One of Komitas’ most important areas of activity was teaching. “He was calm, friendly, and full of inspiration. In his smiling eyes one could notice melancholy; clear intonation and pleasant voice did not hide his inner energy. Komitas was “sick” with folk music. When he taught, he sang, and in his folk music one could perceive shades, rhythm, and color.” This is what the Armenian writer Derenik Demirchyan recalled about him.
According to the witness of musicologist Vasiliy Korganov, thanks to Komitas “at the seminary the class on the music theory became more popular than in many other conservatories and music colleges”. The composer wrote a number of textbooks for the students: “Elementary music theory”, “Armenian note-writing”, “Harmony”.
For decades Komitas dreamt of creating a national conservatory, however he never implemented his intention. Komitas had 10 commandments for the singers. The composer treated teaching with great responsibility, saying, “Treat education with much care, you have a very delicate position. You are called to educate the generation that will be our nation in the future. Following the wrong paths you may ruin the nation.”

One of the most worthy performers of Armenian folk songs is Armenak Shakhmuradian. We have only a few of his performances, but these are enough to appreciate one of the best expressions of the school of Komitas in its broad sense.
The singer was born in 1878 in an Armenian town Moosh, in the family of a blacksmith Srgo (Sargis). At the age of 8 his singing skills were revealed so vividly that he was admitted to a church choir. From there he is sent to a famous Gevorgian college in Echmiadzin. Here Armenak becomes the soloist of the choir of the well-known Armenian composer Christopher Kara-Murza. There the singer met Komitas. Komitas studied and wrote down male singing in the original and clear performance of Armenak, and Armenak, in his turn, perfected his vocal skills under the supervision of Komitas. Armenak studied with Avetik Isahakian, Grigor Syuni, Derenik Demirchyan, figures that later became the outstanding representatives of Armenian literature.
At the age of 16 Armenak left Echmiadzin and went to Tiflis. Here he was shaped as a classical singer. Having become a permanent visitor of the opera theater, he joins the pearls of western classic. Armenak could not stay away from political events that took place in Western Armenia. Together with many “rebels” he was soon taken to jail and handed over to Turkish authorities. Armenak managed to survived only due to his singing: the rumors about the wonderful voice of the singer reached the Turkish ambassador Faud-Bel who, having heard him sing, set him free. Armenak secretly left the Turkish borders and settled in Paris. Here he enters the “Singing School” of Vensan D’Andy. And here fame awaited him – he became a student of the great Polina Viardo, who opened many Paris stages for him. In Paris he participated in the best opera productions, as well as in contests of vocalists, producing delight and highest appraisals of the audience and the press.
Armenak Shakhmuradian was named the “Armenian Caruso” in Paris.
All these years Komitas watched the achievements of his student. Armenak, being the soloist of the “Grand-Opera”, became the permanent participant and highlight of the program of all cultural activities, organized by Komitas. Komitas himself accompanied to his student.
Continuing the career of the dazzling tenor, Armenak tours all around the world subduing all the best stages. His voice sounded in Boston, San Francisco, Fresno, Detroit, New York, Manchester, London, Geneva, Zurich, Brussels, Antwerp, Baghdad, Teheran, Calcutta, and others. In 1930 Armenak, inspired with fame, returned to Paris where he found his teacher in a psychiatric hospital. Alas, stricken with illness, Komitas did not recognize his student, which was a great shock for Shakhmuradian. The inglorious death of the great Komitas became the second shock, and it finally struck the singer. By the will of fate, in 1939 Armenak Shakhmuradian passed away as a result of the same illness and in the same hospital.

Spiridon Melikian (1881-1933) was one of the first students of Komitas at Gevorkian seminary in Etchmiadzin. During his academic years he made his first attempts on scientific research under the leadership of Komitas. His graduation composition was dedicated to the investigation of the system of the Armenian pronunciation signs. At the same time he was Komitas’ helper in the choir. Upon completion of the seminary S.Melikian left for Berlin. There, in 1904-1908, he took classes with the same professors that had taught Komitas. Having rejected the holy order to which he had been ordained in Etchmiadzin, he changed the course of his activities. Now he devoted himself to teaching, musicology, and musical society. He continued the traditions of Ekmalian at Nersisian college and once again raised the level of the choir. Simultaneously he was one of the founders and active members of the Armenian choir society and the Armenian musical commonwealth in Tiflis.
The fruits of S.Melikian’s musicology works are the brochure “The Problem of the Development of our Music” (1909), “Greek influences on the theory of the Armenian music” (1914), “Textbook on Singing” (1912), the “Songs of Shirak” collection (1917). The first edition was dedicated to the problem of the development of the teaching of music in schools and the organization of a philharmonic society with the aim to promote the national musical culture. The next investigation was dedicated to the Armenian musical khazzes and pronunciation khazzes. The collection called “The Songs of Shirak” is the outcome of the musical ethnographic expedition organized by the Armenian musical society in Tiflis in 1914. These are samples of folk songs and dances, as well as “ashugh” improvisations, which have a perpetual historical significance and have repeatedly served as a theme source for Armenian composers.

