Bowing to perfection

Bowing to perfection

Sandya Kola, an up-and-coming western classical violinist, feels that though there are numerous risks that one needs to take in the music industry, it’s possible to make a mark with hard work. She has been learning violin from the age of four.

“My mom picked out the instrument for me first when I was a child and it turned out to be a really good one. I have learnt from different teachers and currently, I am learning from a teacher in Boston over Skype. I visit Boston every summer to learn from her,” she notes.  

Sandya moved to Bangalore when she was eight and is now a member of the Indian
National Youth Orchestra and the Bangalore School of Music Chamber Orchestra.

“There are a lot more opportunities in the USA for western classical as compared to Bangalore but I think this City still has a lot going on. It encourages a lot of musicians and orchestras from outside and bolsters young talent. There aren’t a lot of teachers here but that is where your skills come into play. I have also learnt how to play the piano. No matter which instrument you play, knowing the basics of piano is important as it helps you understand the notes better. Learning the piano has also helped me improve myself while playing the violin.”

Sandya practises for about six hours a day.

“It is essential to practise to grasp the technicalities of music. I have learnt from not just my teachers but also the different inputs that I have received. My parents have also been an immense support throughout.”

Her inspiration in her melodious journey was her first music teacher in India.

“My first music teacher, who is now in Mumbai, is my source of strength. I have learnt a lot from him as he taught himself by watching a lot of videos on the Internet.”  

Apart from music, Sandya’s interests also include art, reading and writing.   
Sandya is receiving the best of both worlds as she has also learnt Carnatic music and is currently into mastering the Carnatic violin from Ambi Subramaniam, a noted Carnatic violinist.

“There is a difference in the bowing techniques. The Carnatic violin has helped me get my bowing to perfection, which was my weakest point when I played Western classical earlier. Also, one needs to concentrate more on the gamakams and the jaarus in Carnatic music.”

Sandya, who will soon be in the 11th grade, is now planning to study music theory and composition as part of her core subjects. She aims to make it big in the music fraternity by taking music up professionally.  

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