Lots of folks ask me about Kirtan lessons, and Kirtan classes. They want to know about Kirtan education, and Kirtan schools. Their hope is to learn to chant at home (and perhaps share with others) so they can get their Bhakti Bliss on 24/7, even during times of COVID.
What most people don't know is that there's an important distinction between a Kirtan performer, and a Kirtan educator. Ultimately you want to learn (via classes and private lessons) from someone who is both an experienced and successful Kirtan performer (albums, festivals, tours, etc.) and ALSO is a committed Kirtan educator who is dedicated to the long-term learning and success of their students.
On the one hand, a good Kirtan performer has released albums of original music, tours, and plays at yoga/music festivals like Bhakti Fest. This is someone far beyond a local yoga teacher who chants in class.
On the other hand, a good Kirtan educator mush have these four things.
1. They help students (total newbies to total pros) get set up with a great harmonium and up to speed on any other aspect of the practice of sacred chant.
2. Rather than merely inviting your into fun Kirtan experiences (like a cool yoga retreat) they teach you HOW TO play the harmonium and chant (like a yoga teacher training.
3. They have an elegant system for helping you learn - no clunky systems that require you to learn Sargam/Indian Classical Music or Western Music.
4. They will be present and available (not constantly out of town on tours/retreats) so you can learn in a steady and ongoing way.
When you look for Kirtan education, make sure the person you choose has the attributes listed above!