Churchville says he has accepted that he can never be a "true" Indian tabla player. But he believes the confidence he gained from his studies has made him a good all-around player. "Indian music, and more specifically tabla drumming, is so vast and can be adapted in so many ways that I do not worry about what I'm unable to do," he says. He was honored when, after playing for an Indian audience of about 300 at a U-M event, he was approached by an elderly woman who said, "Thank you for dedicating yourself to learning our culture so well."
This article has been edited since it appeared in the August 2012 Ann Arbor Observer. Jody Churchville's first name has been corrected, and some personal information has been removed.
[Originally published in August, 2012.]