Joy, a gifted musician proficient in both the violin and the viola, is a student at the prestigious Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London, where she has lived for the past five years. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in viola after completing her Bachelor's, both with a full scholarship. She recently won the Vera Kantrovich Competition and was awarded second place in a Classical Concerto Competition in London. She was also part of the Creation Quartet and has performed at venues like Arundel Castle, the Royal Academy of Arts, Wigmore Hall London, and the Stanton Guildhouse in the Cotswolds.
Originally from Bangalore, India, Joy’s musical journey has been extraordinary. Her earliest exposure to music was at Church, where her father played the organ. When her brother started learning the violin, he taught her how to play it too, becoming her first teacher and biggest inspiration. She deeply desired to learn the instrument in a more structured manner but didn’t know how to go about it. Then she heard about Trinity’s graded music exams from her teacher at the Bangalore School of Music.
Learning about Trinity’s graded exams opened many opportunities for Joy. "I heard about Trinity's syllabus and instantly knew it was my pathway to music," she recalls. "It provided the structure I sorely missed."
Trinity's systematic approach to music enabled her to gauge her progress. The emphasis on music and performance over mere technicalities resonated deeply with her. And she applauds the diversity within Trinity’s syllabuses .“I like the repertoire in Trinity’s graded exams. There are all styles of music – not just classical. It includes everything from jazz to blues to pop.”
Trinity's new syllabus includes a Performance-only pathway for students who are more practical-minded. And this really appealed to Joy. "Personally for me, it's all in the practice. The more I play, the more I learn. And Trinity embodies that. The syllabus covered all the technical aspects, of course, but the emphasis was on my music.” Not only that, Joy also learned the syllabus through online classes. “Learning the syllabus online was very smooth. It was easy to play my pieces on a call or record and send them for review."
When Trinity Laban Conservatoire conducted workshops in India during the summer of 2017, Joy's brother seized the opportunity to audition, and a young Joy decided to accompany him. “I was just tagging along. I had no intention of auditioning,” she says. Following her brother's successful audition, the examiner asked if Joy also played an instrument. Joy attributes her confidence in auditioning to her preparation for the Trinity-graded exams she had already taken. “Practising the Trinity pieces for my exams gave me the boost I needed. Not only did they like my performance, but they were so impressed that they granted me admission with a full scholarship to study music in London. I couldn’t believe it!”
Joy had initially started the syllabus for Trinity’s graded exams with the violin before realising she wanted to learn the viola instead. "The Trinity pieces allowed me to play different genres with a viola, like metal and blues. I realised through the syllabus and repertoire selections that the viola resonates more with diverse music genres than the violin, which was a surprise!”
Instruments like the viola have immense potential and offer many career opportunities. “And Trinity understands and amplifies that," Joy says with a sparkle in her eyes. Their support, she mentions, goes beyond just teaching. "The syllabus helped me find my voice." Learning to play various genres for Trinity's graded exams enabled her to find her unique style of music, which blends Carnatic music and the viola. “There is a place here for everybody to fit in.”
Joy’s eyes gleam with excitement for the future. “At the moment, I’m writing and performing music for the viola influenced by Carnatic music. I’m hoping that it is something I can accomplish because it will not only establish me as a musician but also open doors for collaboration with other musicians, which I’m excited about.”
“I like the repertoire in Trinity’s graded exams. There are all styles of music – not just classical. It includes everything from jazz to blues to pop.”