Sri Paduka Academy

About Sri Paduka Academy of Classical Music

Founded in 2002 by Shri Hari Devanath, Sri Paduka Academy of Classical Music enjoys the active support and blessings of Shri Neyveli R. Santhanagopalan. Affiliated to the internationally acclaimed Neyveli Gurukulam, Sri Paduka Academy symbolizes music as an expression of Bhakthi (devotion) and Bhava (emotion) through the indispensable combination of traditional Paadaantharam (musical ideology) and rigorous Saadhagam (disciplined practice). With an intimate family of highly committed students, parents and teachers, the school looks to celebrate the traditional divinity of Carnatic music as a performing art. The school strives to promote classical music to students and aspiring musicians in the USA while upholding the rich and traditional Neyveli Gurukulam BaaNi (artistic style).

The Curriculum

The inherently traditional and rigorous in-class curriculum is reinforced with several other means of fun-learning including but not restricted to Sri Paduka teachers-led enrichment summer workshops, do-it-yourself exercises, co-student team-projects, self-led rhythmic and sahitya-interpretation research projects, lecture demonstrations performed by invited guests, topical lessons / special compositions offered by professional musicians & other experts. This comprehensive curriculum not only provides the rigor and strong foundation necessary for students to grow further but also sustains their interest levels to pursue this art form that subjects one to a life-time of learning. Our students find ample opportunities to practice individually and in groups, perform in public forums and festivals, and learn beyond the curriculum. We firmly believe that musical expression starts with a curriculum and continues as an extension of the individual’s personality!


The Teachers

Hari Devanath is the founder and a teacher at the academy. Vivek Sundararaman is a key counselor, partner and teacher. Hari and Vivek are both senior disciples of Sangeetha Ratnakara Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan. They work together in continually applying and improving the sound principles instilled by the Neyveli Gurukulam.

Sri. Hari Devanath, Founder and Teacher

As one of the prime disciples of Sangeetha Ratnakara Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan, Hari has not only been groomed in the traditional and rich paataantharam but also continues to imbibe best practices of performing and teaching this advanced art. As an apprentice teacher in his teens, Hari enjoyed teaching junior students of Neyveli Sir. This sowed the seed for Hari to teach several students later. Today, he has earned a unique identity and is one of the most sought-after teachers today, especially for young and curious minds. Through Sri Paduka Academy, which he founded and Acharya Ratnakara Guru Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan inaugurated in 2002, he has inspired several students to pursue their passion for Carnatic music. He aims to grow the rasika in each of his students. Performance is a desirable byproduct that everyone enjoys! Along with Vivek and other Neyveli Gurukulam teachers, Hari has formalized several unique learning and voice techniques. These techniques have developed several students to not only perform short concerts on their own, but also appreciate the nuances and subtleties, theoretical structure & complexity, and the rich heritage that our academic learning is built on today. Hari has the blessing of close associations with many senior performers and teachers in India and in the bay area – this has helped Hari continue to grow in learning, teaching, performing and appreciating this deep art form.

Sri. Vivek Sundararaman, Counselor and Teacher

Sri. Vivek Sundararaman is a disciple of Sangeetha Ratnakara Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan. With his rich voice and aesthetically evolved tastes, Vivek strives to learn, present, and teach only the best music! His initial training and musical foundation was laid in Chennai under the tutelage of Shri Sethurama Iyer, a disciple of Madurai Mani Iyer. Vivek considers himself fortunate to be part of traditionally rich and bhava-filled paataantharam of Neyveli sir. Several of his students have presented full-fledged concerts and won accolades at festivals and competitions. Vivek’s uncompromising teaching approach and unbounded support for his students make him a highly valuable and admired teacher and an inevitable inspiration for his students. Vivek’s unflinching passion for excellence is a key inspiration for Sri Paduka Academy’s sustained thirst for excellence and growth. His deep knowledge and well-rounded aesthetic sense are the main ingredient to Sri Paduka Academy’s continued growth and success!