One of Komitas’ best students is also Vahan Ter-Arakelian, an unwavering soloist of all the concerts of Komitas. Just like Shakhmuradian, Vahan enters the seminary of Gevorgian in Echmiadzin in 1901. Very soon he becomes one of the best students and soloists in Komitas’ choir. With his help Komitas got acquainted and recorded the songs of Vaik, where Vahan was born.
In 1909 Vahan enters the Petersburg Conservatory, simultaneously taking an officer course, which gave him the title of a junior officer. He participated in the World War I, where having demonstrated audacity and bravery, was rewarded with the order of St. Anna, St. Georgiy, St. Vladimir and St. Stanislav, and with numerous awards and fighting sabers. Vahan Ter-Arakelian lived in Tbilisi from 1921 and worked in editor's office “Martakoch” and “Proletariy”. According to the testimonies of the contemporaries, his prose was as fine as the works of outstanding Armenian writers, such as Stepan Zorian, Derenik Demirchyan, Nairi Zarian.
Vahan Ter-Arakelian also obtained the fame of a translator. Thanks to him, Armenian readers gained access to many remarkable samples of modern world literature: Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”, Boris Gorbatyi’s “The Cell”, Bruno Yanesku’s “I am burning Paris”, and others.
Here is Ruben Zarian’s appraisal of his translation skills: “A Yerevan reader should remember the name of Vahan Ter-Arakelian as a translator of “Adventures of the brave soldier Shveika” and “Anna Karenina”. He was a poet-translator.
Along with all this Vahan continued to perform at the concerts of Komitas.
In 1935 everybody was shocked by the tragic death of Komitas, and a year later Vahan Ter-Arakelian was arrested and exiled to the camp in Komi ASSR, where he died in 1941.
His relatives were only able to take his ashes to his motherland, where he was buried on the Central cemetery of Yerevan.

Mihran Toumachian (1890-1973) was born in Kyurin, Sebastia. In 1910 he moved to Constantinople where he obtained law education. He became the soloist of “Gusan” choir. After the war he published a number of collections of “Ay Gusan”. In 1923 he left for the USA and organized choirs and concerts. For 40 years he traveled around the towns where the genocide survivors lived. Toumachian’s collections are considered to be the most renowned ones, after the collections of Komitas and Spiridon Melikian.
In 1964 he settled on the Motherland, where he published a series called “The native song and word”. He passed away in 1973 in Yerevan.

Barsegh Kanachian (1888-1967) was the oldest one of Komitas’ students. He was born in Rodosto. In 1896 his family moved to Varna, Bulgaria. He learned to play the violin at a local Armenian school, and then at Jorge Pyuk college in Bucharest. In 1908 he traveled to Constantinople and organized two orchestras: “Knar” and “Masis”. In 1910, inspired by a concert of Komitas, he started singing in his choir “Gusan”. When they organized “The Art of Harmonization” study group of sixteen people, he became one of the auditors of the group. Their classes kept functioning up until World War I. At the end of the war, in Tigranakert, Kanachian organized his own Armenian choir and gave charity concerts to aid the refugees. Upon his return to Constantinople he found Komitas’ students with whom he organized a group “Five students of Komitas”. Their main task was the propaganda of the creative work of their great teacher. They gave concerts, published three collections “Armenian gusan songs”, gather choirs and orchestras, and educate the growing generation.
In 1920 Kanachian leaves for Paris with his friends. There he took courses of Rene Le Norman. In the following 7 years he continued to work at Melkonian institution on the Cyprus. Afterwards, he returned to Beirut and organized tours to Damask, Tripoli, Latakia, Alexandria, Aleppo, and others.
Kanachian is the author of well-known solo and chorus songs with the lyrics of Armenian poets: “Oror” – lyrics of R.Patkanian, “Ureni” – lyrics of H.Tumanian, “Tsov acher” – lyrics of Av.Issahakian, “Tsaigerk” – lyrics of Kuchak, etc. One of his grand works is the three act opera “Abega” (“Priest”) based on Levon Shant’s play “Old gods”; there are also arias, choirs and orchestral fragments inspired by M.Zarifian’s poem “Insane”.
He organized the choir “Gusan” in Beirut and was an advocate of Komitas’ compositions for a decade and a half.
In 1950 he had to stop his creative work because of the eye illness. As a composer he based his compositions on the folk music.

Vagharshak Srvandztian (1891-1958) – was the nephew of an outstanding ethnographer Garegin Srvandztian. He was born in Tavriz. During Amid’s repression years he was cast out to Bursa where he attended Frerner’s college. At the age of nine he played the flute in a student wind orchestra. In 1910 he left for Constantinople and took Komitas’ classes. In 1920 he left for Paris with his friends to continue education, and later settles in the USA, in the town of Fresno. Following the example of his teacher he indulges in ethnography and composition. Some of his songs and romances published in Paris and other places have been preserved. Towards the end of his life he wrote his best work – “The Armenian Symphony”. He passed away in Fresno.

Vardan Sarkisian (1892-1978) was born in Constantinople in the family of a local famed musician Sargis. He received his elementary education at Perperian college. He worked as teacher of music and leader of a chorus. After World War I he organized the “Armenian Musical Society” (AMS). He staged Tumanyan’s poem “Anush”. In 1920 he left for Paris with his friends. After his graduation he became the leader of the Armenian Church chorus. Later he organized an Armenian musical society and a choir in Belgium. He studied at the Brussels queen’s conservatory and graduated with honors. In 1931 he organized another AMS in Marseilles. There he gave concerts devoted to the compositions of Komitas, as well as his own. In 1947 he settled down in Paris and becomes the leader of a combined choir “Span-Komitas” (after Gurgen Alemshah). He treated numerous Armenian folk songs, as well as songs written on the lyrics of Armenian poets. One of his most significant works is “Holy Singing of the Armenian Church” (500 pages). Vardan Sarkisian’s role is exceptional for the various collections and publications of Komitas’ work. He was the one who added and systematized Komitas' “Patarag”.

Haik Semerdjian takes an inconspicuous place among Komitas’ other students. Unfortunately, his life years are not known. Haik used to be famous for being a solo singer endowed with a sweet voice. Sadly, during the war he lost both his voice and his hearing and left the musical arena. He was, perhaps, the only one of Komitas’ successors who was destined to discontinue his work.