam, and flute. Source: https://www.astroblackrecords.com/the-unique-journey-of-carnatic-music/

Carnatic Music and it’s Creator

           Carnatic music is a version of Indian music. A group of musical sounds, that give a pleasant feeling to the ear, is called Sangeetham.”Carnatic music started in the 1200’s. It followed the Persian and the Islamic influences.”

“There are two types of music, Hindustani and Carnatic.” said Mrs. Sunitha, a music teacher in Tampa, Florida. Carnatic music is also called Karnataka Sangeet as it originated in Karnataka, India. Some Carnatic music instruments are: Flute, Harmonium, Mandolin, Saxophone, Sitar, Veena and Violin. Ancient writers hold the view that vocal music, instrumental music, and dance together constituted Sangeetham. Later, dance was separated from the first 2 (vocal music and instrumental music).

Purandara Dasa

          The composer of Carnatic Music is Purandara Dasa (1486-1564) . He was the first person to systemize the learning of Carnatic music. He composed all the things we learn today in Carnatic music which are: Saralis, Janta, Alankaras, and Geethas (songs with swaras- Swaras in Carnatic music refer to the letters: Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma ,Pa ,Da ,Ni ,Sa ). He is also known as “Adhi Guru”(1st guru) and ” Karnataka Sangeetha Pithamaha”(Father of Carnatic Music). He was also a scholar in Sanskrit and literature.

Purandara Dasa, the Carnatic music composer. Source: http://hibengaluru.com/purandaradasa/

Carnatic Music vs. Western Music

” The western notes match the tunes with swaras.” said Mrs. Sunitha. The swaras are the letters in Carnatic music. The western notes and the swaras:

Lower Sa = Do

Ri = Re

Ga = Mi

Ma = Fa

Pa = So

Da = La

Ni = Ti

Upper Sa = Do

Music’s effect on stress

Music does a lot of healing” said Mrs. Sunitha. Music can cure Alzheimer’s, and many other different diseases. When your mind is really agitated or you’re anxious about something you’re working on, music will distract your mind from the stress and you might feel better. There is also music therapy in which specialists use music to heal people’s mental disorders.

Music has many good effects on stress. COVID-19 has brought all of us a lot to think about, and listening to music, singing or even playing some random music can really help.

 Music is a pastime, a relaxation from more serious occupations”

– Alexander Borodin.