“SaPa was started with the dream of creating the next generation of performers who will carry forward a powerful legacy of classical music and reach new levels of excellence​‌”

~Dr. L. Subramaniam


SaPa is a boutique musical institution started in 2007, focused on creating the next generation of great performers and creating global musical exchanges and dialogues. Our goal is to foster creativity and passion in students of all ages through a fun, yet disciplined music instruction. With our world class music teachers and well researched methodologies, we help students to become confident performers and develop a life-long skill and passion for music.

It was long the dream of Dr L Subramaniam and Kavita Krishnamurti Subramaniam to create a home for global music in India. Since it’s inception in 2007, the Subramaniam Academy of Performing Arts, Centre of Excellence (SaPa COE) has been teaching world class music to a host of students. The SaPa is run by the Subramaniam Foundation, a registered charitable trust, and headed by noted singer/songwriter Bindu Subramaniam and Ambi Subramaniam. With a primary focus on Indian classical music, SaPa also teaches western classical music. Students are admitted from the age of three and train them to be professonals. SaPa focuses on special teaching methods for children, through the SaPa Baby program, to help them discover the enjoyment of art, and develop a deep love for artistic endeavours. SaPa also has special programs for professional musicians of various cultural backgrounds to learn elements of Indian music including improvisation, composition, melodic and rhythmic structures. It organises special workshops and interactive sessions with creative personalities from all walks of life, from world famous blues musicians to instrument makers and encourages its students to understand and explore various artistic possibilities.


I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.


Dr. Subramaniam stresses that elements of Carnatic music can be used and adapted to performing almost any kind of music from around the world. The precision of the technique and the complexity of the melodic and rhythmic structures of Carnatic music can serve as a foundation or an addition for any musician.

The SaPa Method focuses on strengthening the fundamentals of music, including the basics of melody and rhythm. For this, we use a holistic approach – in addition to the regular classes, we have rhythm exercises, group playing, music theory lectures, music appreciation sessions, practice aides, student performances and special workshops by visiting artistes on global music. Apart from the regular classes, students also benefit from mentoring sessions to hone their skills.

The SaPa Method places special emphasis on technique – once a student has a strong foundation, then he/she will be able to easily sing or play any piece. In addition to compositions, students are taught specially created technical exercises to suit learning at each level. Special methods of teaching are employed to teach Indian classical music to children ages three and up, and to teach elements of Indian music to musicians from other disciplines. The teaching methods have been developed by Dr. Subramaniam over several years of his personal experience as a performer, teacher and composer. His father and guru, the illustrious violinist and professor, V. Lakshminarayana was responsible for introducing masterful and innovative techniques for violin playing and he also created new teaching methods. Prof. V. Lakshminarayana comes from the guru-shishya (teacher-student) lineage that goes back to the three great composers of South Indian classical music – Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Shastry.


SaPa Programs


International Workshop for Musicians - SaPa and the Subramaniam Foundation in collaboration with Fondation Royaumont hosted a two week workshop on Indian composition, technique and improvisation. The workshop conducted by Dr. L. Subramaniam had participants from France, Belgium, Italy, Morocco, US and Japan.

On 1st June 2014, Carnatic Percussionist Harimohan conducted a special workshop demonstrating the 13 ½ beat tala cycle ‘Sivapalathalam’, dedicated to his father Nandanam Sivapalan, illustrious Kathakali and Bharatanatyam artiste.

On 24th May 2014, SaPa presented a Bharatanatyam workshop for children by SaPa parent Meera. She introduced children to the basics of Bharatanatyam including history, and basic postures.

On 24th May 2014, SaPa presented a Bharatanatyam workshop for children by SaPa parent Meera. She introduced children to the basics of Bharatanatyam including history, and basic postures.

SaPa conducted a summer shloka workshop with Sanskrit scholar Gangadhar Borde

Bindu Subramaniam and Ambi Subramaniam held a Parent Information Session at SaPa on March 30, discussing progress of students, and new plans being implemented at the Academy.


Artist Chitra Ramesh conducted her first workshop at SaPa demonstrating the various stages involved in the ancient art form, showcasing the materials involved and a number of her own spectacular finished paintings.

Bangalore's foremost Luthier Philip Peter conducted a fun and informative session for SaPa Students on the history and structure of the violin and bow. He also provided students with useful information on basic violin maintenance and conducted a group activity for students to "diagnose" problems with violins.


