Student Reflections

Until I met Guru ji, I really did not know what it meant to have a Guru, much less to be a disciple. Musically, the years I have been around Guru ji, have been truly enriching and rewarding. Many times I have had the opportunity to sit by his side and watch him first-hand as he conducted classes. It is a joy to watch, but more so to be a part of these classes. I can say that being with Guru ji truly is an active learning experience as he is always teaching. Guru ji, Pandit Shantilal Shah, is by far the best teacher I have ever had. I am very fortunate to have met Guru ji, and to have the opportunity to learn this great art of Tabla.”



I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to learn tabla from an amazing artist who has many years of experience and true knowledge about our Indian classical music. Guruji is very energetic and passionate when it comes to teaching Tabla. I cannot thank him enough for being very patient with me and encouraging to bring the best out of me. My relationship with Guruji doesn’t just end with tabla. He is a very good friend and a good mentor outside of classroom. Conversations with Guruji are always insightful.



While it’s only been two years since I met Guru ji, he’s quickly become not only a teacher but a friend and fatherly figure to me. Guru ji has introduced and guided me through the early stages of learning tabla and has imparted his knowledge and appreciation for music through his enthusiasm and passion for this beautiful form of art. Even outside of class, Guru ji has taken the time to get to know me and he’s helped Houston become a home away from home.



Unmatchable performer, loving friend, persistent goal-getter, ever-dedicated and a passionate Guru are only a few aspects of Guruji and he is truly one of a kind. Guruji is the best teacher I have ever had in my life. In class, Guruji is a great mentor. Outside class, he is a kind, loving friend. For every small concert, Guruji makes sure that we perform our utmost best. Guruji gives us life lessons every class. It is truly a great blessing to have him with us.



It’s a privilege and an experience to learn the musical instrument Tabla under Guru-Shishya tradition. I am fortunate to have found my Guruji in the true sense of simplicity, sincerity and devotion.



I believe it is Guruji’s thorough understanding of the link between art and music that really speaks to his students, myself included. His teaching of music revolves around the ability to work sincerely, yet being immersed in the moment, an aspect that correlates into life. His guidance throughout grade school has shown me how to be the best possible person that I can be, a place that I continue to strive toward.



I am very lucky to be Guruji’s disciple, as well as his son. There are lots of opportunities to learn by just watching him interact with people. He always teaches us in detail, which helps us to attain perfection and precision. Baba teaches me life through the medium of tabla. He also gives examples from his experiences that help me understand the situation better.



Guruji does not only teach us about tabla, but he also teaches us about life. Guruji shows us how the skills we learn can be applied to things other than tabla. Through Guruji’s teaching I have improved in all aspects of my life.



Guruji’s dedication to Tabla and teaching has taught me how to be passionate and focused. By watching the way Guruji treats his Students, Family and his own Guruji, I have learned about love and respect.  I am blessed to have Guruji and his family in my life.



Guruji advocates hard work and dedication in all his students and will not take anything but the best. He has focused on the quality of tabla, thus bringing the best out of all of us. Not only does Guruji make us understand the music, he makes us feel it. Guruji really epitomizes music as an art.



My past 10 years with Guruji can be summarized with five words: what a blast it’s been! Guruji is truly a unique person and a great inspiration for all. His spirit, energy and devotion has not only taught us a beautiful instrument and culture, but also lessons in life. He’s always wanted the best for us and has always given us his support. With his jovial beat, attention to detail and wish for our success, Tabla class is always an atmosphere of knowledge, laughter and music, that I will never forget. Thank you very much!