15-year-old Varnu Yajnavalki Boora was nominated for the TrinityTalent ‘Class of 2021’ in the Creative Flair category. Varnu completed his Drums Grade 6 exam with music teacher Charlie Goulty. He is strongly influenced by his instructor who has encouraged him to further pursue his passion for jazz music.
Varnu was nominated for TrinityTalent by his mother Gayatri Boora, who said: "I have to say that it gives me immense pride to be able to nominate my 15-year-old son, Varnu, for TrinityTalent 2021. In the last couple of years, Varnu started realising the beauty and complexity of jazz. His guitar instructor's passion for jazz influenced him. He played Girl from Ipanema - RGS Autumn concert March 2021. He also prepared ‘Besame Mucho’ for a jazz night in January 2022. He is quickly learning jazz techniques and improvisation. This is helping him become a well-rounded musician."
The TrinityTalent panel said: "We are impressed with Varnu's Creative Flair in the variety of instruments he's learning. He is embracing different genres, all of which lend themselves to his creation of original music and interest in music production. We can see how he has a true space to be himself creatively and are excited to see where his Creative Flair will lead him."
How do you feel about being selected to be part of TrinityTalent ‘Class of 2021' and being recognised in this way?
This is the first time ever that I have been entered for something like this. I am filled with surprise, exhilaration and a sense of renewed confidence, knowing that my passion for music and hard work is recognised. I felt thankful towards my instructors - Mr Charlie Goulty (drums) - and Mr Richard Campbell (guitar and bass). I am grateful to my parents for encouraging and supporting me. Being recognised has deepened my commitment for further learning.
How do you feel you have developed creatively and artistically in 2021?
In 2021, I developed my knowledge of harmony by exploring the world of jazz. I learned more esoteric guitar techniques as well. I looked at music production, learned how to use DAWs and plugins to create music and implemented guitar and drums into music that I make electronically.
What impact did your Trinity qualification have on your artistic development?
Due to the pandemic, I attended the School of Rock and Pop in Newcastle from early 2016 until it had to be shut down in March 2020. I quickly realised that there is a difference between playing music with a band and taking the music exams. The Trinity exams push you to perfect each song and play it the way it was intended to. There are a variety of musical genres to choose from and learn. A mix of exams and playing as a band helped me enjoy and achieve more.
Has taking part in a Trinity qualification helped you to develop wider skills, such as communication skills, creativity or confidence?
Progressing through the exams helped me feel confident about myself. I performed solo guitar and drums at school events, attended by an audience of over 300. In year 7, I put together a band and auditioned to represent the senior school at the annual Battle of the Bands event - we were one of the two bands chosen. I played with several musicians of various ages during the four years of School of Rock and Pop - this helped me learn teamwork and the importance of supporting one another.
If you took a digital music or drama exam, please tell us how you found the experience of recording your performance
The thought of having to record the exam without any interaction from an examiner felt very different. My teacher scheduled a few acoustic drum kit sessions at Sound Inc, Blaydon, prior to the exam day. This helped me relax and perform to the best of my ability. Having the option of digital exams helped me take the intended exam on time.
What are the next steps for you artistically and creatively in 2022?
I am preparing for Grade 7 of Rock & Pop Drums - getting used to a double bass pedal (for ‘The Trooper’ by Iron maiden) is challenging and enjoyable at the same time. I will take the Electric Guitar exam for Associate of London College of Music in April 2022. My teacher is passionate about jazz guitar, and I enjoy learning techniques and improvisation from him. I will be taking Grade 5 Bass Guitar in the next few months.
What are your longer term aims, for example for your future studies or work?
I plan to finish Grade 8 in Rock & Pop Drums in the next year or so. Then, I would like to concentrate on learning a repertoire of songs. Bass might take a couple more years for Grade 8. I aim to achieve the Licentiate of London College of Music by the end of my GCSE year. Then, I shall try my best to achieve the FLCM fellowship during my A levels. I am not sure of a specific career path, but music will continue to be an important part of my life.
Have you got any advice for other young people working towards a Trinity qualification?
It's a wonderful opportunity to be able to learn and play music, but it's not always easy. Exams are not everything, but they will help you become a better musician, so have faith in yourself and work to the best of your ability.
Is there anything creative you're currently working on you'd like to tell us about?
I am focussing on music theory and the art of composing - my teacher introduced me to this a week ago, and I am hooked!
Read more about the talented young people selected to be featured as part of the TrinityTalent Class of 2021.