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The RohanRhythm Percussion Studio is one of the most successful private percussion studios that specializes in Carnatic drumming and drum set for an international audience. Directed by Dr. Rohan Krishnamurthy, a master musician, educator, and entrepreneur, the Studio utilizes cutting edge digital technology and structured pedagogy to inspire students of all ages, levels, and creative goals around the world. The curriculum is rigorous yet fun, and is likely to benefit drummers, instrumentalists, singers, dancers, composers, and general enthusiasts studying various genres of music. The Studio’s successful track record in innovative performance, music competitions, new cross-genre collaborations, scholarships and fellowships, and top college and professional placements is well documented. I am confident that those who join the Studio can begin the journey applying his or her creative potential and enriching the life of our larger society.
— Craig Woodson, Ph.D. - Music, U.C.L.A., Ethnomusicologist, Educator, Instrument Maker, Ethnomusic, Inc.

Rohan directs an award-winning percussion studio with dozens of students across the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, Japan, Australia, and India. The studio is open to students of all ages, backgrounds, and goals. The following are taught in-person and online:

  • Carnatic percussion - mridangam, khanjira, ghatam, konnakol vocal percussion

  • Drum set - funk, jazz, pop, and hybrid styles

  • Hybrid kit - combining Indian percussion and hand drums with drum set

  • Rhythm techniques for singers, instrumentalists, and dancers

  • Devotional drumming for kirtans and bhajans

  • Cross-musical composition and improvisation

  • Music history, theory and analysis, and ethnomusicology

Rohan has created a systematic syllabus that is personalized to each student’s needs and interests, including a comprehensive course packet, seven full-length percussion solos that are fully notated and recorded, and additional learning resources and media. Students also benefit from periodic, personalized week-long residencies in their cities.

Rohan's students regularly perform across the U.S., have won national awards, such as the prestigious PASIC scholarship from the Percussive Arts Society and 1st place awards in every percussion category at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival, spearheaded community outreach events, performed prominent arangetram graduation recitals, and gained admission to top colleges and universities such as the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Manhattan School of Music in New York City, and Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Photo credit: Kate Melton

Photo credit: Kate Melton

photo credit: julie michelle sparenberg

photo credit: julie michelle sparenberg

“Rohan does a great job of explaining and demonstrating the traditions of Carnatic drumming. It's very enjoyable. The wealth of his expertise on the topic is seemingly inexhaustible.” 
                - Official Course Evaluation

"Studying mridangam with Rohan opened a whole new chapter of musical experiences for me."                           
                  - Student

"He encourages creativity and tailors the pace of teaching to the needs, motivation and abilities of the student."  
                 - Parent

More feedback >

Tala Vadya - Eastman Hand Drumming and Indian Rhythm Institute Concert

Kilbourn Hall, July 25, 2014. Performed by students of the RohanRhythm Percussion Studio: Jay Appaji (Dallas, TX), Naren Pullela (Oklahoma City, OK), Nikhila Rao (Rochester, NY), Nilesh Rao (Rochester, NY), Tarun Shriram (Stamford, CT), and Vijay Srinivasachari (South Windsor, CT).


Eastman Course Evaluations

“Rohan does a great job of explaining and demonstrating the traditions of Carnatic drumming. It's very enjoyable. The wealth of his expertise on the topic is seemingly inexhaustible.”

“It's a great class and Rohan is an excellent teacher. This class has developed me as a musician in other areas of my musicianship as well.”

“The class was outstanding… If you offered a week about how to implement this in a classroom-some pedagogy materials, etc. I would love to take that, too!”

“Incredible resource for Eastman, great teacher and inspirational player.”


“Studying with Dr. Rohan Krishnamurthy was a definite turning point in my musical development. His insights into improvisation and technique have helped me to find my voice in percussion and have been a stepping stone for many cross-stylistic collaborations over the years. After studying with Rohan for several years, I was able to see the profound influence that he has had over my playing, and my life. Thank you Rohan!”

Adam Maalouf, student from the Eastman School of Music, professional percussionist and educator in New York City.

“I've been working with Rohan for 5 years now, and I am amazed at how much I am still learning. I appreciate his professionalism and attention to detail in our lessons. As a conservatory-trained percussionist, I have come to expect a high degree of proficiency from my teachers. Rohan continually surpasses my expectations. I can safely say that he is a true master of his craft.”

- John Driscoll, percussion and musical arts majors from the Eastman School of Music, currently teaching at the Interlochen Arts Academy. 

