Leaving my without–reference life behind and heading to my destination with the right directionI shared a common trait with many other singing enthusiasts-Lack of Direction. I saw a post on FB one day, From Mug-to-Mike. It was about music. It was about singing. Immediately my musical DNA signalled the brain to explore it. I spoke to close friends who had taken part in this workshop and then I was in. I registered myself. What was I expecting! & what happened… I was in the workshop, all ears! Sunil Sir introduced us to some unvisited, comfortable and unknown areas of singing through demonstrations, and sharing his experiences which one can easily relate to. Studio recording was an opportunity that I had never had before in life. A critical analysis of our recordings by Sunil Sir himself, not just pointed out my Strengths and improvement areas, but also presented me with challenges. At the workshop, I understood how imperative it is to learn the right things. Inspired by what I had started to believe in, I ended up getting a Harmonium for myself. It is the first musical instrument in my family. What is life without reference or a Datum! I believe that the whole experience I had there is not just about music. It is about getting infected with an attitude and developing an insight that can help us to be complete and to be able to compete at different levels. Right people like Sunil Sir can only do the right things to you in life, and that is what happened to me at From Mug to Mike. If I think of the outcome, personally, I am actually going places. There are 3 octaves to cover. I have a depth to reach and summit to climb. My musical Journey now has a new destination called Perfection!

In Pursuit of the Timbre in my Voice” Interest in singing began in the bathrooms, and singing to my daughters who even today appreciate and remember most of the songs. I will always remember R.D. Burman’s words ‘There is good timbre in your voice’; I am trying to find that timbre. A couple of months back I read this article in Bangalore Mirror, of Times of India Newspapers on ‘From MUG TO MIKE’. I immensely liked the Mug to Mike concept, as though it was specially conceptualized for Bathroom Singers like me. Also at the same time I seem to like the person in the photograph. This seemed to be an opportunity to test the ‘TIMBRE in my voice’ at a real studio. I must thank the author of the article for publishing the contact phone number at the bottom of the article and my journey began, to explore the possibilities, meeting and interacting with youngsters (me being the youngest in spirits), co- enthusiasts and of course the gentleman singer himself with a Silken voice – Sunil Koshy and his most enthusiastic support in this venture and otherwise – his better half Archana. It was a thrilling and great experience when our singing voices were recorded (without music), critically analyzed for various aspects of singing light songs including suitability. Each one of us was given a copy of the recorded song/s along with the analysis, starting with strong areas and ending with areas requiring attention and improvement. During this session itself, many tips were given to understand shortcomings and how to improve. For those of us who wanted to advance a step further, a one day advance workshop was conducted to guide us to overcome mistakes and learn ways to improve our singing. A simple but comprehensive method for learning and practicing basics, breath control, pauses at right places and graduating to exercises to perfect notes, sur/sruti, to improve range and fluency, control and accuracy, and voice control, harkats etc., was taught. Anyone requiring assistance was always welcomed, even individually. Many co-enthusiasts, in spite of their busy working schedules, seem to want opportunities to improve further. The enthusiastic efforts put in by Sunil and Archana is really remarkable and deserves all the appreciation from all of us BATHROOM SINGERS, nay, ASPIRING STAGE SINGERS, Inshallah leading to further glory. May their tribe grow bigger!

Zeena Crasta

Has a degree in fashion management and is a content writer by profession, Zeena has been fond of singing since her school days. However, due to lack of encouragement she could not learn singing. She came to Bangalore against her parent’s wishes just to learn singing for a year, but was disappointed when she did not find the right place, and her hopes were dashed. Finally through a friend, she came to know about Mug to Mike and without a second thought decided that this is the platform to give way to her hidden passion. Says an exuberant Zeena, ‘Mug to Mike has helped me gain back my confidence which I had lost long back. Singing in a studio has been a dream which I never thought I would be able to fulfill ever. All thanks to Sunil Sir and Archana Ma’am for the opportunity. It is a one-of-a-kind concept that has brought smile to so many faces of all age groups and has given hope to many aspiring singers. Sunil Sir with his rich experience and talent is a constant inspiration for each one of us. He brings out the singer in everyone!’