What are the different levels of learning Mridangam?
Mridangam has to be learnt right from the sitting position to holding it to the use of hands and fingers on it. Mridangam involves the adaptation to muscle memory by learning the application of limb, finger movement and wrist action, coordination and balance, effect of hard / soft touch, sensitivity to sounds and many more aspects which are divided into three levels of learning Standard, Intermediate and Advanced.
Distributed among the three levels, the skills of the player are enhanced to present him/her as an excellent performer.
Standard/Beginner level: It is the level which starts with the student being made well versed with the general characteristics of the instrument and how to play the basic taal. The player is ready enough to assist as a player in an ensemble at the end of this level.
Intermediate level: This takes the teaching a little further. The hand and finger movements become adept to fine taals in this level. The student is taught all fine niches involved in playing the instrument. The player can perform solo as he is affluent till now.
Advanced level: This is the last level which enhances the finer aspects of learning. The player can master all and every beat and taal by the end of this level and is capable enough to be recognized as an individual performer at high level.
If the player goes through all levels of learning, he/she can master any complex beat.