4-Unit Course.
Receive personalized feedback & guidance.
No experience is necessary.

Bhajans are a form of devotional singing based on traditional Indian classical ragas. We will begin the course with an introduction to Indian classical music along with an overview of the significance of Bhajans. Four 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.

Watch Video

We are excited to offer Devotional Singing classes online!

Course Details

  • Enrollment is open

    You can enroll for this self-paced course at any time by joining the Amrita Virtual Academy Membership. When you join the membership, the course icon will be immediately visible on your Student Dashboard. Inside, you can access the Welcome Unit and Class 1. New classes will then release every two weeks after that.

  • Self-paced and progressive

    Each unit contains on-demand video tutorials and lectures with expert guidance, audio exercises, recordings of live classes, class handouts and more! Enjoy learning about shrutis, svaras and vocal techniques to get that special "bhajan" sound when you sing!

  • Instructor interaction

    Upload your assignments and receive personalized feedback & guidance from Ratna via email. Ask questions and interact with other students via the Private Facebook Group. Email [email protected] for assistance with your singing needs.

Instructors - Devotional Singing: Level 1

Ratna K.

Ratna, along with her siblings, met Amma at a very young age. They were blessed to have Amma teach them to sing when they were children. Before meeting Amma, Ratna learned Indian classical music from both Hindustani and Carnatic traditions. But, she says the music came to life for her only after meeting Amma.

As Amma encouraged Ratna to compose songs and sing along with her, Ratna felt she could use the classical music concepts she’d learned earlier and apply them to bhajans. This brought a more fulfilling, devotional experience to her singing. It is this learning and experience that Ratna hopes to share with everyone in this course.

Brahmachari Ramanandamrita Chaitanya

Brahmachari Ramanandamrita Chaitanya met Amma at the age of three. He is a monastic disciple who was fortunate to grow up at Amma's ashram from a very young age. He directs M.A. Centers Eastern North America. He also travels, conducting satsangs in various cities and talks at universities, sharing Amma's message of selfless service and love.

He has written and composed many devotional songs, or bhajans, and can often be heard singing alongside Amma during many bhajans. He is a PhD graduate in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park.

"Children, sing from the depth of your hearts.

Let the heart melt in prayer. The joy of singing the Lord's name is unique. This bhajan is for us to pour out all our heart's accumulated dirt. Leave aside all shyness and open your hearts to God."

- Amma

Course Curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome Unit - Part A

    • Opening Prayer

    • Important Information & How to Contact Us

    • Welcome to Devotional Singing

    • Welcome Letter

    • Contemplation

  • 2

    Welcome Unit - Part B (Resources & Getting Started)

    • Course Structure

    • Tips for Studying Vocals

    • Tanpura App Suggestion & 'How To' Video

    • Metronome App Suggestion

    • Talent & Practice

    • Resource - Wikipedia Glossary of Carnatic Music Terms

  • 3

    Saraswati Puja

    • Lighting the Lamp of Knowledge

    • Lyrics - Sakala Kala Devate

    • Audio - Sakala Kala Devate

    • Special Puja

    • First Assignment: Share a Practice Space or Lamp Photo

  • 4

    Class 1 - Lesson 1: Indian Classical Music & Basic Concepts (Video Lecture)

    • A Quick Note

    • Devotional Singing - Video Lecture #1

    • Class 1 - Lecture Notes

  • 5

    Class 1 - Lesson 2: Singing "Guru Charanam"

    • Directions & Preparations: Singing 's' 'p' 'ṡ'

    • Practice Singing "Guru Charanam" in Shruti 6 / A

    • Practice Singing "Guru Charanam" in Shruti 6.5 / A#

    • Practice Singing "Guru Charanam" in Shruti 7 or B

    • Practice Singing "Guru Charanam" in Shruti 1 or C

    • Congratulations!

  • 6

    Class 1 - Lesson 3: Singing "Om Namah Shivaya"

    • Directions

    • Practice Singing "Om Namah Shivaya" in Shruti 5.5 or G#

    • Practice Singing "Om Namah Shivaya" in Shruti 6 or A

    • Practice Singing "Om Namah Shivaya" in Shruti 6.5 or A#

    • Practice Singing "Om Namah Shivaya" in Shruti 7 or B

  • 7

    Class 1 - Lesson 4: Singing Your First Raga, Shankarabharanam

    • Singing Raga Shankarabharanam Scales (Arohanam & Avarohanam)

    • Question: Raga or Ragam?

