Zubin, a global health researcher, has never envisioned himself as a professional musician, especially when juxtaposed with his cousin—a physicist and a concert performer, who completed all the Trinity College London graded music exams.
For Zubin, music has predominantly been a therapeutic escape. While he doesn't play his home piano as frequently as he'd like these days, he fondly remembers starting his musical journey at the age of 4, playing earnestly till he was 22. His parents, always supportive, promised him a piano if he took his initial keyboard lessons seriously. The very memory of this promise lights up his face.
"Following the Trinity syllabus gave me the discipline of practising and attending class every week. It introduced me to the basics of tunes and reading music," Zubin recalls. Progressing through grades, he completed grades 1, 2, 3, and 5, and also pursued theory till grades 4 and 5. For him, Trinity was "forced leisure time" and a structured way to gauge his improvement. Without this formal requirement, he believes he might have lost his way.
Zubin credits Trinity for not only instilling discipline but also for bolstering his self-confidence. Facing the task of practical exams helped hone his public speaking and performance skills too. The syllabus introduced him to a plethora of music pieces, enriching his repertoire and expanding his own perspective.
His school teacher, despite his Indian classical background, noticed a marked improvement in his understanding once he began following Trinity. This newfound recognition, coupled with his parents' love for Western classical pieces, fueled his desire to delve deeper into the world of music.
“I still enjoy playing some of my earliest Trinity pieces,” he says. "To this day, I wish I’d studied more of the Trinity curriculum! There are still some pieces I wish I could play flawlessly,".
During the gruelling years of studying at medical school, music became Zubin's sanctuary. Those brief 10-15 minute sessions on the piano were his daily respite, allowing him to momentarily disconnect from the pressures of academia.
While he took his Trinity exams sporadically, he never ceased practising, often playing just for the sheer joy of it. This balance, he believes, was pivotal. He reminisces about the fun he had playing his earliest Trinity pieces and how music instilled discipline in him as a child, which later transformed into a therapeutic diversion as an adult.
His advice to others? "When using music as a diversion, don't chase perfection. It's beneficial to have reached a certain level of proficiency earlier, enabling you to play spontaneously." He believes that without Trinity, he might have still tackled challenging pieces, but perhaps without the drive to perfect every note and nuance.
Zubin is now eyeing a musical future for his young son, planning to enrol him in a conservatoire in Europe. He likens music to a language, emphasising the importance of listening, reading, and performing. "Trinity's comprehensive approach, especially the inclusion of ear tests and viva, truly stands out. You wouldn't focus on ear tests or arpeggios if not mandated."
In essence, for Zubin, Trinity College London's music syllabus has been more than just lessons—it's been a journey, a guide, and a lifelong companion. As music teachers across India seek the best for their students, Zubin's story stands as a testament to the holistic benefits of the Trinity syllabus.
“Trinity's comprehensive approach, especially the inclusion of ear tests and viva, truly stands out”