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2020 dhrupad music shibir: a part of DMIA's Dhrupad Days  

Gundecha Group.jpg

SHIBIR 2019 GROUP PHOTO after the concert by Ms. Dhani Gundecha

Gundecha Brothers Group, in Guru-Shishya parampara

Beloved Late Pandit Ramakant Gundecha

In May-June 2020, our annual Shibir will be a 7-day immersive residential retreat with the esteemed Gundecha Brothers, under the auspices of Dhrupad Days, the annual festival of Dhrupad Music Institute of America (DMIA).


The intention of the Shibir – literally meaning 'camp' but essentially meaning summit – is to work in a focused and immersive way on chosen aspects of the venerable musical form of Dhrupad. (Dhrupad arose from the sung aspect of the Vedas, the Sama Veda.) The residential nature of the experience follows in the Gurukul tradition, in which students are in co-residence with the Gurus, and observe not only the musical practice together, but also all other life aspects of Self alignment that make for a holistic sadhana.


The 7-day Shibir is planned for May 31- June 8, 2020 (with arrival on evening of the 31st and close on morning of June 8th). It will be located in the lap of the Pacific Northwest, in the little town of Chimacum on the Olympic Peninsula, a 2-hour driving distance from Seattle, and approximately 3.5 hours from Portland and 4 hours from Vancouver, B.C. The chateau is on 20 acres of secluded land with trees, a beautiful valley view, its own 0.7 mile trail, and a ravine to explore! The address is 516 Blue Mountain Road, Chimacum, WA, 98325. (See residence details further below.)


The program includes 7 full-days of Dhrupad (vocal) music instruction beginning before sunrise with Kharaj practice (a way of preparing and culturing the voice in the lowest octave), and ending around 8pm just before dinner. Each day’s schedule includes 3 group sessions distributed through the day (Kharaj session, Voice Technique/Composition session, and Taal session with the pakhawaj), as well as one-on-one lessons with Umakant ji and Anant ji (Ramakant ji's son, who is now performing with his uncle as the Gundecha Duo), and also Akhilesh ji as required. All one-on-one lessons are open to be observed by all students, making for wonderful listening sessions when one isn’t in direct instruction, a significant avenue of learning, and sometimes even more instructive than when one is in the singing-student seat. The one-on-one sessions are student-directed, which means the student gets to ask for guidance in a particular Raag, as well as any aspect of Dhrupad singing, whether alaap, jod or jhaala, composition elaboration, voice technique, and so on. The schedule includes breaks for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner.


The Shibir mandates residence on premises as part of the full-immersion. The ideal environment includes going offline from the internet, emails, phone calls etc., so that all can observe an inward gaze in stillness and Self alignment. And the togetherness of all participants with the gurus is in the spirit of satsang (communion) rather than socializing. "Getting to know each other" is encouraged by means of the vibrational connection in Music, rather than conversation on personal context, background, history, etc. Silence is also highly encouraged. The lovely chateau on 20 acres of secluded property has many flexible spaces and a large hall for music instruction. Sleeping arrangements will include dorm-type settings for female-only, male-only, or mixed occupancy, as well as shared rooms with large double beds. (We will do our best to honor everyone’s comfort – arrangements may be humble but comfortable!)


The maximum enrollment for the Shibir is 17 participants, all involved in dhrupad music practice. This is the ideal number for a group immersion as well as adequate time with the gurus each day for one-on-one instruction. Participants must be adequately self-directed in their learning, with experience singing  Indian classical / Raga music, and at least some exposure to Dhrupad. Participants are welcome from all over North America, with an aim to reach students from Seattle, Portland and Vancouver. The Shibir will be appropriate for students 18 and older, unless a minor is accompanied by another adult learning member. (As a general guideline, we are unable to accommodate family members or spouses as non-participating companions.)


The program tuition is $1111, with a 5% discount ($1055) for early registration with full payment by 11pm PST on Sunday, March 15, 2020. Tuition includes Music instruction, 8 nights of room-and-board, as well as 3 vegetarian, saatvik meals per day, prepared and cooked daily on site, sometimes with the assistance and participation of both gurus and shishyas. A few financial need-based scholarships of $200 each are available through DMIA. To learn more visit and scroll to the bottom of the page. 


Registration opened on February 15, 2020. To convey your interest, please contact us, with the subject DHRUPAD SHIBIR 2020 and a brief description of your background and interest, and we will email you back with an invitation to convey the fee and complete registration. Registration closes at 11pm PST on Sunday, May 3rd.


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