For singer and music composer Shankar Mahadevan, singing has always been his first passion and says people can count on him to sing till his last breath.

"I will be singing till my last breath. Probably people would ask who is this old man singing, turn it off. But, I will keep on singing," Mahadevan said at a concert held here recently.

The event was organised by VIDYA, a not for profit organisation with support of the Shankar Mahadevan Academy – an online music teaching portal.

The 48-year-old singer also interacted with students budding musicians and described how a successful engineer like himself faced challenges to become a world-renowned musician.

"My basic grammar is in Indian classical music, Carnatic music and Hindustani music, but I don’t believe that that is the only form of music I will learn, I don’t believe in that, because I am a very open minded person" said the ‘Taare Zameen Pe’ fame singer adding he derived a lot of inspiration from the genres like Jaaz, Pop and even folk music.

Talking about the music academy he has been running for the past four years, Mahadevan said, "Begun in March 2011, the academy offers online music courses that enable students across the world to learn from the comfort of their homes.

The academy he said has a presence in 47 countries and has conducted over 36,000 virtual classes so far. The total student strength is over 5,000 across online, school and corporate and affiliated categories.

"We are teaching in 47 countries, Indian music, whether it’s classical music, semi classical, bhajans, film music, all together, plus we are associated with 25 schools all over the country. You can log on an attend a class," the star who performs in more than half dozen languages said.

Meanwhile, Mahadevan is debuting as an actor in Marathi film ‘Katyar Kaljat Ghusali’ directed by debutante Subodh Bhave and based on a famous Marathi play which tells the story of the tussle between two classical gharanas of music one led by Pandit Bhanu Shankar (Mahadevan) and the other by Khansaheb (Sachin Pilgaonkar).