Ganjira (Headed Tambourine): Level 1

Self-Paced Course
Ongoing Enrollment

Used for centuries as a folk instrument for bhajans, the tambourine, known traditionally as the Ganjira (Headed Tambourine) in India, is a versatile instrument. When played with proper technique it can produce a variety of pleasing drum tones and percussive sounds. This makes the tambourine a powerful instrument which can be used to lead bhajans all by itself. The ambiance and energy that the tambourine can create is hard to match.

*Kindly Note: This self-paced course is a repeat of the Ganjira (Headed Tambourine): Level 1 course offered in August 2020.*

About the Ganjira (Headed Tambourine) Course

The tambourine is a powerhouse instrument that can create great energy and ambiance. Great in any bhajan setting, the portability of the tambourine lends itself to being a standard go to when travelling, playing outdoors or impromptu bhajan sessions. Especially popular during festive bhajan sessions for it’s charm and upbeat, joyful sound. 

Course Overview

  • Access to video lessons, exercises class materials through e-Learning platform.
  • Pre-recorded classes 
  • Homework and assignments
  • Self-paced learning
  • Ganjira Community Q/A forum
  • Email access to Instructor
  • Video submissions to Br. Vipin, to be reviewed every two weeks
  • Access to private Amrita Virtual Academy Student Facebook Group

Br. Vipin, Amritapuri


Must own or have access to a the ganjira instrument.

Participating in the Amrita Virtual Academy Ganjira course felt very much like Amma’s darshan. I felt so welcomed and received thoughtful, patient instruction from a highly skilled Ganjira teacher. Br. Vipin gave all of us who took the class individual attention and provided enough material to practice for months to come. The course was so carefully designed, visually beautiful and included any needed tech support.


Br. Vipin was an excellent teacher. He is very patient and explains the concept multiple times to make sure the students get the ideas correctly. He comes down to the level of the student inorder to make them understand. In addition, Br. Vipin had a great vision in creating the course structure. The course was designed in such a way to make all this look easy!


My experience was amazing as I was not expecting such a nicely put together website! The video classes and downloadable lesson text were all very user-friendly. The videos were made so nicely and our particular instructor did a very wonderful job in communicating the lessons.


Tabla: Level 1

Coming Later

Learn the basics of tabla for bhajans and apply those skills for accompaniment such as playing for satsang groups. This course is a foundation to take your playing to the next level. Beginners welcome!

About The Tabla Course

Learn to play the Indian percussion instrument, tabla through the lens of devotion. Learn the basics of playing the tabla following the basic rhythmic patterns or tala for bhajans.  The course will focus on playing tabla for bhajans using the traditional notation of classical tabla. No experience necessary, beginners welcome.

Course Overview
  • Weekly live session that will be recorded 
  • Access to video lessons, exercises class materials through an e-Learning platform
  • Weekly lessons are pre-recorded for self-paced learning
  • Homework, assignments and resources available on the course platform
  • Live classes are recorded for replay
  • Q/A via forum
  • Resource library

Br. Hari, Amritapuri


Must own or have access to a tabla instrument.

Harmonium: Level 1

Coming Later!

Learn the basics of playing harmonium or keyboard for bhajans and immerse in several main ragas frequently used in Bhajans: Learn to play one bhajan in each raga. Immersion in these 4 main ragas will pave the way to play for numerous bhajans.

About the Harmonium Course

We will start out with an introduction to Indian music and ragas, along with the basics of the keyboard notes and notation we will use in this course. The 4 ragas and the Bhajan for each raga is:

  • Shankarabharanam: Guru Charanam
  • Mohanam: Amritanandamayi Jai Jai
  • Shuddha Dhanyasi: Bandha Krishna
  • Yaman Kalyani : Arati
Course Overview
  •  Video lessons for each Raga and Bhajan through Amrita’s e-Learning platform. Will be posted each week. Includes exercises, class materials and short demo videos for practice
  •  Live interactive, classes with discussion, in depth instruction, and questions and answers with the instructor.
  • Live classes are recorded for replay
  • Recorded video classes, class materials, and demo videos are accessible any time from when they are posted.
  • Q/A via forum

Swarna, California


Instrument required: Harmonium or electronic musical keyboard. A small portable keyboard is fine. Larger keyboards are also fine.

