Eleven-year-old Srijita Srinivasan and nine-year-old Srijanya Srinivasan are black-belt in karate; 12-year-old Kamala Manohari likes swimming and playing badminton. Nine-year-old Anagha Purushothaman loves reading books on music while 13-year-old Shreya Vaishnavi enjoys running and playing kho kho; 14-year-old Saranya Garnepudy is a skating champion and uses western dance as a body toning exercise.
And when all of these talented kids come together to play the violin under the guidance of an aerospace engineer-turned-musician, Tejas Mallela, they form the ‘Sunadam Music Group’.
Anagha Purushothaman, says, “For me, there is always an opportunity to listen to my mother, Sripriya Srinivasan, who teaches Carnatic music to many young students. But it’s much more interesting to have a jovial teacher who can also explain a raga in detail. I enjoy painting and would like to become an artist(e) — playing music on stage and painting on a canvas.”
“My brother Nikhilesh Garnepudy has his own YouTube channel. He has been my first source of inspiration to learn music. I am inspired by the music of T.M. Krishna, Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Trichur Brothers and Ranjani Gayatri,” says Saranya.
Sharing her story, Srijita says, “I am fond of pets and may become a veterinary doctor but would like to continue my tryst with music as well.”
Sports fanatic Kamala also talks about her interest in music. “I am also learning classical dance from Bala Tripura Sundari. Dancing helps me understand the rhythm on the violin while playing the instrument helps me get a ragam in my dancing.”
An important factor that successfully brings all these young talents together is the dedication of their teacher, Tejas. “It’s very important for a performer to develop their own style in terms of technique, tone and repertoire,” he says. Tejas recalls that during his childhood, he used to hear the music of U. Srinivas playing the mandolin and Lalgudi Jayaraman playing the violin. “On my seventh birthday, my mother asked me to choose a gift — either a gold ring or a violin. And I went for the violin. I took violin lessons from Komanduri Krishna and now train under the legendary violinist A. Kanyakumari,” he says.
Tejas feels that there are few people who are fond of classical music and dance in Hyderabad. “We need to have more musical festivals and workshops. There is also a dearth of violin teachers here,” he says adding that a violin has to be taken all the way to Bengaluru for the smallest of repairs.
Tejas adds that music and rhythm come from the nature and hence, there is a similarity in the music created around the world.