Raga Sadhana Competition Details

Updated: 6 days ago

Dear Participant,

Ragamala's First Annual Competition 'Raga Sadhana' welcomes you and your talent to our online stage. This competition is to encourage students and amateur performers of Hindustani Classical Music in North America (US and Canada), to showcase their talent and accomplishment, in front of distinguished judges. The judges are Performing Artists from India and will provide valuable feedback to all participants regardless of screening outcome.

Participants can apply to one or more of these categories: Classical Vocal (Khayal, Dhrupad, Thumri/Dadra, Tappa, etc.), Classical Instrumental (Sitar, Sarod, Harmonium, Violin, etc.) and Classical Rhythm (Tabla, Pakhavaj, etc.), and under 3 age group categories: 5-12, 13-18, 19+ years.

How it works:

Participants will be screened asynchronously based on a 3-min live video recording submission by a panel of three judges. Each participant will receive valuable constructive feedback from each of the judges and a Participation Certificate. Participants who clear the screening will proceed to the Final Round.

The Final Round will be a live Zoom session with another panel of judges. Here, you will perform a longer (up to 8 min) piece of your choice. Top 3 Winners in each category will receive a Ragamala Trophy, a $50 Ragamala gift certificate; Commendation certificates. All the participants of the final round get Merit e-badges shareable to their resume.

How to participate:

Submit your entry by the end of July 31, 2020, using the link here.

(Have your 3 min video ready before you start. There is a $10 entry fee for participation.)

If you are selected for the final round, you will perform live on Zoom in front of a panel of judges. The final rounds will be held during the last two weekends of August (August 22-23 and August 29-30). Ragamala will share additional details regarding the finals.

Please note that Ragamala reserves the right to cancel any category if there are less than 3 entries, to ensure a fair competition.

Requirements for the screening round video:

  • The video should be 3-minutes max in length.

  • The video should be submitted in the form of a YouTube link. You can share an unlisted link in case you want to limit the privacy of your video. Here's an article on how to upload your video to YouTube:

  • Make sure you record the video in a bright room-setting with your face clearly visible.

  • You can record with either live accompaniments (tabla and harmonium) or use software such as iTablaPro.

  • The video needs to represent a continuous session. Edited recordings will be disqualified.


Am I eligible?

If you are a student or (non-professional) performer of Hindustani Classical Music based in North America (US and Canada), and 5+ years of age, you are eligible to apply. You don't need to be a US or Canadian permanent resident or a citizen. Ragamala Board Members and their families are ineligible due to conflict of interest.

Is there an entry fee for participation?

Yes, there's a $10 entry fee that you will need to pay as part of your registration for the screening round.

When are the final rounds scheduled?

The final rounds will happen live on Zoom on Saturday, August 22, and Saturday, August 29.

How will I be judged?

Your performance for the Screening round and the Final round will be judged across the following criteria: Sur, Taal, Raag, Presentation. In the screening round, you will not be ranked in any way. In fact, all three judges will give you constructive feedback regardless of whether you are selected for the Final round. In the Final round, you will perform live before the judges. Everyone will receive encouragement, feedback and certificates. Top 3 winners in each category and age group will receive trophies and a $50 gift certificate to Ragamala.

Can I participate in more than one music category?

Yes. You are welcome to participate in one or more musical categories including Vocal, Instrumental, and Rhythm.

Is any instrument allowed in the Instrumental category?

Yes, even Western instruments such as the Piano or Cello, as long as you play Hindustani Classical Music.

Are group performances allowed?

This year, we are only focused on solo performances. Our scope will broaden to ensemble performances in the coming year.

Other questions?

Please write to us at We will be happy to assist you.


All donations are tax exempt

Supported By


Ragamala, a 501(c)(3)

non-profit organization