Polish Clarinet player Waclaw Zimpel Presented workshop at SaPa,demonstrating the Alto-Clarinet and discussing similarities between Indian music and jazz.  He involved all the participants in exercises on Polyphony and Improvisation. 



On January 1, 2014, the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival and SaPa presented a Special Workshop featuring artists from the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival 2013-14. Flute legend Hubert Laws and the World's only Tuba Soloist Oystein Baadsvik interacted with SaPa students, demonstrating their instruments, discussing Western Classical Music, Jazz and even practice techniques.

Professor of Double Bass at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Paul Erhard gave a demonstration on the Double Bass, using SaPa's own 200 year old double bass (who was named "Mahesh" during the session). Paul Erhard explored western classical music and the importance of interpretation, also touching upon the role of improvisation in music.

Indian American Annelize Machado has studied Bharata Natyam, Kalaripayattu (Indian Martial Arts) and Western Contemporary Dance. A dedicated teacher, her workshop at SaPa was on Contemporary Dance and movement.

Michał and Jan individually gave short lec-dems about their music and then come together to do something interesting. Michał Żak, a flautist, clarinet player and shawm-player, is a student of Jean-Michel Veillon. For years he has been exploring Polish village music and he is one of the founders of the House of Dance in Poznań. Michał has received many awards especially at the annual “Nowa Tradycja” competition organised by Polish Radio. He composes and performs music for theatre and silent films and is involved in educational projects. Jan Kubek, multi-percussionist from Poland, studied traditional techniques of playing on drums from various musical cultures, and plays cajon, djembe, darbuka, frame drums, conga and tabla (which is his favourite). He is part of Beltaine, one of the foremost Celtic bands from Europe, Indialucia (a mix of flamenco and classical Indian music) and participates in many others projects. He has conducted many workshops on Hand Percussions.


Dr. L. Subramaniam and the Subramaniam Foundation collaborate with Royaumont Foundation, France to presentworkshops to professional musicians from around the world to promote an understanding of Carnatic music and improvisation. This annual workshop is held alternately at SaPa, India and the Royaumont Abbey, France. In 2012, it was held at SaPa and participants included musicians from France, Italy, Turkey, Spain and Japan. Each performer had a different musical background from Jazz to Western Classical, Mongolian to Turkish and tried to integrate the essence of Carnatic music and improvisation into their own music. There was also a special lecture on Bollywood music and singing by Kavita Krishnamurti Subramaniam, and presentations by other members of the SaPa Faculty. The two-week workshop culminated in a special performance and lecture-demonstration by the participants and some students of SaPa at the inauguration of Vijayashree Hall at SaPa.

On 5 January 2011, SaPa conducted a workshop “A World of Violins,” a never-seen-before event for all violin students in Bangalore. The workshop featured some of the greatest violinists from all over the world including Dr. L. Subramaniam, Mark O’ Connor, Loyko, Kheir Eddine M’Kachiche, Benedicte Maurseth and Catharina Chen, talking about their system of violin playing. The participants of the workshop comprised members of Bangalore’s music community and the event was covered by the media. The event was held at and supported by Hotel Ista.

Preetam Koilpillai, the talented pianist and theatre artiste held a theatre workshop at SaPa for the older students. Explaining the basics of theatre and acting, he ran through basic exercises focussing on trusting co-actors, facial expressions and letting go of inhibitions in front of a crowd.

SaPa hosted a workshop on Flamenco music by the talented Polish guitarist Miguel Czachowski. Miguel taught the students the basic elements of flamenco music and rhythms, and his highly energetic session was highly appreciated by all the students. Miguel is no stranger to India as he has lived in India, studied Indian music and performed as part of the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival.

Dr. Gayatri Kassebaum, a renowned gottuvadyam artiste and ethnomusicologist was invited as a special guest to SaPa. Dr. Gayatri is a student of the famous gottuvadyam vidvan Sri Boodalur Krishnamurti Shastry. Dr. Gayatri has given a number of lecture demonstrations around the world and has been a Professor in Hawaii. She gave the students a lecture-demonstration on the gottuvadyam, a fret-less string instrument, from the same family as the veena. In current times, thegottuvadyam has become a rare instrument.

The great maestros perform on their beautiful instruments and receive thunderous applause for their virtuosity but little is known about the people who make the instruments. In an attempt to showcase the art of instrument making, SaPa invited a team of talented veena makers who demonstrated the making of a veena to SaPa students.

