LearnQuest Co-founder Pradeep Shukla on the Music Academy Where Learning Never Stops

WALTHAM, MA—Learning music never stops at LearnQuest Academy of Music, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year and is the winner of New England Choice Awards 2016 in art and culture category.

Pradeep Shukla, co-founder and president of Waltham, MA-based LearnQuest, a non-profit institution devoted to providing formal instruction in Indian Classical Music—both Hindustani and Carnatic Styles, vocal and instrumental, talks about the history of LearnQuest and his own musical journey.

In an exclusive video interview on Dreamcatchers, Shukla says although an ideal age for starting learning music is six, seven or eight, he undertook learning classical music when he was a teenager in India. At LearnQuest, students of all ages—young kids to teenagers to adults to seniors, learn music. LearnQuest holds in its mail building in Waltham as well as in Acton, Andover and North Attleborough in Massachusetts.

By profession, Shukla is a professor of mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Suffolk University in Boston. He says there is a great connection between mathematics and music because both are about patterns.

“Math is a pattern of ideas,” says Shukla. “I can include one more thing: math, music and humor. One thing that common among music, math and humor is the ‘Aha’ moment.”

Shukla received his initial training in vocal music in India from V. V. Paranjape, who was a disciple of Pandit Vinayakrao Patwardhan, an exponent of the Gwalior Gharana. Subsequently, he continued his training with Pandit Govind Prasad Jaipurwale of Mumbai and Ramchandra Patwardhan of Pune.

To watch the video interview, please click here.

LearnQuest academy includes among its faculty a team of accomplished and experienced teachers of Indian music in the New England area as well as visiting musicians. Instruction is offered in the following disciplines:

  • Flute
  • Guitar
  • Carnatic Vocal Music
  • Hindustani Vocal Music
  • Keyboard and Harmonium
  • Mridangam
  • Sarod
  • Semi-classical Vocal Music
  • Sitar
  • Tabla
  • Veena.

From time to time the academy organizes seminars, workshops and concerts in Hindustani and Carnatic music for the benefit of its students and interested public. In particular, the annual LearnQuest Music Conference, typically held during Easter weekend, is one of the biggest Indian Classical music conferences in North America.

In addition, the LearnQuest Baithak forum presents concerts by illustrious Hindustani Classical musicians in an intimate, Baithak-style setting.

We regretfully inform you that the 15th Annual Learnquest Music Conference will not take place on March 27-29, 2020. The growing and unpredictable spread of COVID-19 has made it impossible to assess safety risks. We have been monitoring the situation and contemplating measures to keep the artists and music enthusiasts safe. On March 10, however, the State of Massachusetts has declared a public health emergency that gives us no choice but to cancel the event.

We recognize the hard work and travel that so many have put in preparing for the event. We feel sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you, and will start refunding the concert tickets. Once the situation has abated, we will take stock of options and communicate further. We look forward to seeing you soon and thank you for your continuing support. With prayers for your health and safety,

- The LearnQuest team