Location: Bangalore, India
Trinity qualification: Classical and Jazz (Drums)
Vivaan’s parents, Vijayavani and Pawan noticed his budding musical talents from an early age. Vijayavani told us about those first steps.
“Probably when he was two and a half years old or something, he would just pick up these empty boxes of different sizes in the house and start making noises with them. It was not just random noises - it had rhythmic patterns to it.”
Vijayavani and her sister Vijayamba, who have been trained in Karnatic Classical Music since childhood, felt that it was important to encourage Vivaan to explore his musical instincts, so they arranged for him to start attending Dhuniscian School of Music, which is near where they live in Bangalore.
“We just wanted him to be in a learning environment. We thought if he's genuinely interested, maybe he will pick it up. After a month, his teacher Mr John came back saying he's doing very well and insisted that we go ahead and buy a junior drum kit.”
Keen for him to explore the drums at his own pace, Vivaan’s family were impressed with how quickly his interest grew and his skills developed.
“There’s a lot of improvement - a difference in the way he holds his sticks, his posture. Right now, he understands dynamics, which is difficult even for us to figure out. He understands the terminology like mezzo forte, mesopic, piano and all these terms!”
“He notices any rhythms around him - he explains the pattern and how it flows and he makes those beats, like air drumming or with his voice.”
Vijayamba and Vijayavani told us what they thought about the way specific techniques and rudiments are introduced in Trinity’s Drum Kit & Percussion syllabus.
“I think the way Trinity syllabus is structured helps anybody to take a one-step-at-a-time kind of an approach. The initial grade introduces a few concepts like single paradiddles, and now he is doing his first grade, he's doing double paradiddles."
Vivaan’s family and teachers wondered if he might be a little too young to show an interest in rudiments but were surprised again!
“He picked up those symbols. He would write them on a blackboard. And he used to explain to us like, Mama - this is a snare, this is base drum and all these things.”
“He was prepared for the exam after almost 8 months at the school, but we did not want to put him under pressure, and we gave him an additional two to three months - that's when his teacher told us he should get enrolled.”
We asked Vijayavani what they remember about the Vivaan’s exam experience.
“He understood that he was going to take an exam and was prepared. His teacher told us that he truly enjoyed the process. It was just a single take! So yeah, his teacher was so proud of him that day.”
Vijayamba talked about the differences they noticed in Vivaan’s confidence.
“Overall, his attitude towards people and his social skills have improved a lot. I have seen him grow in confidence.”
"At a local festival, he was right there in between the people playing. He did not fear, and he played along. He has even performed at one or two events at his school on stage.”
Vijayavani told us about Vivaan’s next step with the Drum Kit and confirmed he is already preparing for grade one.
“I think in a month or two, he'll be taking his grade one exam and definitely yes, why not? I hope he will come out with flying colours from all eight grades!"