In January 2012, the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival and SaPa presented the Global Fusion Workshop featuring artists from the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival 2011-12. It was open to all SaPa students and music lovers.

Apart from Dr. L. Subramaniam, the workshop featured African kora player Solo Cissokho, and Japanese koto player Miya Masaoka. Solo Cissokho discussed and demonstrated the kora and African music, as well as the role of the Griot in Senegalese culture. Miya Masoka demonstrated the kota and shared traditional Japanese music and the method of notation. The workshop was held at and supported by Hotel Ista.

The Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival and SaPa jointly presented a special Indian percussion workshop with leading Carnatic percussionists VV Ramana Murthy (mridangam), N Radhakrishnan (ghatam) and G Satya Sai (morsing).  The artists demonstrated their instruments and explained rhythmic concepts of Carnatic music


Jazz saxophonist Rainer Pusch conducted a jazz workshop at SaPa. This workshop was open to all, with both basic level and advanced level students from around the country attending and participating.

Veena player Meera Raghu interacted with students of SaPa, explaining the history behind the veena, it's parts, and ended with a demonstration on the instrument.

Noted percussionist Gururaj gave a lecture demonstration on morsing and it's role in Carnatic music.

Yoga teacher and therapist AP Prasad held an informative and energetic workshop, demonstrating different yoga postures, teaching students the surya namaskar and explaining the benefits of yoga for health.

SaPa presented a Tala Workshop by the (now late) Carnatic music scholar Sri. Krishnamurthy, who spoke about the use of rhythmic patterns during improvisation. During the workshop, he took small rhythmic motifs, and using simple arithmetic and mathematical formulae devised by him, he demonstrated how these small motifs could be expanded into different rhythmic patterns and korvais. Within this structure, he demonstrated, that an improviser can continuous improvise and come up with numerous different rhythmic patterns, to make his/her music more interesting.

Corky Siegel, one of the finest blues harmonica players from the US conducted a workshop for SaPa students on Dynamics in Music. He spoke about the concept of dynamics in music and demonstrated how good dynamics could give life to the music. He also gave the students practical examples of different kinds of dynamics and how they can apply it in their daily practice.

During July-August 2009, we had two young musicians from Chile in South America: Javier Lorca, a pianist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist and Marjorie Garces, a singer/songwriter. In collaboration with faculty member Hari Ravikumar, they conducted four sessions for students at SaPa. The sessions were very interactive and included several audio-visual presentations and listening to different musical samples. The first session was an introduction to Latin American music and also a discussion on the influence of the Tropical and African music on Latin American music. The students learned many interesting elements about African rhythms. The second session continued with a discussion Carribean, Tropical and Afro-influenced music. The focus later shifted to Andean music (mainly Peru, Bolivia, and Chile) and the musical influence of the aborigines. The third session focused on the Spanish-European influence on the Latin American music. The fourth and final session was devoted solely to the various musical forms in Chile.

Special workshop with Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill - Irish music legends Martin Hayes (violin) and Dennis Cahill (guitar) presented a special workshop on traditional Irish music on December 27, 2014. The workshop also featured a special performance by Matthew Noone, who is the first musician to play Irish music on the Indian sarod.

Special workshop with Corky Siegel - Blues Legend Corky Siegel presented his second workshop with SaPa, where he demonstrated the harmonica, and discussed musical concepts with students aged three and up.

Special workshop with Jon Weber - Virtuosic pianist Jon Weber presented a special workshop outlining the history of American music, and playing a number of memorable songs. He also demonstrated his perfect pitch sense and incredible memory, playing all audience requests by memory!

Emma Sweeney and Ben Cahill - Irish duo of Emma Sweeney (fiddle) and Ben Cahill (cello) presented a workshop at SaPa, where they explained the basics Irish music, and brought an Irish instrument called the whistle, inviting SaPa Babies to come up and try. Classical Cellist Ben showed how his instrument can be adapted to play a supportive role to the Irish fiddle.

Guitar workshop with Varun Murali - Varun Murali of Swarathma conducted a workshop at SaPa, demonstrating four instruments from the guitar family - the electric guitar, the acoustic guitar, the classical (nylon string) guitar and the ukulele. He showed the audience the different parts of the instrument, how sound was produced, and some effects which can be used on electric guitars.