Last week the music teacher at Khalsa Montessori School asked me to bring some instruments and sing for the preschool and early elementary classes. 150 children from six classrooms got introduced to taus, tanpura, and pakhawaj, sang sa re ga ma pa da ni, and clapped along while they counted the taal. These children are typically American, come from diverse backgrounds, and most have not previously heard Indian music. But they loved this music and on Friday I received a bundle of thank you cards made by the children. Here are some of their comments and illustrations:

“I really loved the taus because I liked the sound that it made and that it is shaped like a peacock.”

“It is very cool to see new instruments you never seen before.”

“Thank you for doing that amazing show. The instruments were verrrrry COOL!”

“I loved the music you played for us. It was so peaceful and nice and the instruments were very cool.”

“I like the sa re ga ma pa da ni sa.”

“I wish I can come to India.”

“That was awesome!”

“That was totally, really, super-duper and flabbergastingly awesome! I really enjoyed it. Thanks a septillion.”

“When I grow up I want to do what you did.”

“It was a mystery to me how the sound came to me if there was no hole in the tanpura.”

“Thank you for showing us the way how they say the notes in India.”
“The music almost made me cry.”

“It was really interesting how you put dough on the other end of the pakhawaj.”
“It made me very happy”

If you ever wonder if this ancient music is still relevant, just ask the children! If you ever wonder if it is important to make sure this music is remembered, just ask the children!