Pandit Ram Sahai Sangit Vidyalaya (PRSSV) is a charitable trust and was named after one of the most innovative Indian musicians of the 18th century whose art is now practiced by amateur and professional musicians all over the world. Dr Frances Shepherd, an ethnomusicologist, and Pandit Sharda Sahai, a world-renowned Indian musician set it up in 1987.
The aim of the trust is to serve a culturally diverse clientele through projects in the performing arts of India and the performing arts of other parts of the world, which promote and encourage activities for the betterment of education and understanding in the wider community.
Much of the work of the trust so far has centred on developing activities relating to Indian music and dance, which draw on the considerable expertise available to it. These activities are delivered through its Institute of Indian Music and Dance (IIM&D), and its examinations board, Sangit Examinations, and mostly serve the local community of West London. These current activities include the provision of:
access to recognized qualifications;
vocal, dance and tabla training;
in-service training of kathak teachers with our Keyworker;
training in arts administration for volunteers;
theme based projects and residencies for schools.
Volunteers run the activities of the trust. This reliance on volunteers is part of a strategy to involve local people and increase their feelings of ownership. Due to the initial location of the activities in West London volunteers have been drawn mostly from the Indian community with a very small percentage from other communities.
Pandit Ram Sahai Sangit Vidyalaya aims to become an institution that provides access for people of all backgrounds to the performing arts of different parts of the world and to nurture activities which cross religious, cultural and ethnic boundaries. It will support its work by developing and sustaining partnerships with other organisations and providers in the public, private and voluntary sectors.