The santour, a traditional Persian instrument, is a three-octave wooden hammer dulcimer. To learn the classical Persian repertoire of the santour, musicians study the radif, a collection of musical pieces organized into twelve modal systems and played in a specific order. As a teaching model, the radif permits the student to learn the repertory of melodic types, technique, classical style, aesthetic principles, and rules of composition and improvisation. Master musician Mahshid Mrizadeh began her studies at age ten at the Tehran Music Conservatory and studied with the Grand Master Framarz Payevan, among others.
In 2003, Mahshid was a master artist in ACTA's Apprenticeship Program with apprentice Samira Sahebi. Samira used this opportunity to improve her technique and increase her knowledge of the traditional repertoire.