Children's classes are offered from ages 5-15, from complete beginner up through advanced. Classes are held in different neighborhoods including Bellevue, Bothell, Redmond, and Sammamish. Students are allowed to attend more than one class per week, if their schedules permit, for no extra charge.
Five is generally a safe age to start, however some children are better off starting at six or seven years of age. Consider whether or not your child can sit and remain engaged in a class for an hour. Likewise, some teens may be more suited to joining an adult's class. As such, the 5-15 age range is a guide but not a firm rule.
The Poetry on Drums Curriculum
Poetry on Drums offers a five-level training program starting from as young as five years old. Each level is intended to be completed over the course of one school year. To proceed from one level to the next, each student must pass a written test and present a Tabla solo which demonstrates proficiency in the level they're studying. Students with prior Tabla education can get tested to determine the POD level suitable to their further development. Graduating students are invited to perform at the annual student recital in June.
How it Works:
Each level is built around a course packet, provided for each student in PDF format. Each PDF starts with a set of music theory lessons to help students and parents understand the goals for music comprehension, along with a set of achievement goals required for each student to accomplish by the time they complete the level. After this comes about twenty pages of material to be learned during the course of the year. The POD curriculum is clear, organized, and easy to follow for both students and parents with no musical background. In addition to the basic training students receive, some levels also include special listening and writing projects. These projects motivate students to learn about different aspects of Indian music and how their training relates to it.
Overall, the POD curriculum is much more thorough and rigorous than any other course curriculum I've seen yet for Tabla education.
Current Weekly and Yearly Schedules
The POD calendar is divided into Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer quarters. The Fall, Winter and Spring quarters average 12 sessions each. The summer quarter is shorter and includes summer camps for more advanced students, while weekly classes are still offered when possible for adults and beginners.
The 2017-18 weekly and yearly schedules are currently being worked on, and will be posted shortly.