Often referred to as “The Queen of instruments” in the classical music of South India, (known as Carnatic music), the vina is one of the very few ancient instruments to have retained its exalted position in modern times. A large plucked and fretted lute, the vina strings can produce pitches in full three-octave range. It is one of India’s oldest musical instruments dating back to at least 1500 BC with the earliest visual representations depicting a variety of vinas in the ancient temple sculptures of South India. Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of Music and Learning, is usually depicted carrying this instrument hence it is also referred to as the “Saraswati Vina”. 

Levels Taught: Foundation, Diploma & Post-Diploma

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Sivasakti Sivanesan

"Performing and teaching for me represents meditation, prayer and love, all in one - it’s my life’s greatest joy."


A Fellow of Trinity College, London and an integral part of The Bhavan for more than 30 years, Sivasakti Sivanesan has taught over 500 students of whom many have reached an Arangetram (traditional performance graduation) standard. Her legacy is already being carried forward by high-profile students like Hari Sivanesan who has been awarded an Asian Music Circuit scholarship and has performed nationwide as well as at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms.

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