| 21 Feb 2024
Guitarist can have certification in Indian genres: Kapil Srivastava, Guitarmonk

MUMBAI: Every boy dreams of strumming a guitar to impress a girl, while every girl wants to look like a rockstar while playing it. But are you really learning it right? In India, the guitar could be the most famous and sought-after western instrument but the right ways to learn to play the instrument are limited. Guitarmonk is India’s foremost organization to enter the International music grade exam. The institute also has an international level of grading system for Guitar learners.

Guitarmonk founder Kapil Srivastava helps us understand, “Grading system is a mechanism to assess the skill and knowledge level of a guitar player via examination. Any candidate can avail this examination online in both theory and practical format. Guitarmonk is India's first music organization to enter International Music Grade Exam Market Space and have established eight academic levels in Plectrum Guitar. The value addition is you have the multi-genre choice, which was non-existent so far and it’s a dream value for Indian Guitar Players.”

Despite Guitar being such a popular instrument, the country lacks good guidance and Kapil says, “It’s estimated that more than 500 million people play guitar in the world and in the context of India, there are millions of guitar lovers. We are already 1/6th of the population of the world. There are around 240 million (24 Crores+) guitar searches p.a. for guitar in India alone (Google) and we believe that there are equal offline searches. Foreign education, universities, and institutions are capturing Indians for their business interest while the Indian Education system is lagging far behind in understanding the significance of guitar. Many parents have this myth that learning music is detrimental to academic education whereas the contrary is the truth. Guitar education is now evolving slowly and it will take some more time to get established.”

This is exactly where Guitarmonk plays an important role. Speaking on this, Kapil reveals, “There are millions of Indian musicians, who have practiced playing generic music for multiple generations, but also need certification, rating, grading for upgrading their career in the same genre. They spend their lives in those genres and playing them for generations. There was an inherent need for those musicians to provide them much wider, holistic standards of curriculam encompassing both western and Indian genres. The foreign grading system has done a great injustice to Indian Guitar Players by forcing them to only play some foreign land tunes because they are totally unaware of the richness of Indian Ragas, Rabindra Sangeet, Folk Music, Bollywood and Film Music.” 

Continuing further, he adds, “It is just like a doctor who is specialized in heart surgery but can only be certified if he knows how to transplant an eye. We Indians have mastered the art of performances and carry our own unique skills, repertoire and are independent in ourselves. We have our own ecosystem and that’s the need to be respected and recognized.
Guitarmonk has overcome this problem and now guitarist can even do certification in Indian genres. We have also included theory as an essential part of practical along with keeping the technical standards as per the international parameters. Apart from multi-genre structure, we have also overcome time and convenience factor for the candidate. One can give this exam from any part of the world as ‘online’.”

The main objective of the organisation is to help people learn guitar in its truest form, as Kapil says, “As a sincere guitar education institution, we want to help people achieve their guitar dreams from learning to career through training, exposure, launchpad, projects and jobs.”

Guitarmonk is specialized in Guitar and was formally established in 2005. It has so far registered more than 10,000 students in guitar across India and 30+ countries.
The organisation has a systematic curriculum for hobby learners and career-oriented learners.

Kapil shares the curriculum, “For hobby learners, we advise four levels of training comprising of 40 sittings, a.k.a. Guitarmonk CRP, and then a student is independent enough to play a lot of music and expand upon his training on its own. For career seekers, we have eight levels, which one can accomplish in two years inclusive of required study on staff notations and other genres. A student can use this knowledge to venture into education, performance or other options. Guitarmonk also provide internship and projects opportunities to even students who have crossed 4 levels based on their successful clearance of the exam.”

Well, Guitarmonk is indeed helping Indian guitarist to elevate their bar of playing the popular musical instrument.

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