When 24 August 2006 was marked as one of the saddest days of Hindustani Music, owing to the demise of Ustad Bismillah Khan, many Hindustani lovers and musicians felt the void created by the greatest Shehnai Artist. Shri Krishna Ballesh, inspired by the musicianship of Ustad Bismillah Khan, the Shehnai Mastero, started taking music classes in memory of him. Though his father, Shri.S.Ballesh, was handling practise sessions and formal classes to almost all the contemporary artists in the music industry, Ballesh was not able to concentrate both on his recording sessions and classes. Slowly, the classes handled by Krishna, started seeing more students - the networking developed. Krishna has also taken the opportunity to visit many areas across Chennai, and even skype classes for abroad students striving to make music accessible and inspirational to the lives of very many people every where.
The surprise twist happened when Mrs.Anupama Chowdry, Wife of Mr.Chowdry.H.K(Hon' Director - IT Exemptions) walked in for one of the classes of Krishna Ballesh. She was a lady of alacrity and floored the musical sessions with pure bhakthi. It was during 2009, when she gave an idea and huge support to start a music school/ a foundation academy. The small classroom turned into an academy! And when the naming ceremony was on, huge confab prevailed. Tansen was one of the nine gems at the court of Jalaludhin Mohammed Akbar, the Mughal Emperor. He was a prominent Hindustani classical music composer, musician and vocalist, known for a large number of compositions, and also an instrumentalist who popularised and improved the plucked rabab. And hence, the final decision was, "Tansen Academy of Music" !
Classes were taken through out the seven days of the week. Online classes, Home tutions, classes at various places across chennai, and the network of Tansen genes started to get distributed across various walks of the world.
It was interesting to note people who are in different cadre club together as a clan in the name of STUDENTS. Few interesting personalities spoke about the academy, Kalai " I am lucky to be here when there are very many people waiting outside to taste the real feel of Hindustani Music" . Channi, " There are no institutions to teach, now a days, in the Guru Shishya Parampara! Our Krishna Sir and Bade Guruji (Pt. Shri.S.Ballesh) and every one in their family, do!".
When Feroz spoke his heart out, " There are no specific batch restrictions or age group restrictions to learn music from this academy. Any one can walk in to any of the classes and learn!" Ragu another proud student turned singer explained his experience in the concert - like classes which helped him to overcome his muffled voice and come out at a singer in the cine industry.
And as a final touch, there was one little student friend, who stole my heart :-) ( Cm'on! In a lighter vein, I say, but I must say, He shud be my another Lil Brother, for many reasons! How about adopting him as another brother, Lemme givva tot, if his parents have no trouble) Too much of activeness personified in one human, a cute combo of naughtiness, responsibility and shrewd nature - al together in the name of Sharath R! Hailing from a carnatic familial back ground, he proudly said, he could feel the unalloyed form of Hindustani music and at the same time, enjoy the carnatic music too!
After talking to the students of the Tansen Academy of Music, I was left with a feel of satisfaction of having interacted with a pure breed of musicians and wished the team to grow more and render service to music!