Teaching Tradition


Aana Sharma, Newcomerin, in Indien ausgebildete Dhrupadsängerin mit reichem Erfahrungshintergrund in buddh. & hinduist. Ritualen & Meditation. Studium buddh. Quellentexte seit 2016. Schweizerin mit christl. Erziehungshintergrund. Zudem Grossgruppenmoderatorin, Stimmcoach, Klangyoga- & Gesangslehrerin. Als Kind fundierte Ausbildung in Chorsingen & Violine

Gurushishya Parampara as a Dhrupad Vocalist

Aana grew up in Switzerland. She enjoyed a solid music education at the music college in Chur specialising in vocals, violin and flute. Later she studied Architectur at ETH Zürich and Urban Planning at HSR Rapperswil. 

In 2001 after completing her postgraduation in Urban Development she had an “inner call for music”. She started the journey to find ‘the music of her heart’. After having explored Persian music, Overtone and antra singing, she finally discovered Dhrupad. 

Aana went to Pandit Uday Bhawalkar 2004, where she studied Dhrupad under the “Gurushishya Parampara” system. In this ancient system, student and teacher live in very close proximity. With Uday she experienced the deepness and spirituality contained in this music. Unfortunately Uday left in 2006 to teach in the US for a longer period.

2008-2009 Aana studied with the Padmashree Gundecha Brothers and their brother Pandit Akhilesh Gundecha on Pakhavaj in India, where she refined her technique and knowledge in Raga music. 

The training in India involved 365 days a year with each day containing 6-12 hours of singing and studying, starting at 4 am with “Karaj”. Aana learnt more than 50 Raagas plus a variety of techniques and many songs and compositions. This system of teaching requires learning only by listening, no books or verbal explanations was available. Her analytical skills and musical pre-knowledge helped her to de-code the mysteries of Dhrupad music. 

In 2006 Aana started to teach Dhrupad after her time with Uday. In 2008 she started to give concerts together with other Indian students. She performed for the first time together with Gundechas bandhu in 2009 in Switzerland.

During her time in India, Aana also studied with the late Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar, the teacher of Uday Bhawalkar and the Gundecha brothers. Ustad ZFD died in 2013. He was one of the famous “Dagar” exponents, one of the two most highly recognized Dhrupad families in Northern India today. 

Back in Switzerland with her family in 2012, Aana founded the company Dhrupadsoundyoga, later named Indian Music and Food. Aana started to compose and she also created a demo- lecture for the Zürich-state program “Schule & Kultur”, a set of Naad Yoga exercises and a new Jugalbandi-concept. 

Not only is Aana passionate about music but has gained a lot of experience in Buddhist Vipassana, Zen and Dzogchen meditation. Here she learnt about awareness and concentration. Combining her two passions, she has developed a number of musical intonations of Buddhist Sutras and Mantras.

performing for Lama Lodrö Rinpoches 60ties birthday at Ganden Chökhor 2013

Aana has further developed a concept of merging the Christian Ave Maria with Indian Classical music. She has further explored the possibility of creating a Dhrupad choir.

Unfortunately Aana was forced to make a break from singing between 2015 and 2018. After an operation in 2012 she faced several health issues. She was also multiple burdened taking over the intense family management and the intire management of the business. Aana also started to work as an engineer again. In 2017 Aana started to sing again, she is promoting herself since 2019 and she is very active as a composer, teacher and performer.

between of Fraumünster, Wasserkirche und Grossmünster in Zürich 2019

Now Aana is mostly autodidactically refining her performing-art and her teaching-program. In 2020 she was reconnecting again to India and her teachers.

Since 2021 Aana is composing a lot and training herself up for the post-CoVid-concerts coming. Her base is still Zürich, but she is connecting now with musicians from allover the world…

Sadly the ICC (legal committee of MeToo movement to clarify the situation in Dhrupad Sansthan) report coming out end of February 2021 – including testimonies from students allover the world and from a timeperiod of 20 years – is confirming that all the three Gundechabrothers was spoken guilty for sexual assault. This is the very darkside of the «Guru Shishya Parampara» system: abuse of power as gurus as well as enabling students supporting them hoping for carreer-support. Having restored the relation to Gundechas later in 2016 and having restarted taking teachings in 2020, Aana went, after realizing the severe situation in 2020 – herself to the press and ICC to state as a crownwitness.

BBC and other medias are informing about the case since last September. An example: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-56523999

Aana recommends to foreigners clearly NOT to join or support Dhrupad Sansthan. She is happy to give further links to other teachers. After all she is competent enough to guide western students on the path of Dhrupad.