Studying the Tabla Learners

Dilip Mukherjee & Sanjoy Bandopadhyay

IML has been consistently studying the requirements of tabla students. Students come with diverse objectives and aptitudes. While recapitulating the thoughts of our revered Gurus, earlier thinkers and with our current studies we find that some tabla learners are naturally good for solo tabla performances when most others are good for accompaniments. We see three types of students, (1) those wish to become successful performers and wish to give public performances widely, (2) many are interested in understanding the subject to the core and may be called as Amateurs and (3) there are many hobbyists those learn and play tabla for fun.

When trying to design lessons plan, we thought it a good idea to split the qualifies in different groups of students.  Here are  some of what we thought:

Descriptions Type 1: Concert artists Type2: Amateur performer Type 3:
Tala High Moderate to High Low to
Virtuosity High Moderate Optional
Layakari Moderate to high Low to Moderate Optional
Speed Mastery over Low to high Mastery over Low to medium Optional
Dynamics Required Optional Optional
High clarity & emphasis Required Optional Optional
High impact performance Required Optional Optional

The specialized soloists should know and play traditional compositions with mastery. They must have good knowledge and performance expertise of the traditional compositions.