Shivananda Sharma was born in a musical family in Manipur, one of the smallest states in north eastern India. His father Brajanarain Sharma initiated him to Indian classical music, teaching him singing, violin and tabla from the age of seven. In 1995 Shivananda became a disciple of tabla maestro Ustad Ilmas Hussein Khan of Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) and since then he has been performing all over India, Europe and America.
Shivananda met Maa Chetan Jyoti when he moved to Rishikesh in 1999 and started directing and teaching in her children’s music academy in October 2005.
Subsequently, Shivananda started learning music (Indian ragas) from Barunkumar Pal (hansa veena maestro and disciple of world famous Pandit Ravi Shankar) who still inspires and guides him in teaching children and composing orchestral music today. In September 2008, Shivananda finally became a student and friend of renowned Pandit Sukhdev Mishra of Benares whom he had admired for many years. Sukhdev Ji today regularly visits Rishikesh to perform in concert or to organise workshops in the school for our young violin students.
The school started with a few children and over the years more and more children have been coming. Shivananda never turns a child away. He teaches all instruments: violin, tabla, sitar, santoor, slide guitar, mandolin, and singing. Today Shivananda teaches more than 30 children all on his own, at no cost whatsoever. The children are “his children” and his life, and Mata Ji’s memory and presence remain constantly there in his heart.