Name: Viaan, pianist (distinction in grade one piano)
Name: Ravina, professional musician, piano teacher, teacher trainer and academic
Trinity qualification: Grade one piano
Ravina is a professional musician, piano teacher, teacher trainer and academic, who has taught many students over her 10 years of piano teaching. Viaan is an 9 year old pianist who, despite an initial lack in confidence, has recently achieved a distinction in grade one piano.
When we spoke to Ravina, who is currently working towards her Licentiate in Piano Performance and Instrumental Teaching with Trinity College London, she was keen to talk to us about one memorable student.
“Viaan was six or seven when he started learning the piano - I think his dad was trying to teach him through YouTube at first. When he first started taking classes with me, he would just cry so much! At one point, I didn’t know if I would be able to teach him or not.”
Viaan needed extra encouragement and support initially in overcoming his shyness, but slowly his confidence grew. Viaan’s parents told us why they were keen for Viaan to play the piano.
“We believe in the long-term benefits of inclusion of music in one’s life and are confident this will help Viaan.”
Ravina talked to us about how she helped Viaan overcome his initial lack of confidence.
“Eventually, his grandmother started to sit with him in the lessons and I showed her that he needed to just focus on practising holding a particular finger position on the keys at first.”
“She helped him do this at home and slowly, week after week, there was a whole transformation that happened with him. He started practicing alone and he started showing results.”
Viaan soon discovered that playing the piano was something he could share with his loved ones too.
“I feel happy playing the piano, especially with my friends & family in the same room listening to me. At times, my parents and Ravina mam have to push me to continue playing, however, I always enjoy once I start practicing.”
Before long, Ravina suggested Viaan start preparing for a Trinity graded exam. She tells us why she recommended a Trinity piano grade to Viaan and his parents.
“I like the stepwise way Trinity approaches composition. I think that really helped me personally to not be hesitant on the instrument.
It was the inclusion of a piece by a winner of our International Young Composers’ Competition that really interested Viaan.
“In this current syllabus, you have this, you have this composer who's nine years old, I believe? I noticed he was born in 2011 and I told Viaan he’s the same age as you are right now!”
“He got really inspired to do a piece by someone who is of the same age. That’s why I say Trinity played a big part in his learning because it’s inspiring to see such a young composer’s music out there. Now he says I want to learn composing – I want to make a piece for myself, and I will show it to my parents.
Viaan’s parents shared their reasons for entering Viaan for grade 1.
“We waited for the initial 1-1.5 years for Viaan to experience the Piano and play as he liked under guidance from Ravina. Once we felt he had developed at least an initial interest, we decided to enroll him for this structured assessment. Looking at his progress in the recent past, we believe we made the right decision.”
Viaan told us how he felt on the day of the exam.
“This was my 1st exam, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I remember playing a number of songs and exercises. A few of my favorites were ‘Viking Village’ & ‘Stealth Mode’.”
Viaan achieved an impressive 95 out of 100 in his grade 1 Piano exam and is already thinking about his next steps - only a few months after he passed grade one! Viaan tells us:
“Looking at my result, I now feel very happy and hope to learn more! I am currently preparing for my Grade 2 and hope to score well.”
On the challenges of the new grade, Viaan told us.
“I have learnt new concepts on ‘Accidentals’ & ‘Music Math’ as part of Grade 2. My favorite piece from this Grade is ‘Nuff Said’. It feels nice to continue playing!”
“Looking at my result, I now feel very happy and hope to learn more!”