How do we prepare a new generation of business leaders and peacemakers for a shrinking world?  One way is to immerse them early in the cultures of other countries. Achyut Joshi brings India to America through his interactive, interdisciplinary workshops in Hindustani vocal music, opening ears and hearts to the rich heritage of an ancient culture.

Programs can be customized for elementary, middle, or high school, or for adult audiences in either English, Spanish, Hindi, or Marathi. Please e-mail for pricing and other information.

General Audiences

1 – Getting Acquainted with Hindustani Vocal Music – Part 1 (45-60 min)

This assembly explores the following questions:

  • Why does the Hindustani singing voice sound so different from the Western voice?
  • What is the structure of Hindustani vocal music?
  • What are raags and how are they performed?


2 – Getting Acquainted with Hindustani Vocal Music – Part 2 (45-60 min)

This second presentation focuses on artistry by addressing these questions:

  • How does a Hindustani vocalist tell a story through music?
  • How does the structure of Hindustani music provide a vocalist scope for improvisation?

History Students

History of South-Asia through Hindustani Music (40-50 min)

Indian music has adapted to the numerous socio-political changes of the Indian subcontinent, all the while maintaining its essence.  This presentation, ideal for a history class, explains the history of the South Asian subcontinent in the context of Hindustani music.  This presentation addresses these questions:

  • What are the origins of Hindustani music?
  • How are the origins of Hindustani music related to yoga?
  • How did the Mughal Empire and British colonial rule influence Hindustani music?

Religion Students

History of Hinduism through Hindustani Music (40-50 min)

This presentation is similar to “History of South Asia through Hindustani Music” but is geared towards a religion class.  This presentation addresses these questions:

  • How does music inform Hindu religious practice?
  • What are the traits of Hindu gods and goddesses and how do they show up in the poetry of Hindustani music?

Math Students

In these workshops, Achyut teaches students how math and Hindustani music go hand in hand.

1 – Working with Fractions in Hindustani Music (40-50 min)

This lively presentation addresses the following questions:

  • How do notes and pauses in Hindustani music have both discrete and fractional values?
  • How can we use different Hindustani rhythmic cycles to think creatively about fractions?

2 – Permutations and Combinations in Hindustani Music (40-50 min)

This fun presentation addresses the following questions:

  • How does a Hindustani vocalist use permutations and combinations while improvising?
  • How can we better understand combinatorics by studying a Hindustani scale?

Note: Both math workshops are aligned with Common Core elementary and middle school standards.

Music Students

Achyut has extensive experience teaching Hindustani music to groups of students.  He offers these music workshops, ideal for a choir:

1 – Medley of Raags (40-50 min)

Hindustani music is all about raags, melodic modes that provide frameworks for composition and improvisation.  This presentation, well-suited for a choir, addresses the following questions:

  • What are raags?
  • How many raags are being commonly performed today? 
  • How do certain raags convey particular moods and feelings? 

2 – Hindustani song + improvisation (40-50 min)

In this workshop, Achyut teaches students a song in a Hindustani raag and teaches basic techniques for improvisation.

3 – Intonation Exercises (40-50 min)

An introduction to Hindustani music would not be complete without an emphasis on intonation.  This vocal workshop addresses these questions:

  • How can we improve our intonation through vocal exercises in different Hindustani scales?


"As a school grappling with the implications of an increasingly flattened world, in a city of boundless diversity, we are always looking for voices, perspectives, and experiences that enrich the life of the school and deepen the community’s appreciation of different peoples, cultures, and histories. Achyut Joshi is that rare performer who understands the importance of translation—the process through which we share foreign, complex, and often unseen cultural experiences and practices. Mr. Joshi’s style, his attention to the pedagogical, to the critical moments in the cultural encounter, invites the audience into a new world of possibility, one wherein he brings the past together with the present in a dynamic exercise in ritual performance. When performing a verse from the Bhagavad Gita and a devotional song in Marathi our community was transfixed by the beauty of the performance and the care with which Mr. Joshi shared the intimacy of his spiritual convictions. His attention to esthetic and sound, and of the deeply personal and transgressive in all great storytelling, was a wonder to behold. Mr. Joshi has set the bar high for future performers in our assembly programs, turning what were low stakes events into a signature feature of the Upper School experience."

Chance Sims
Trinity Upper School Assistant Principal & Director of Global Travel

"Mr. Joshi shared his beautiful music with us at Trinity's 2014 Multicultural Festival.  He wowed the audience with a spiritual and meditative rendering of an Indian devotional song.  The crowd was hushed as he sang.  What was even more wonderful is that the Trinity students all requested he sing at this festival, as they had heard him before.  He was the first teacher mentioned when we gathered to figure out which teachers would share their talents: a true testament to his open spirit and connection with his students." 

Kathy McGowan 
Trinity Multicultural Festival Director