Carnatic music is still a quest of a pure aesthetic experience, regardless of one’s background or intentions. Southern India is the origin of the classical music genre known as Carnatic that emphasise love and other social issues, or they centre on the idea that human emotions can be sublimated in order to unite with the divine.
Possessing Carnatic music is something that requires someone to step up to the plate and learn it all the way through. Learning itself looks to be challenging, but an amazing lady here, along with her sisters, have created an empire and been educating hundreds of kids for nearly two decades now.
Meet the brilliant guru, Sujietra Jayaseelan, who has spent years imparting her rich knowledge of the Carnatic music to hundreds of students.
Together with her sisters Sumitra Jayaseelan and Subatra Jayaseelan, she has been running Sugam Karnatica since 2003, and this academy has served about 4000 students. In keeping with its objective to provide affordable and high-quality arts education to all people regardless of their financial circumstances, the organisation has been offering RM20,000 scholarships to children from low-income families every year.
The three sisters are established performers in the Malaysian music circuit and are Gold Medalists of the National Thirumurai Competition in 1993, 1994 and 1995 respectively.
Furthermore, to ensure that the Sugam student community obtains a complete arts education, Sugam Karnatica has given free creative art courses in Theatre, Visual Arts, Creative Writing, and Tamil Language since 2017.
The organisation’s ability to adapt and alter its operating procedures during the pandemic was one of the many reasons they were named ‘Outstanding School in the Field of Arts and Culture’ at the World Educational Leaders Summit & Awards in 2021.
The same year, Sujietra was bestowed with the “Outstanding Edupreneur” award.
Reminiscing the Start of Sugam Karnatica
“We started this academy in 2003, when our spiritual guru started to ask us to start teaching. We began Sugam Karnatica with the blessing of our musical guru, the late Vaadhya Vidhya Visaaradha Sangeetha Kalaa Booshanam Srimathi Vijayalakshmi Kulaveerasingam.”
“So that is how the entire endeavour began. Even my mother provided the down payment for this project.” said Sujietra.
They’ve put in a lot of effort up until that point to get where they are.
Currently they are educating more than 500 students.
Apart from receiving the entrepreneur award, she was also awarded with the coveted gold medal by Malaysia Hindu Sangam in the year 1993 in the National Thirumurai Singing Competition. In 2017, she was awarded as a recipient of the ‘100 Most Impactful CSR Leaders (Global Listing)’ by the World CSR Congress in Mumbai.
Speaking about the accolades, the most cherish award for her was the most recent award that she received from the legendary Indian musician, Padmabushan Dr Tripunithura Viswanathan Gopalakrishnan.
Dr TVG presented Sujietra with the “Acharya Ratna Award” last year September in recognition for to those who were long serving people in Carnatic musical field. She travel all the way to India to receive this coveted award from the legend himself.
“I felt incredibly honoured to get this recognition. I feel emotional accepting this honour because so many others, among other amazing people, earned the same award on the same day.” the humble lady expressed.
Further explaining on this traditional music education, the leading pioneer in the Malaysian Carnatic Musical sphere said “In the upcoming days, we want to spread greater awareness about Carnatic music among the Indian community in Malaysia because this is a part of our heritage.”
Carnatic music can be started as an extracurricular activity.
The award-winning educator said, “Only by adopting it into your daily life will you be able to succeed in this field.”
To do so, she urges the parents who would like their kids to embark their journey in this Carnatic sector, ask them to start sending their kids to these classes around the age of 4–5.
With that being said, Sugam Karnatica warmly welcomes everyone to be a part of their academy at any time.
Well, Sujietra has exciting news for all Carnatic enthusiasts!
Sugam Culture & Heritage Foundation is organizing Swagatam, a Malaysian Indian Traditional Orchestra with 100 participants from Malaysia under the guidance of Carnatic legend, Sangita Kalanidhi Vidhwan Shri Neyveli Santanagopalan.
This orchestra is the first of its kind which is jointly presented by several institutions and music teachers such as Sugam Karnatica, Vani Nethiar, Forbearance, Laasya Arts, Indian Cultural Centre, Preetha Prasad, Nadhalaya Music Academy and House of Isai Heritaj.
Vidhwan Shri Neyveli Santanagopalan is an Indian Carnatic vocalist and teacher. He has been recognised with several accolades and honorable titles globally. He is also an excellent speaker known for his wit, timing and sense of humour which make him a very wholesome entertainer and performer. Furthermore, his excellent theoretical depth with extensive research of the best approaches makes him a distinctive musicologist. Shri Neyveli has formed orchestras with students all over the world and this is the first time he has trained students from Malaysia.
The orchestra will take place at 4.00pm on 26 February in Shantanand Auditorium.
Happy news, the admission for this divinely event is FREE.
This event will be followed by a concert by the Carnatic legend himself who will be accompanied by Deepika Venkataraman on the Violin, Kishore Ramesh on the Mridangam from Chennai, and Jayalakshmi Premkumar on the Ghatam from Malaysia.
The concert will take place at 7.00pm on 26 February 2023.
If you’re keen to be part of this mesmerizing concert, you may secure your seats by purchasing the tickets HERE.
Be a part of this big fam & heritage now.
Sugam Karnatica have variety of programmes such as Music Carnivals, Sugam Super Singer, Sugam Sangeet Sabha, Sugam Talentime, Educational Trip, Sugam Seva and more exciting events.
This would undoubtedly be a wise choice for parents who want to engage their children in wholesome activity.
Students who are keen to join this academy, you may contact:
- 012 3089356 (Sugam Karnatica) or
- Head on to the HQ @ A13, Jalan 17/56, Section 17, 46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia