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"My experience with" - Mathuriga Thevapalan

Patantara ( is an online platform created by Dr. Srikumar Subramanian for music education.

To know more about Patantara, please visit the following page: How to use Patantara for your practice

In summer 2017, Patantara introduced documents with audio tracks attached to individual lines. This was when I realised that it was a unique platform, but I still didn’t understand its usefulness in music education. Nevertheless, I slowly began using it to create notations (mainly to aid Sir’s work), but in all honesty I wasn’t intrigued by it then and there was no consistency in this practice. Almost a year after, in August 2018, I decided to start using it more seriously. I eventually realised Patantara’s potential and, most importantly, its necessity.

Patantara empowers the learner (and the teacher) in various ways and at different levels. With Patantara, you don’t stop at making the recordings and other learning materials available, but the platform comprehensively supports the essential continuous interaction between teacher and student. Patantara provides necessary tools and features so that the teacher can deliver the learning materials in a way that optimally benefits the learner. The teacher becomes present in the individual space of every student. The practice set feature is a virtual recreation of the guru-sishya alternation. Additionally, this enables the students to correct themselves by repeatedly listening and comparing themselves with the perfected rendition of the teacher (an essential element in self-learning). Furthermore, Patantara provides tools for the teachers to continuously review the students in their own systematic ways. The platform offers simple and straightforward tools to facilitate and reinforce the learning process in its entirety without insisting on a standard approach.

In my experience, Patantara’s limitations begin with the cessation of the user’s creativity. The tools and features can be cross-combined to accommodate various learning situations. Thanks to my familiarity with the platform, I often tailor documents for myself to resolve problems in my practice. It has made me more independent as I can overcome problems quicker (but without rushing) and without much attention from Sir.

Apart from its benefits in training and learning, I have realised how much the “mere” practice of writing notations has facilitated my overall learning progress. It has, in particular, sharpened my rhythmic understanding and capabilities. This practice has refined my understanding of the multiple layers to musical time in Karnatak music. Although I am unable to explicitly point out how, this practice has enhanced my learning experience in many respects. It has prompted me to perceive music from another dimension and encouraged me to look beyond standardised views and perspectives. Patantara has triggered in me an interest to explore and discover creative ways of making use of the facilities to efficiently support my own practice and to provide notations for the benefit of all. Patantara has now become synonymous with my learning. I have gained unique lessons from Patantara which I never believed was possible. Sir always tells me: “Teaching and learning are one and the same. Teaching is learning well. Learning starts when you discover how you can teach yourself.” Patantara is creating this learning process in me.

Here is how I combined the tools on Patantara to generate a complex cross rhythmic exercise from the COMET repertoire.

During a lesson with Sir:

Mathuriga Thevapalan is a student of Dr. Karaikudi S. Subramanian and is currently pursuing a Masters by Research at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick.


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