    • Practice Exercise #1: Singing the Raga with 3 Swaras

    • Practice Exercise #2: More Singing the Raga with 3 Swaras

    • Practice Exercise #3: Sarali Varisai in Shankarabharanam (3 Speeds)

    • Practice Exercise #4: Sarali Varisai in Shankarabharanam (3 Speeds)

  • 8

    Class 1 - Lesson 5: Singing Raga Kalyani

    • Singing Raga Kalyani Scales (Arohanam & Avarohanam)

    • Practice Exercise #5: Sarali Varisai in Kalyani (3 Speeds)

    • Practice Exercise #6: Sarali Varisai in Kalyani (3 Speeds)

  • 9

    Class 1 - Submit Your Assignments!

    • Details

    • How to Submit a Video/Audio Assignment

    • Class 1 - Assignment A Upload

    • Class 1 - Assignment B Upload

  • 10

    Class 2 - Lessons 1 to 4: More on Ragas & Bhajans

    • Lesson 1: More on Singing in Shruti (Revisiting Concepts)

    • Lesson 2: More on Swaras and Swarasthanas (Revisiting Concepts)

    • Lesson 3: Classification of Ragas (Types of Ragas)

    • Lesson 4: Classification of Swaras (16 Swaras)

  • 11

    Class 2 - Lesson 5: More on Concepts (Video Lecture)

    • Devotional Singing - Video Lecture #2

    • Class 2 - Lecture Notes

    • Question: Taal, Taala or Taalam?

    • About the Following PDF on Melakartha Ragas

    • Melakartha Ragas in Carnatic Music

  • 12

    Class 2 - Submit Your Assignments!

    • Class 2 - Assignment A Upload

    • Class 2 - Assignment B Upload

  • 13

    Class 3 - Lesson 1: The Essence of Music - With Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri

    • The Essence of Music - With Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri

  • 14

    Class 3 - Lesson 2: More Bhajan Practice - Singing in Shruti & Learning the Taal

    • Devotional Singing - Video Lecture #3, Part 1

    • Devotional Singing - Video Lecture #3, Part 2

    • Class 3 - Lecture Notes (Bhajan Handout for Video Lecture #3)

  • 15

    Class 3 - Submit Your Assignment!

    • Class 3 Assignment Upload

  • 16

    Class 4: Singing with Br. Ramanandamrita Chaitanya - Ragas, Bhajans & Gamakas

    • Devotional Singing - Video Lecture #4, Part 1 (Feelings & Moods from Ragas)

    • Devotional Singing - Video Lecture #4, Part 2 (Gamakas - Vocal Techniques for Bhajan Styles)

    • Devotional Singing - Video Lecture #4, Part 3 (Additional Tips)

    • Class 4 - Lecture Notes (Slides for Video Lecture #4)

  • 17

    Class 4 - Submit Your Assignment!

    • Class 4 Assignment Upload!

  • 18

    Closing Ceremony

    • Closing Ceremony Assignment

    • Sakala Kala Devate - Lyrics and Meaning

    • Sakala Kala Devate - Recording

    • Closing Assignment A: Sing Bhajans with Swami Dayamritananda Puri

    • Closing Assignment B: Sing Bhajans with a Friend!

  • 19


    • Closing Survey

    • Before You Go...

    • Closing Prayers

Join us for an exclusive opportunity to learn Devotional Singing!

Our Enrollment Process

  • Create an Account

    Create an account with Amrita Virtual Academy. It is free to do so. Afterwards, you can enroll in the Amrita Virtual Academy Membership or any of our à la carte programs using your Amrita Virtual Academy log-in ID.

  • Secure Check-out

    Enroll using our secure, encrypted payment system. We support most international credit cards through Stripe. Prices are in USD.

  • After Enrollment

    Check your e-mail for a welcome letter and sign in to your Amrita Virtual Academy account.

  • Visit Your Student Dashboard

    All program content is hosted on the Amrita Virtual Academy e-learning platform. Simply visit your Student Dashboard.

  • Follow the Schedule

    Enjoy the on-demand materials at your convenience. As new pre-recorded content releases each month, it will post to your Student Dashboard.

  • Enjoy Your Program!

    While your membership is active, you can enjoy the program without limits. Stream anytime from computer, mobile or tablet. The timing is flexible and self-paced.