Annie Penta

Primary Discipline: Music

Areas of Specialty: Tabla hand drumming, North Indian classical Dhrupad vocal

Additional Disciplines/Specialties: Dance, Theatre, Accompanying Kathak Dance of North India and telling stories of India

Based in: Shoreline

Phone: 206.367.3944



Annie Penta has been involved with music since childhood. An introduction to North Indian Music led her to study tabla drumming with Mahapurush Misra and Shankar Ghosh and vocal music with Ali Akbar Khan. She also completed a two-year residency with the Younger Dagar Brothers in Delhi, India, studying Dhrupad vocal music. Penta moved to Seattle to continue her studies with Z.M.Dagar, Visiting Artist at the University of Washington. She has sung Dhrupad Vocal Music with Shantha Benegal for thirty years and played tabla accompaniment with the Leela Kathak Dancers since 1995. Since 1985 she has been sharing her talents and knowledge with students in a variety of schools and settings.

Artist Statement

I believe that an appreciation of art will open students’ eyes to the world around them. I strive to broaden students’ perspectives by introducing the culture of North India through tabla drumming. When I teach about the tabla, students improvise in the theme and variation kaida form, keeping rhythm with traditional clapping patterns. Their active participation reinforces the musical concepts. I also incorporate a visual arts component into my teaching. Using images and objects not only enriches the curriculum, it also offers a point of access to visual learners. In addition, I tell traditional stories from India. The stories are intriguing and humorous and they teach about different ways of thinking. The stories can be used to develop a performance, supplementing the scenes with music, dance and visual art projects. Integrating various art forms in this way reinforces learning. I feel that I have something special to teach and I am touched when I see wonder in the students’ eyes. 


Suitable for Grades: K-12

Preferred Grades: K-12

Curriculum Integration Possibilities: Literacy, Reading, Writing, Math, Science, History, Social Studies, Technology, Other Arts Disciplines

Additional Interests/Experience:

  • Leading Professional Development workshops for K-12 Teachers
  • Working with students with special needs / disabilities
  • Working with students who are English Language Learners

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