This past semester, Professor Ted Levin and I taught the "Music and Dance of North India" course at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Students of any discipline had the opportunity to explore North Indian Classical Music by learning how to play Tabla and by meeting and playing with a variety of guest artists. Here are a few highlights:
Learning Tabla - During regular weekly classes students learned the basics of playing Tabla, as well as a variety of Indian rhythm cycles, Tabla compositions, accompaniment styles, and rhythmic concepts
Residency of Sandeep Das & the HUM Ensemble - Over the course of a week, students attended the HUM ensemble's performance at the Hopkins Center and got to attend several masterclasses taught by ensemble members. Students got to play their Tabla live with Sitar, Rabab, and Kathak dance, learned a few ragas, and danced a few Kathak dance compositions.
Masterclass on North Indian Classical vocal music - students learned about a form of singing called thumri and khyal, accompanied live vocal music on their Tabla, and learned how to sing a few lines of a thumri
Masterclass on Odissi Dance - students learned about Odissi, a Classical dance form that originated in the temples of Odissi in India. They also learned a few elements of the dance and about the music that accompanies it.
Final Projects - students took elements and concepts they learned from the class and incorporated them into a variety of unique projects. These ranged from musical performances to a web program and academic papers.