A systematic learning of Carnatic music under a competent teacher enables one to sing in a disciplined manner with adherence to the laid down rules with an understanding of the concept of Carnatic music Even a prodigious talent needs the guidance of a guru (teacher) to shape and polish his genius. There are various stages of learning Carnatic music, starting from the Swaravali (Sarali Varisai) which train and tune the voice and the mind. Purandaradasa developed a system of teaching Carnatic music, starting with Sarali Varisai in Mayamalavagowlai ragam and gradually built up till Gitam. This pattern is being followed even today. Purandaradasa was the trendsetter in developing a teaching methodology for Carnatic music and is hailed as the "Father of Carnatic music".
Depending on the range and quality of the voice, the pitch is selected. The pitch is called "sruti" in Carnatic music. Clean adherence to sruti is the mark of a good singer.