How To Make A Successful Career In Indian Classical Music?

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“Indian classical music has never been just for entertainment. It is a way of evolving an individual human being into a universal entity.” — Sadhguru

If the melodious rhythm and beats of Indian classical music entice you, this article is for you. The vibrancy of India’s classical music is absolutely unrivalled. As an aspiring candidate who wants to make a successful career in Indian music industry, you must be ready to undergo rigorous training, riyaaz, and practice before you can make a successful career in Indian classical music.

Indian classical music forms the core of our glorious heritage of music and performing arts. India is home to various music and arts. Through utmost sincerity, dedication, and passion for music, one can certainly make a career in this field but that path won’t be easy. You have to be well prepared for every challenge that comes on your way. 

Where Can I Pursue UGC-recognized Certificate/ Diploma Courses in Indian Classical Music and Performing Arts?

  1. Institutes registered under Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad.
  2. Institutes registered under Prachin Kala Kendra Chandigarh.
  3. Complete relevant certificate/ diploma courses from IGNOU, New Delhi.
  4. Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, Khairagarh (Navi Mumbai)
  5. Vishwa-Bharti University, ShantiNiketan (West Bengal)

These centres/ institutes offer universal courses and tutelages from prominent musical gurus and legends who will help you make a successful career in Indian classical music. 

Career Options in Indian Classical Music

Once you complete a certificate/ degree course in classical music from a well recognised institution, you will start getting lots of job opportunities. 

Following are some of the popular career choices to make in the Indian classical music:

  • Classical singer (Vocalist)
  • Studio manager
  • Instrumentalist
  • Sound designer 
  • Music Teacher
  • Music Professor
  • Music publisher
  • Independent artist

How to Choose Your Favorite Stream in Classical Music?

Indian classical music is like an ocean of gems. Before choosing a career in music, you have to be very sure of what you want to pursue and why.

Usually, Indian classical music is divided into two segments:

  • Hindustani Sangeet—It usually relates to North Indian classical music and attached to a particular gharana.
  • Carnatic Sangeet—It prominently relates to classical music of Southern India. 

Indian music is also subdivided into fusion, semi classical, pure classical and light music on the basis of genres. 

Traits of a successful classical musician

  • Passionate about Indian classical music.
  • An ardent reader about ragas and music.
  • Loves listening to classical music for hours together.
  • Has the knack of appreciating world music.
  • One who can devote maximum hours understanding the nuances of classical music.
  • One who has the flair for writing lyrics or composition for those tunes.
  • One who is not camera shy and ever ready to perform in front of public.
  • One who learns from criticisms and feedbacks and march ahead.
  • He or she should be versatile and ready sing various classic songs across various genres.

What’s the best way to enter into the Indian classical music industry?

Though there’s no hard and fast rule on it, the best way to enter Indian classical music industry is after completing your graduation. Yes, some people may find it odd, but when you wish to make a career in a difficult segment like classical music, having a minimum graduation degree in any discipline can help you in case you couldn’t get much success in this highly-competitive and highly-difficult sector.

And most importantly, alongside completing your graduation, you must start working hard, practice daily riyaaz early morning, understand the nitty-gritty of musical notes, write compositions, and most importantly, keep listening to India’s glorious classical music and songs—both instrumental and vocal. 

With a graduation degree in your hand, you should start taking your musical career seriously. Get tutelage from a well-known musical pandit/ ustad/ teacher. And side by side, complete your relevant certificate and diploma/ degree courses  in music.  Gradually, start showcasing your skills in front of public at stage shows and concerts. Having a membership in music clubs, associations, and institutes is always a big bonus. Never miss out on any opportunity to show your talent. 


Making a career in Indian classical music is tough but equally rewarding. Though Bollywood and modern songs still rule Indian song lovers, somewhere the essence and vibrancy of Indian classical music is still on top. 

Classical music is a flawless synthesis of our glorious heritage, art, aesthetics, philosophy and spirituality. It is primarily called Raga Sangeet with a legacy of more than 2000 years. 

If you are really interested in making a career in Indian classical music, go for it. Don’t think too much about it. Because I am telling you that the path will be difficult but once you cross all hurdles, you will smile and feel proud of your talent and yourself as a whole.

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