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Year 1971 marked the beginning of a new era for Trichy Sankaran. That was the year he came to Canada to start the South Indian Music Program at York University in Toronto, along with the American singer Jon B. Higgins. The late Jon Higgins was one of the very few Americans who became a popular and well-respected Karnatak music singer. When Jon left Toronto in 1978, Sankaran, the co-founder, continued to build a respectable South Indian Music Program at York University over the years. In the last 38 years he has trained many North Americans in the history, theory, and performance of South Indian vocal and drumming. He is highly acclaimed for bridging the Eastern culture with the Western musical tradition in his academic teaching.
To facilitate the Western students’ orientation towards notation as a means to learn music, Prof. Sankaran in his book “The Rhythmic Principles and Practice of South Indian Drumming”, has created a unique notation for drumming.
He is considered a pioneer in solkattu (rhythmic solfege) pedagogy, that has enabled hundreds of his students from understanding the fundamental concepts of rhythm to the extent of applying these principles to their own music, whether Classical, Jazz, or Rock. As a result, many of his former students have become noted performers, composers, and music educators themselves. Through them, Prof. Sankaran’s influence continues to make itself felt in an ever widening circle.
Professor Sankaran has written and published a book and accompanying CD on The Art of Konnakkol (the art of solkattu performance). Click here to purchase on Lulu.com.
To purchase The Art of Konnakkol book and CD directly from the author, Dr. Sankaran, please contact him here.
In recognition of his academic/teaching excellence, he has been honoured with the prestigious OCUFA (Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association) Award in the year 1992.
As an academic, Prof. Sankaran maintains an extremely busy schedule. He frequently lectures and conducts performances, workshops and seminars on Indian music, and on Rhythm in World music at leading academic institutions throughout North America. He has also contributed through participation in major cultural conferences around the globe including The Music Academy, Madras; Sangeet Research Academy, Mumbai; Glenn Gould Conference, Toronto; Sound Symposium, Newfoundland; Berklee College of Music, Boston; Eastman School of Music, Rochester; Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, Mexico and The National Institute of Education in Singapore, to name a few.
Over the past 38 years, Sankaran has trained many Canadians in the rhythm, history, theory, and performing traditions of the classical music of India. Many of his former students have become noted performers, composers and music educators themselves. Through them, Sankaran’s influence continues to make itself felt in an ever-widening circle.
1971- present, Professor of Music, Graduate/Undergraduate Faculty, York University, Toronto, Canada
1979-80 Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Music, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
1979 Visiting Artist, Graduate Summer School, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
1989 Visiting Scholar, Madras University, India
1992 - 98 Visiting Professor, Artist in Residence, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC
1995 - 2009 Visiting Artist, World Percussion Festival, Berkelee College of Music, Boston, MA.
2006 Visiting Scholar, Nanyang Technological Univeristy, National Institute of Education, Singapore