Guest music teacher brings sitar music to TAMIU


Musicians and music lovers passionate about the Beatles and ’60s music can find a like-minded mentor in Dr. Emily Vanchella, visiting music professor and fellow of the College of Arts and Sciences at Texas A&M International University.

For Vanchella, the opportunity to impart knowledge and appreciation of American music from the 1960s was a source of great joy. This Spring 2022, students can register to take its American Popular Music course and learn about the different styles of popular music in America, ranging from pop, rock, jazz, folk, ragtime and more. again.

“I’m so excited to teach here at TAMIU and share the music and how much I love it, especially American popular music and even more so, in particular, the music of the 60s… this is the music that is closest to my own heart, ”said Vanchella.

The American Popular Music course is designed primarily for non-musical majors and also fulfills the visual and performing arts requirements found in the university’s core curriculum.

Vanchella, an active performer on the sitar, first heard the instrument on the popular Beatles song Norwegian Wood. Since then, his appreciation and interest in the instrument has only flourished.

“Once I started learning to play the sitar, the music theory and the importance of the instrument in Hinduism and Indian spirituality also added a whole new level of appreciation to me,” said Dr. Vanchella.

For those devotees of American music who may not be familiar with non-Western music, Vanchella has a few tips.

“Take what your ears know about western music and put it aside for a second, and see if you can approach music on its own terms,” Vanchella said.

Vanchella obtained a doctorate. and a Master of Arts in Music Theory from the University of California – Santa Barbara, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Agnes Scott College. His research interests include the application of subject theory to classic British and American rock in the 1960s and early 1970s.

She is also interested in storytelling and music in animated media, with projects featured on Disney’s Fantasia and Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Enjoy a recent chat with Dr. Vanchella at or listen to a recent sitar performance at

Registrations for TAMIU’s spring semester 2022 are underway. Classes start on Tuesday January 18, 2022. Late registrations end on Monday January 24, 2022.

For more information, contact the university’s registrar’s office at 956.326.2250, email [email protected], or visit the offices of the University Success Center, suite 121.

To learn more about TAMIU’s registration processes, visit the dedicated registration center at

The University’s offices close for vacation on Friday December 24, 2021 and reopen on Monday January 3, 2021.

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