learn tabla

Do you have a daily meditation practice? What about a musical meditation practice? By learning tabla you can develop a daily practice that will help you to learn about yourself and learn about music at the same time.


Anita began her teaching career at the Toronto Tabla Ensemble studios over a decade ago in downtown Toronto and has continued to teach out of community centres in Markham and Scarborough as well as in her downtown Toronto studio. She has presented Introduction to Tabla workshops at Long and McQuade, Girls Rock Camp Toronto and Small World Music. In Sept 2017 – Dec 2017, Anita conducted weekly workshops for children at Malvern Library in Scarborough through Girls Rock Camp Toronto. She has developed a set curriculum and handbook for each of her courses. Anita has a limited number of tabla sets for sale and can also make suggestions on where to rent or buy tabla. For details on tabla workshops, classes and advanced classes read below. Email anita@rakkatak.com or call 416 827 7181 to register.

Some of the strokes students will learn include: “na, te te, ghe, ke, dha, thun, dhin, dhenegene”. Each participant will receive specialized attention to correctly position their hands as they learn tabla strokes. Students will be introduced to the tabla compositions: kayda, rela, tukra and chakradaar. Moreover, they will become familiar with the North Indian tala system through knowledge of its history, language, keeping theka (clapping patterns) and playing taal.

Note: Though tabla may be provided for class time, students must have their own drums. Anita can make suggestions on where to rent or buy tabla.


The next Introduction to Tabla course begins TBD. Register with the link below:

Prerequisite: Introduction to Tabla

Each student will build on their existing knowledge of tabla and be introduced to new tabla strokes and compositions such as: gaat, paran and chalan. Students will be introduced to new time cycles including ek taal, keherwa and jhap taal. A study of jhap taal (the time cycle of 10 beats) will begin with learning kayda, tukra and chakradaar compositions in this time cycle. Students will become comfortable playing with lehera, a cyclical melody representing the time cycle.

Prerequisite: Intermediate Tabla

The depth of North Indian tabla can be compared to an ocean as it takes many lifetimes to master. As a lifelong student to tabla and a student of Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Anita will share class material learnt from the legend himself. Compositions within the following time cycles may be covered: rupak taal, jhap taal, chartal ki sewari, mahesh taal, ada chau taal and teen taal. Anita may ask Pandit Swapanji for advice about each student’s progress in order to gently steer them in the right direction. Every day practice and daily meditation will be the primary goal of learning in this advanced class.

Did you know that everything we play we say? Within an introductory workshop, Anita covers concepts such as: the language of tabla, the history of Indian classical music, the construction of a set of tabla, the concept of taal (North Indian rhythmic system) as well as important tabla terminology and concepts. Each participant will get hands on experience playing tabla with drums provided in the workshop. In addition Anita will talk about the benefits of a daily practice.
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