The Struggle to the Competition
I’m thankful to four people: my teacher, my mother, my father and my grandmother for the third place that I won in the All India Junior Level Kawai Piano Competition.
Without my teacher, I couldn’t do any thing. He slowly, patiently, indefatigably taught me all the pieces I needed to play. Mr. Srikanth Gnanasekaran really helped me while I failed, lifted me when I stumbled, and pushed me high when I was low. Another teacher, however, taught one of the songs to me. In Dubai, where I used to live, a wonderful teacher named Ms. Valentina taught me the song, Menuet. Most of you would not have heard it. It was composed by Johann Mattheson and it’s included in Trinity Grade 2, 2012-2014 book. Mr. Srikanth tirelessly made sure I played the pieces to a certain level before heading for the competition in Bengaluru.
My mother sat with me everyday, enduring even the unendurable pieces and making sure I got better. She politely listened to my pieces and made sure she properly expressed where I had gone wrong. She encouraged me to go on and made sure my playing was audible. Without her I would have stopped preparing properly for the competition.
My father sat with me whenever he got the chance. He has an unquenchable thirst for music and could not stop listening to it. He would make me play, correct my mistakes, help me learn new pieces, and encourage me to go on. My father used to play the mridangam (a percussion instrument used in Carnatic music), so the difference between my mother and my father is that my mother was more fixed on the melody, while my father helped me out with my beat. Without him, my tempo would have been gone long ago.
This is the surprise one. You must be thinking, “How could his grandmother help him get ready for his competition?” You would not believe it, but when everybody else left saying I played badly, my grandmother stood by me, making me practice the piece again and again until I got it right. She would say a very popular saying “Practice makes perfect!” She could not come for the competition in Bengaluru, but listened to the recording that my parents had done. She congratulated me as soon as we arrived here in Chennai. Without her I would not have believed I could do well in the competition.
These four people with their talent, encouragement, and indefatigable thirst for music really helped me to be among the top three in this competition.
When I came to class that day, sir told my parents that there was a competition hosted by Kawai in Bengaluru. My parents immediately said yes. I was incredibly nervous. How would I do in a contest? Would I do well? Would I not do well? I’d never been to one before. The only place I’d performed was my old school’s talent show! I was so frustrated I couldn’t even play properly! So after the class I went and had a long think about it. Should I do it or should I not? This same argument went on until I got my award. Then, the warring parts of myself finally came to an unanimous conclusion. I should have. I definitely should have.
Suhrit Venkatvardhan (Age: 10 years)
Piano Student –Academy of Western Music, Chennai.