“Studying mridangam with Rohan opened a whole new chapter of musical experiences for me. Not only did he expose me to a new style of music, he encouraged me to think about my music, both Western and Eastern, in a new way. While his technical prowess could be daunting, he was excellent at breaking down the music into more digestible chunks for us beginners. The exposure to Indian music I received from Rohan has whetted my appetite for more. Rohan is a patient, talented and dedicated teacher, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to work with him.”

- Hannah Weaver, student from the Eastman School of Music, studying master’s in percussion at the University of Michigan.

“From the extensive knowledge and experience of Rohan Krishnamurthy, I have gained invaluable skills that have shaped the musician I am today. He is by all means one of South India's leading percussionists to date. With his modern approach to teaching and mastery of the classics, Rohan is one of a kind.”

- Michael Van Munster, student from the Eastman School of Music, professional percussionist and educator in Boston, bachelor’s in percussion at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

“Learning from Rohan over the last four years has been both an enjoyable and beneficial experience. Rohan has the ability to teach me to connect the dots from music, to academics, and beyond. Classes with him, while serious and focused, are always interspersed with some humor, which makes for a friendly environment. Since our lessons are very interactive it gives me a chance to discuss the theory and implementations of the material he teaches. While he insists on perfection, he does give me the freedom to experiment and develop my own style. This encouragement of creativity and critical thinking has allowed me to expand into other musical realms. Rohan has been more than a teacher to me; he has been a mentor, for who I am very thankful for.”

- Jay Appaji, music and engineering double major, Southern Methodist University Meadow Scholar, recipient of the 2013 M&J Lishon/Franks Drums PASIC scholarship and 2014 Texas Commission on the Arts Young Masters Program, Plano, TX.

“I love learning Mridangam from Rohan. He lets me be creative and teaches me very fast. When he accompanies he does not follow only the standard routines and instead plays creatively. Rohan is able to use Mridangam to accompany more than just Carnatic music and I love learning this from him too! He also designed a Mridangam that is easy to tune, but does not hurt the hands like a nut-and-bolt Mridangam. Rohan is not strict except in tala, and I like this. Rohan has won many awards, including Presidential awards, and I am very happy to be learning from him!”

- Naren Pullela, 4th grade, recipient of the 1st prize in the 2015 junior mridangam competition at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival, Edmond, Oklahoma.


“Rohan bundles a lot more into his mridangam lessons than is apparent at first. In the short span of four years, in addition to training Jay in the art of playing mridangam, he has also nurtured key aspects of musicianship and critical thinking in Jay like we never imagined or expected. Rohan has an incredible ability to adapt to the student’s need and background.  His classes are regular and intense, but fun! Jay has especially benefited from Rohan’s unique ability to expect adherence to tradition without stunting the need to be creative and collaborative. This approach to music education has enabled Jay to apply his artistic skills to other life skills including academics. This holistic method works exceptionally well with global students like Jay. A teacher, a mentor and a friend, that is what Rohan is to Jay and we are ever so grateful for this blessing!”

- Anu Appaji, Jay’s mom, Plano, Texas.

“About 8 months ago when we started to look for a Mridangam teacher for our son, Naren, we realized that there were no professional teachers in Oklahoma. So my son and I started scouring the Internet to see how we could overcome this hurdle. We found numerous teachers who advertised ability to teach online, among them was Rohan. We sent emails to a few of the teachers. That was the commencement of our witnessing the difference Rohan brings to his teaching style: he was prompt in responding, followed up with a phone call, and explained his curriculum and methodology to teaching online. We were impressed by this student-oriented approach. 
The following are some of the numerous reasons why I would heartily recommend Rohan as the perfect teacher for one wishing to learn Indian percussion, online and in-person:

-- He is great role model for kids to stay motivated and get inspiration from.
-- He encourages creativity and tailors the pace of teaching to the needs, motivation and abilities of the student.
-- Kids, especially Indians raised in America, can very easily relate to and interact with him.
-- He has a curriculum that steadily advances the student through the various phases of learning the art of Mridangam playing and most importantly avoids boredom in kids.
-- He is a stickler to time and never misses an appointment.
-- The notations he provides are very, very helpful and have an element of precision that percussion notations thus far lacked.

I would also highly recommend the workshops and residencies that Rohan offers. They are intense sessions that could last a week or more, during which Rohan visits the student’s home. These experiences have proved invaluable. Every chance encounter and interaction with Rohan is a great learning experience.”

- Murty Pullela, Naren’s dad, Edmond, Oklahoma

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