My Role as a Cultural Mediator

Intercultural communication is and has always been an integral part of my (Amie Maciszewski’s) life. Growing up in rural New Mexico in a Polish immigrant family, I was exposed from infancy to at least three cultures and languages.


Because I was bilingual in Polish and English, it was relatively easy for me to acquire a level of proficiency in Spanish and French by the time I was a teenager. This instilled in me not only a deep curiosity about and appreciation of diversity but also a keen awareness of social inequality. Thus, as a youth I began my lifelong quest to grasp the nuances of very different cultures found in their respective expressive traditions.

After completing my university studies in anthropology and music at University of New Mexico, I set out to experience the cultures I was reading about, traveling overland to India in 1976. My prior exposure to the music of the Indian subcontinent consisted of recordings of the Beatles and other pop musicians experimenting with Indian instruments for “exotic” sound-bytes and Ravi Shankar’s pioneering work in introducing Indian classical music to the west. I thought I would dabble in learning sitar.

But once I reached India and experienced the sound of sitar live for the first time in a touristy sitar shop in Benares, India – I was spellbound. It was an entire shift in consciousness, and I have not looked back since.

I have chosen the lifelong study of the complex and diverse music culture of the Indian subcontinent because I believe that understanding one culture in depth will facilitate understanding of and appreciation for other cultures. In my four decades plus of close association with the Indian subcontinent and its people and culture, I have acquired fluency in Bengali, and proficiency in Hindi as well as in spoken Urdu.

I seek to re-present the music and culture of South Asia, in which I have been immersed for more than half of my life, in a manner that is accessible to people of diverse backgrounds, generations, and abilities. I use my grounding in this music and culture as a foundation on which to lead students and community members in the exploration of the rich diversity of music and dance in the world, thus raising people’s awareness and, ultimately, their respect for different types of this ultimate human expression.

Through teaching music lessons and directing ensembles, I facilitate students of Hindustani music in the discovery of this art form’s formidable challenge, transformative quality, and joyous inspiration. I strive to motivate students and nurture their confidence and creativity by providing situations for them to interact musically, sometimes performing together in public contexts. My belief is that practicing this music and participating in its culture in diaspora will lead students from diverse backgrounds to improve their analytical, problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills, as well as broaden their global awareness and conception of sound and culture.

Thus, my role is that of a cultural mediator between music makers and performing artists of diverse communities, academia, and the public sector. In other words, I advocate for an interdisciplinary approach to the study and practice of musics around the world as an exercise in cultural connectedness.

Teaching & Outreach

With a lifelong passion for learning the nuances of different cultures, I have always been interested in sharing those nuances and promoting understanding between people of different backgrounds. I do this through my various performances, but also through teaching classes on Hindustani vocal and sitar, through community outreach programs, and also by visiting and giving lectures to schools and organizations throughout the world.

If you are interested in learning to play Sitar, sing in the Hindustani vocal tradition, or are interested in having me visit your organization to give a performance or workshop, please visit the pages below and then feel free to contact me.

Sangeet Millennium Music Academy

Dr. Amie Maciszewski, senior disciple of Ustad Aashish Khan and the late Padma
Vibhushan Girija Devi, with 35 years performing and teaching experience, offers
Hindustani music lessons to learners age 6.5 and up in Dallas, Austin, and online.
Private and small group (2-6 students) lessons are available as follows:

  • Sitar – all levels
  • Voice – beginner, intermediate
  • Esraj – beginner, intermediate
  • Hindustani musicianship on various instruments (No Indian music experience necessary, but intermediate skill level or higher required on your respective instrument is required.)

● Monthly session consists of 4 weekly lessons in the Dallas metroplex area
or online, on Zoom or comparable platform.
● Monthly or bimonthly weekend intensive (two 90-minute lessons) offered in
the Austin area. Lesson times arranged at the time of registration.
We also offer periodic workshops and master classes by distinguished visiting artists, as
well as performances and lecture-demonstrations by accomplished local artists and
esteemed touring artists. There will be one student recital per year, and/or selected
students will be offered the opportunity to perform at appropriate community events.
Lesson policies are as follows. Lessons last one hour for beginners; 1.25-1.5 hours
for more advanced students.

  • 2-month minimum commitment is strongly recommended.
  • 24-hour cancellation required; otherwise, no makeup for missed lesson.
  • Lesson fees payable in full at the time of registration.
  • Classes are generally taught at Amie’s home studio in south Dallas. Outcalls in

  • the DFW area are available for groups of two or more for an extra charge.
  • Weekly lessons are strongly recommended; bimonthly lessons are recommended for adults and intermediate level children and youth only.

I’d love to teach you and your family/friends!

For information about fees, and to register, please fill out the contact information sheet.