Kirtan gives Kalvinder spiritual connection

| Singapore | 16 Feb 2016 | Asia Samachar | 
Kalvinder Kaur on the rehab at 1st Malaysia-Singapore Raag Darbar in Singapore in February 2016. Left: In more casual mood.
Kalvinder Kaur on the rehab at 1st Malaysia-Singapore Raag Darbar in Singapore in February 2016. Left: In more casual mood.

The soulful stirring from the rebab at a gurmat sangeet workshop in Singapore was the ‘deciding moment’ for Kalvinder Kaur to pick up the instrument.

She was moved by the skills displayed by the music teachers at the session at the Sikh Centre Singapore. In 2013, she began learning the rebab.

SEE ALSO: String instruments at 1st Malaysia-Singapore Raag Darbar

SEE ALSO: Satviender’s love story with the dilruba

Three years later, Kalvinder joined a group of students from Singapore and Malaysia at the 1st Malaysia-Singapore Raag Darbar at the centre on 7-8 Feb.

“I hope to find a closer spiritual connection through kirtan as I feel that kirtan is a very key aspect of Sikhi,” the 18-year old student tells Asia Samachar in an interview.


Why did you chose the rebab?

I have always been interested in music in general, and I’ve been playing Western classical piano for quite a long time. As I grew up, I started to realise the importance of kirtan as a Sikh. I found it very meaningful to learn the rebab because it was played by Bhai Mardana and was the first musical instrument ever used for Sikh kirtan. Rebab was not very common in Singapore when I started learning, and I found out about it through the gurdwara posters. The deciding moment was when I attended a gurmat sangeet workshop at the Sikh Centre (Singapore) in 2013 and saw the teachers demonstrate their rebab skills. I was really inspired and determined to pick up the instrument after watching them.

What is your ultimate aim in learning this instrument?

I hope to find a closer spiritual connection through kirtan as I feel that kirtan is a very key aspect of Sikhi. Through learning the various shabads, one by one, we can slowly learn more about the Guru’s Bani. For me, kirtan is the best way to connect with the Guru. Eventhough I have not learnt to sing, the music with the shabads motivates me to learn the words and meaning of the shabads, as well.

So, what is next?

I hope to pick up more instruments, and also learn to sing kirtan. Perhaps it would also be interesting to combine my knowledge of Western and Sikh music to create music that is beneficial to society, especially the Sikh youth.


[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website:]


Satviender’s love story with the dilruba (Asia Samachar, 13 Feb 2016)

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  1. I am moved and inspired by your devotion. To dedicate yourself to practising, to being a strong person and inwardly humble soul. You’re our proud future. Thank you also to the parents and family for their contributions to the community through their efforts. May you continue to be showered with many many sweet soul connections to uplift humanity. Also kudos to the gurdwara in Singapore, and the fantastic I aspirational sangeet teachers. I saw you on YouTube too. Phenomenal. Keep going, Guru kirpa is shining down on you and through you all.

  2. Well done Ms Kalvinder Kaur. Music is d sweet connection to d soul as KIRTAN is d sweet connecting path to Satguru.

    Yes, Western n Eastern music will meet somewhere in between to resonate passages of Gurbani that will linger past d tongue n recide in our heart n mind. Your gift from your family that have given you an early education in piano and your love for kirtan will guide your compass well down this path of love.