Gauri Mishra, one of the youngest pianists in the country, started fiddling and eventually learning the instrument when she was only four years old. The 15-year-old said she got interested in playing the keys “after watching stalwarts like AR Rahman and Adnan Sami” weaving their magic.
Today, the Pradhan Mantri Rastriya Bal Puraskar 2020 awardee — from President of India Ram Nath Kovind — aims to inspire confidence in parents that girls can also win laurels.
“Grateful to my gurus who taught me every minor technique and skill. Because of that, I can try and play four genres of music i.e. Indian classical, Western, Bollywood, and fusion based on Indian raags on piano which is considered rare and unique,” said the class 10 student of Amity International School, Sector 46, Gurugram.
“Experimenting with music is something that keeps me interested. Learning music is a never-ending journey, and experimenting with it is just like spices that add flavour to a dish,” added Gauri, who is currently working on a new musical project, while preparing for her upcoming exams.
Gauri made the record of being the Youngest Pianist at the age of nine in 2015 by giving a solo performance that was judged by the Officials of India Book of Records. Notably, International Association of Educators for World Peace (Affiliation-UNESCO, UNICEF and ECOSOC) and many other world records have also certified her as the youngest piano player.
Does she ever feel that vocals often overpower instrumental music?
“It is all about your interest, love and feeling. According to me, you have to play any instrument based on the audience and time. Vocals usually deliver a specific message or story, while instrumental music encourages the listener to use their imagination and emotional memory. I also believe that vocals sound beautiful when instrumental music is backing it up. Music can create all kinds of moods, like suspense, happiness, sadness, anger, rebel etc. An orchestra or band without a vocalist may not seem incomplete,” Gauri, who is pursuing her music certification from Trinity college of London, and Prayag Sangeet Samiti Allahabad, India, told indianexpress.com.
Equating the 88 black and white keys of the piano to the “ups and downs of life”, Gauri, who recently injured her left wrist (considered extremely important for playing piano) and is currently recovering, expressed how piano is her “guiding light”. “I am still working on getting back the strength in the hand. But like they say, it is about trying every day,” said the young prodigy.
She wants children to be influenced by music, culture, sports and other co-curricular activities. “My dream is to see India as one of the happiest countries in the world which co-curriculars can do,” said the musician who wants to “compose an album, which receives any of the Big Four Grammy awards to make the nation proud”.