what to expect

  • knowledgeable & friendly teacher
  • no pressure, fun atmosphere
  • group size approx. 3-5 people
  • walk away with the skills to play mridanga in kirtan


Prema Bhakti’s friendly nature combined with her years of experience make her a perfect teacher to begin your studies. She was born into the bhakti tradition and began learning the mridanga at age eleven. She has studied under the beloved kirtaniya Bada Haridas as well as the renowned professional mridanga master Bhima-Karma Saragrahi. Prema has lived in New York City for the past five years with her husband Narayana and currently does film editing and post-production work.


levels 1-3 / music lessons with Prema Bhakti

date – 6 week course on Sundays from january 29 – march 5

time –

1pm – 2pm (Level 1) – sold out
2:15pm – 3:15pm (Level 1) – sold out
3:30pm – 4:30pm (Level 2)
4:45pm – 5:45pm (Level 3)

location – the bhakti center / studio 3w

admission: sliding scale rate – $75 – $125

Students must register and donate online.

To reserve a timeslot at a particular level, and to receive information on how to register online, or if you have any questions about the classes, write to Prema Bhakti at premamrdanga@gmail.com.

Level 1 Mridanga Basics:  an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of playing the mridanga, the two-sided clay drum widely used in Indian devotional music. These classes are limited to 5 students at a time. It’s a great way to learn the basics from a great teacher.

Students will learn mridanga mantras (the language with which mridanga is taught), simple beats for slow, medium and fast kirtan, simple tehais (flourishes), and practice beats. There will also be a tutorial on kartals (hand cymbals). Prema will also help students, as much as possible, to learn to sing while they play.

Students will also learn about kirtan history, etiquette and mood, and be given recorded kirtans of well-loved kirtaniyas to study and briefly discuss.

Level 2: Requires having taken Level 1 and approval of the teacher.  In this course, you will apply what you have learned in Level 1 through many practice kirtans.  You will also learn a new double-speed beat, new flourishes, and new practice beats.  Continued discussions, meditations and suggested kirtans to listen to during your practice will be incorporated into the course.  

Level 3: Advanced practice.  Must have taken both Level 1 and 2, and have approval of the teacher.

NOTE: The Bhakti Center can provide mridangas for the classes, but students must have access to a mridanga to practice in between classes.