Devotional Singing: Basic Course

Learn the basics of singing for bhajans and immerse in the joys of devotional singing. This class will give in-depth instruction on how to sing several of Amma’s bhajans along with basic vocal training and some background in Indian classical music. No experience is necessary.

About The Devotional Singing Course

Bhajans are a form of devotional singing that are based on traditional Indian classical ragas. We will start out with a background of Indian classical music & an overview of the significance of Bhajans. Four Indian Ragas will be covered along with Bhajans in each of those ragas. The course also provides training in voice modulation, shruthi (pitch), and practice exercises.

Course Overview
  • Live classes are recorded for replay
  • Recorded video classes, class materials, and demo videos are accessible any time from when they are posted.
  • Q/A via forum
  • Live classes are recorded for replay
  • Recorded video classes, class materials, and demo videos are accessible any time from when they are posted.
  • Q/A via forum

Ratna K., USA


Tampura App or Electronic Shruthi box preferred

Kaimani: Level 1

Learn the basics of kaimani for bhajans and apply those skills for live performance, such as playing for satsang groups! This course is a foundation to take your playing to the next level. Deepen your bhajan practice through playing an instrument. 


About the Kaimani Course

Kaimani (also known as manjira, kartal or hand cymbals) is a foundational rhythm instrument for bhajans and folk music in India. The kaimani are made of bell metals. Each cymbal is connected with a cord which passes through hole in its center or with a two wooden handles. In bhajans, the kaimani player is a timekeeper who grounds the entire group. In this course, you will learn the basics of kaimani through the lens of devotion and enhance your spiritual practice, awareness and musical ear through this small but powerful instrument which is so loved by Amma.

No experience necessary, beginners welcome.

Course Overview
  • Learn the basic patterns in various tempos for the four different meters in Bhajans.
  • Learn about the history of the instrument and how it’s become an integral part of Amma’s bhajans.
  • Learn how to play an instrument as a spiritual practice.
  • Learn tips and techniques for live playing.
  • Live classes are recorded for replay
  • Q/A via forum

Anu, California 
Lalitha, California


Kaimani instrument is required. Available at the 

The course was so well done and I felt that I got a lot out of it. It was nice to learn something new and focus on Amma’s bhajans. I truly commend the efforts of making this course so special. It had that extra care and I valued the time & dedication from the teachers.


Thank you for everything in this course, and for the devotion and desire to connect, to serve, to spread Amma’s Teachings and support. The Spirit of it [this course] was exactly what I was longing for; completely immersed in the Space of Amma, of Truth; from That space and with the intention towards That space…


The whole course was wonderful! Everything about it. The way the instructors taught the class, the history of the instrument, the stories, the tips and tricks and the videos of Anu playing were great!



Got Questions?

What’s the timeline of registration?

Pre-0rder is an option to secure your seat by signing up. Courses that are available for pre-order will follow a specific schedule that is outlined in the course information. Check each course for details about specific dates and times.  

How do I register?

The next step would be to choose your desired course on the website, click the pre-register button and fill out the pre-registration form.

In this initial phase, seats are limited in the music courses. The pre-registration helps us to have an accurate count of interested students.

After the pre-registration form is submitted, students will be contacted via email with a link and instructions on how to complete enrollment on the online e-learning platform.

How do the courses work?

After students receive their instruction email, they can follow the link to the e-Learning platform where courses will take place. From there, students will create an account with an email, enroll in a course and then pay the course fee. Class materials, resource videos, and links to the live sessions will be housed on the e-Learning platform. Live sessions will be recorded and posted for replay. Students will then receive detailed information on the classes and when they will start.

How much do courses cost?

We will be offering inaugural pricing for this phase. When you pre-register, details will be given on exact pricing, as it varies per course.

Can I drop into one session to see what it’s like?

At this time, classes cannot be taken individually. You must enroll in the whole course.

Can a student enroll in multiple courses?

For the music courses, we suggest you stick to one course at a time because live sessions may conflict with one another.

Will you be offering other courses in the future?

Yes, we plan to release more courses in the future. Stay tuned for updates!

How can I stay updated?

Keep in touch with updates on Amrita Virtual Academy:

Bhajan Sadhana

Join us on a music journey through the blissful soundscape of Amma’s bhajans.

No experience necessary. Beginners are encouraged!

Courses are offered on an eLearning platform developed for online education in India and across the globe. Registration is presently closed, but check back for the next series!