Andrew Shantz

Piano Vocal Composition Education

Andrew Teaches Piano and Hindustani Classical Vocal at these locations:

Vanguard Music Studio - Denville, NJ

Ananda Mandir, Somerset, NJ

Jersey City - in Newport and at The Beacon (voice only)


Awards and Recognition:

2017 New Jersey State Council on the Arts Folk Arts Apprenticeship

2017 Winner Marathi Vishwa Swaradhara Vocal Competition Adult Category

2016 Tapati Basu Roy Charitable Trust Scholarship

2015 Chhandayan Student Scholarship


Workshops and Presentations:

Drew University 

Salon NYC

William Paterson University - 2014 South Asian Cultural Festival

Vanguard Music Studio - Improvisation on Two Continents

The School for Improvisational Music, hosted at NYU - Improvisation on Two Continents

Paterson, NJ Public Schools - with the Paterson Music Project



For information regarding piano classes please visit Vanguard Music Studio's website:


Hindustani Vocal Curriculum:

Andrew has been recognized by Pt. Sanjoy Banerjee as a capable vocal teacher suitable to teach under the banner of Suromurchhana, the organization founded by Pt. Banerjee's Guruma the Late Sangeet Vidushi Malabika Kanan ji.

Hindustani classical vocal curriculum is based on the traditional Guru-Shishya practice and the Kirana Gharana (lineage) as taught by Pt. Sanjoy Banerjee with some additions. Students must bring a notebook and recording device (a parent's phone is suitable) to class. There is an archive of demonstrations of the material of the initial phases of the curriculum found HERE

Regular performances are arranged for prepared students at various locations in New Jersey.


Classes begin with vocal warm ups with students repeating melodies sung by the teacher. This repetition is the basis of the aural tradition of Hindustani music and strengthens recognition of specific notes and melodic nuance.





Phase 1: Sargam and Taan Paltas

All students begin with paltas (ascending and descending patterns using sargam and aakar). Please follow the following link to access palta demonstrations. Students generally practice paltas for at least 4 months before learning alankar paltas


Phase 2: Paltas with Alankar

There are different types of alankars - ornaments or elaborations - taught in the Kirana Gharana including Meend, Combination, Gamak, Taan and Katka. These are incorporated into paltas to prepare students to skillfully sing khayal bandeshes and alaps and bhajans.

A student performance at Anubhooti Guru Purnima

A student performance at Anubhooti Guru Purnima

Phase 3: Taal and Taal Based Compositions

Taals are the rhythmic cycles of Hindustani Music. Students learn to clap and recite Teentaal, Ektaal, Rupaktaal and Jhaptaal. They then learn simple compositions with sargam, aakar and alankar that fit Teentaal, Ektaal, Rupak and Jhaptaal.


Phase 4: Bhajan

Students begin learning a simple bhajan in dadra or kaharva taal. This generally precedes Phase 5 slightly.


Phase 5: Raag Yaman Paltas

Students are introduced to raag with paltas based on the arohi and avrohi (ascending and descending) movements of Raag Yaman. Upon completion of these paltas they begin learning alap and bandesh in Raag Yaman. 


Phase 6: Alap and Bandesh in Raag Yaman

Alap (non-rhythmic introduction of a raag presentation) in Kirana Gharana uses aakar (open "Ah" sound). Students begin with alap in Raag Yaman and proceed to learning the bandesh Sakhi Eri Aali Piya Bina.


Phase 7: Sargam and Taan in Raag Yaman

Students who have completed alap and bandesh in Raag Yaman learn a set of sargam and taan and are coached in creating several original sargam and taan.


Phase 8: Stage Practice

Vocalists must engage face-to-face with an audience to a greater degree than any other performer. In Phase 8 students are coached on relaxation, comportment and audience engagement while on stage.


Upon completion of Phase 8 students are ready to perform. Phases 1 - 8 require more than a year even for those students who progress very quickly. A truly high-quality presentation of even an elementary rendition of any raag requires a strong voice, full command of the material and an engaging stage presence. Students then move on to Raag Bhairav and then subsequent raags and techniques including vistaar (alap melodies set to taal).