The Melbourne Tabla School is the centre of tabla training in Melbourne with three venues that cover the centre, north and east of Melbourne. Founded in 2007, the school offers individual, group and online lessons, hosts visiting artists, presents concerts, workshops and retreats and has established a pathway for students to study tabla at V.C.E. and University level in Australia. The Melbourne Tabla School is an inclusive organisation with students from a wide range of backgrounds ranging from children to adults, beginners to advanced, professional players to enthusiasts.
In addition to tabla lessons, the school presents regular student concerts. Students who wish to take part perform in small groups with sitar accompaniment. The regular concerts assist in motivating students to master the music they are learning and to begin performing in a supportive environment.
Workshops and Retreats
Regular workshops are run by the Melbourne Tabla School. The workshops focus on the application of the skills learnt during the lessons in the variety of musical settings in which tabla players today perform, such as instrumental accompaniment, vocal accompaniment, devotional music, contemporary music and dance.
In assisting the students' understanding and experience of Indian music, the school regularly hosts guest international artists. The school has hosted professional international artists such as Pandit Debasis Chakroborty, Samuel Dass and Sangeet Mishra.
Education Pathways in Australia
The Melbourne Tabla School has created a curriculum and recital repertoire for the tabla for V.C.E. exams. This means that students may now sit their final high school exams on the tabla, with their grades contributing to their university entrance scores (T.E.R.). It is currently the only Indian instrument to be accepted at this level of formal education in Australia.
Dr. Sam Evans
Sam Evans is a contemporary Australian musician and tabla player who works as performer, composer and educator in Melbourne. Following many years of training and research in India with Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, he has dedicated his career to integrating the culture, music and instruments of India in Australia. He is a regular international performer of both traditional Indian music and contemporary world music. He composes music for film and documentaries, is the founding director of the Melbourne Tabla School and is the only Australian to hold a PhD in tabla.
Rithvik Chand teaches beginner students at Melbourne Tabla School. He began his tabla training with Ashok Chavali and later progressed to lessons with Dr Sam Evans at the Melbourne Tabla School. He completed his VCE exams in tabla and become the first person to gain a perfect score in a non-Western instrument, topping the state of Victoria. He is currently planning a trip to India to study tabla with Pandit Anindo Chatterjee.
Dr. Sarita McHarg
Sarita provides accompaniment classes and workshops at the Melbourne Tabla School. An All India Radio artist, Sarita has performed on sitar and surbahar, and as vocalist both in India and abroad, and she enjoys the benefit of vast musical experience with Western and Indian musicians. She is an international performer, author of books on Indian music and holds a PhD in sitar.
Partners in India
Pandit Debasis Chakroborty
Many students of the Melbourne Tabla School spend some time during their studies learning in India. Pandit Debasis Chakroborty has performed and taught at the Melbourne Tabla School many times and also provides training in India for Melbourne Tabla School students. Panditji is an ‘A grade artiste’ of Broadcasting Corporation of India (All India Radio & Television) in both Hindustani Classical and light music. He is an ICCR empanelled artiste under the Ministry of external affairs, Govt. of India and lecturer in Indian music at the Mangalayatan University, Aligarh.
Sri Shubajit Brahmachari
Many students studying with Sam have spent some time during their studies learning tabla in India. The Melbourne Tabla School has a partnership with Shubajit Brahmachari in Kolkata India were regular students can go and spend some time studying in a traditional environment in India. Sam and Subhajit have both learnt tabla in the same lineage. They both began their tabla studies with Debasis Brahmachari and later became disciples of the great Pandit Anindo Chatterjee. Subhajit Brahmachari is in high demand as a soloist and an accompanist of vocal, instrumental, and kathak dance in Kolkata.