Basically a Tamillian, born in Tanjore and brought up in Varanasi, Kamala's musical journey started with the training in Vocal Music, initiated by her mother at the age of six under the guidance from Pt. Amarnath Misra of Banaras Gharana. Later on she picked up Indian Classical Style of Guitar at the age of twelve and blossomed to be a true artiste under the valuable guidance from Pt. Chhannoolal Misra (Varanasi), the renowned vocal maestro of Kiran Gharana and Pt. Bimalendu Mukherjee (Sitar maestro), a doyen of Imdadkhani Gharana in a Guru-Shishya Parampara style.
Dr. Kamala Shankar belongs to an elite and exclusive class of musicians who have Master in Science and Doctorate in Music from Bananas Hindu University, India. In spite of qualifying to study Dental Sciences, she chose music as it came to her naturally. She has attracted worldwide attention by successfully converting the Western Hawaiian Guitar into Shankar-Guitar which has overtones of classical Veena unlike its western cousin. Innovative design and shape by adding more strings and sympathetic strings to get the sustained, sliding notes common to the vocal style of Indian classical music. The instrument is now a hybrid of a classical Hawaiian guitar and a classical Indian sitar.