Congratulations to our Student Spotlight Viveka for recently winning the Personal Musical Style category in our Holiday Sing-Off! Viveka is a singer and classical pianist who takes voice lessons with our teacher Emma (along with working on self-accompanying on the piano). Viveka has a rich musical history, including performing at a masterclass with world-renowned jazz composer Jeremy Siskind. Along with her lessons from Emma, she also takes classical piano lessons and Indian voice! She hopes to one day attend Berklee School of Music and become a music teacher herself. She’s currently working on her audition material for the classical and popular music conservatories at OCSA. Emma describes her as “one of the most musically diverse and driven students” she’s ever had.
Q & A with Viveka
VS: I love to read, a few of my favorite genres are dystopia, sci-fi and contemporary. I also love movies, especially the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Endgame was my favorite!
MM: How did you get started with music, and how long have you been singing and playing the piano?
VS: I have been playing the piano since I was 6-years-old, and I have been singing since I was 9. I have always loved music from a young age, and one day I just decided that these were the things I wanted to do. My piano teacher, Mrs. Ana, taught me to love music from a really young age.
MM: What have been some of your favorite performances, and why? How do you share your music with others, beyond recitals?
VS: One of my favorite performances was a Masterclass that I attended, which was hosted by world renowned jazz composer Jeremy Siskind. I performed my composition “The Peaceful Meadow.” It was one of my favorites because he taught me so much about how to be a better composer. I share my music with my friends and family whenever I can, just to spread love and joy.
MM: What makes you keep up your practice, and what are your goals?
VS: A few of my goals are to go to Berklee College of Music. I have always wanted to be a choir conductor or a music teacher. These goals motivate me to continue practicing. Also, my teachers and parents encourage me to continue practicing, and to do my best.
MM: Who are a few bands/artists/musicals that have inspired you, and why?
VS: Pentatonix, an acapella group, has inspired me greatly because they are very determined and they worked extremely hard to get where they are right now. Billie Eilish is also a great inspiration of mine because of her personality and songs. She is such a free soul, and her voice is so unique and her lyrics are uncommonly deep. Also, TwoSetViolin (A youtube channel for classical musicians) has motivated me to practice and they are such a huge part of my life. They are so entertaining, and it’s really nice to know that there are people like us out there who’ve been through the same things that we’re going through.
MM: What are some of your favorite songs, and why?
VS: One of my favorite songs is “Lovely” by Billie Eilish because the lyrics are beautiful and extremely relatable.
MM: Can you share about a technique, skill, or song you struggled with, and how you are overcoming or have overcome it?
VS: A technique that I have struggled with was developing my vibrato for classical voice, and I overcame that with daily practice and warm-ups that Emma taught me that eventually helped me to develop a vibrato.
MM: Congratulations on being one of the winners of the Holiday Sing-Off! What was the process like for putting your video together?
VS: Thank you! The process included lots of retakes. It’s not easy recording a video.
MM: How’s the OCSA application coming along? Which conservatories are you auditioning for, and what have you been working on?
VS: I am auditioning for OCSA’s classical voice conservatory and their popular voice conservatory. I have been working on two arias for the classical voice audition: Pur Dicesti o bocca bella and Take O Take those Lips Away.