Shakuntala had a flair for singing even when she was of the tender age of 4 years. Elders in the family recognised that trait and as a consequence she started learning music when she was 8 years of age. While in the school she participated in singing competitions and bagged prizes every year. She was always a past of every activity related to music and drama.
In the Commerce College which she joined after S.S.C Examination she became popular as a singer, writer, actor and sportsperson. She rendered songs in various functions, acted in plays and skits., wrote poems and articles for magazines and participated in sports like volleyball, badminton, kabaddi and kho-kho. She participated in inter-college and inter-State as well as national games. This all round interest and activity brought to her the “Best all round student of the year Prize” in the college twice.
After the graduation, Shakuntala wanted to master any one of the arts. Music, any way, was her first love. Besides she was gifted with such a rich voice. It was, therefore, quite natural that experts in music as well as her well wishers suggested that she should go ahead to make career in vocal music. This suited her desire and aptitude very well as she had started learning music early in life. After graduation she pursued it seriously; purchased a ‘tanpura’ from the money she had collected through prizes won in the college and set on her course in the right earnest.
Books on music written by Shakuntala Bharne:-
'SWARANAND' published in 1995, was Shakuntala’s fresh book on music. This book describes in detail various forms of Indian classical music, peculiarities of Ragas, their significance and importance and the evolution of this music through the centuries. The book also has a chapter on Goan folk music, its uniqueness and the need to preserve it for posterity.
'NAD BRAHMA', her second book, was published in 2007. In this book Shakuntala has dealt with some difficult and intricate aspects of Indian classical music. The contents of the book bear out her study of the theoretical as well as practical aspects of our musical heritage. This book received two awards, one from Goa Konkani Akademi and the other from Konkani Bhasha Mandal, Goa.
Towards the end of 1988 Shakuntala took a bold and ambitious step. She joined Padma Vibhushan Dr. Gangubai Hangal, renouned exponent od Kirana Gharana style. Dr. Gangabai Hangal was a strict Guru. If was, therefore, imperative for Shankuntala to give up other activities and to concentrate on her training as a classical vocal singer. The training was rigorous and she had to cope up with all kinds of hardships and spend long spells of time in order to seek perfection in every note of the ‘Abhijat Gayaki’ of Kirana Gharana.
The training at the feet of that revered Guru, Dr. Gangubai Hangal at Dharwad Karnataka, lasted for about 4 years and then Shakuntala Bharne returned to Goa. In May 1991 she joined All India Radio as an announcer at the Panaji Kendra. This job helped her in two ways. On one hand it gave her economic security and independence to persue her love for music; on the other hand it gave to her access to recordings of many classical singers which offered a wide variety of styles of Hirabai Badodekar and Manik Varma which helped her to add effectively to what she had learnt from the Kirana Gharana style of Dr. Gangubai Hangal, whole working for AIR Shakuntala has continued with her training in classical vocal music. The renowned stage artiste and singer Prasad Sawkar and Shalini Sawkar, the couple that has dedicated itself to music, has helped Shakuntala with their training to polish her skills. At present, she receives guidance from Pandit Dinkar Panshikar as she believes that an artiste has to be a life long student.