INTERVIEW WITH SASHANK SURESH - SENIOR STUDENT AT LYRA - 1st July 2019
Can you please share your story of how you became a classical guitarist?
I really wanted to learn an instrument when I was small, and I found myself particularly attached to the guitar. That’s when I asked my mom whether I could join guitar classes and ever since then, I’ve learned how to play the classical guitar.
You are a very successful and upcoming young classical guitarist at Lyra. What is your advice to new students who want to learn guitar?
Personally, I’m always at ease whenever I play the classical guitar. My advice would be to try connecting with the music to make it special for you. Link it to your memories based on how it sounds like. Also, you need to practice at home everyday even if it is for a small amount of time like 30 minutes.
Do you agree that as a classical guitarist you could easily manage the acoustic and electrical guitar without learning them as a separate subjects?
I have tried to play both the electrical guitar and acoustic guitar and I did not feel any difficulty as I tried them. The classical guitar, in my opinion, can teach you all the skills you need to play any other guitar.
You were a top scorer in Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry region twice in ABRSM exams and performed in the High Scorers’ Concerts conducted by Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London. How do you feel about your achievement, and the experience of public performance in the city?
I was surprised that I was the top scorer, but happy that I had the chance to play for a big audience. I did feel nervous on the day of the performance and I felt a lot of pressure but once I started playing, I just went into my own comfort zone and played as I would if I was alone. The experience was enriching, and most people don’t get this chance, and I am grateful for the opportunity I got.
Can you let us know how music plays a part of your life, or how dear it is to you personally?
I didn’t really like listening to music in the beginning, I wanted to play rather than listen to others, but a friend helped me find a passion for listening to music and as I continued to listen to music, I found myself exploring different kinds of songs and pieces on the guitar. Music is a way for me to get away from the rest of the world, a way for me to be with myself. I will always continue to play and listen to music; I don’t think it is something you can just let go of easily.
Please share a few lines about your other interests and hobbies.
My two favorite sports are basketball and badminton, and I used to train for basketball but nowadays I play both sports with my friends just for fun. I also like to code and learn how things work, for example a toy car. My favorite subjects in school are Physics, Chemistry and Math, not in that order. I was not pushed in their direction like some kids are, but I just found them interesting and wanted to pursue careers which consisted of those subjects.
Anything else that you would like to share with others…
When you’re playing any instrument, I think your love for learning that instrument plays a big role in learning it. Just be yourself when you’re playing, go into your own thoughts and find memories that you love and relive them in your mind as you play. Make your instrument provide background music for a photo album that is playing in your mind, and just sit back and enjoy it.