Words of appreciations from eminent personalities

Testimonials from Eminent Personalities

Students Testimonials

Sriram Parthasarathy

When I first started learning from Vaidyanathan sir, I was still a kid. I had terrible habits and I never attempted to improve upon them. However, that all changed, after I met Vaidy sir. For example, during my first class, Vaidy sir taught me a lesson I hold onto till this day: “It’s the little things that matter.” With this lesson, Vaidy sir has been able to shape me into the person I am today, both in mridangam and life as well. 

To further explain Vaidy sir’s amazing teaching skills, I will bring up his ability to connect to each of his students. For me personally, Vaidy sir has become a second father, due to his ability to cater his teaching specifically for me. Vaidy sir also managed to create a passion for mridangam in me. When I first began mridangam (before meeting Vaidy sir), my parents would always force me to practice. This would happen every day, and mridangam had become a chore. However, after meeting Vaidy sir, he instilled a sense of discipline and passion in me. I began to listen to concerts that Vaidy sir played in, and his style is so unique. It felt so melodious and natural, resulting in an immediate interest in wanting to understand how he was able to play like this. I would attempt to practice more and more, and I began to realize how much I had changed. It was all due to Vaidy sir, as he had found a way to bring me closer to my culture and passion.

In addition to Vaidy sir’s incredible teaching skills, he also treats every single one of his students like his own children. He gives multiple opportunities to perform and excel, that no other guru would be able to give, and he does so willingly. He gave me many opportunities to play for top musicians in the Carnatic field, and I am extremely grateful to have a guru like Vaidy sir. He also challenges and encourages me at every step of the journey, telling me to be better than he was. At one point, I had told him that I wanted to play just like him, to which he replied: “Don’t be me… be better!” With these lessons, I have been able to appreciate the guru and second father I have been given, in Vaidy sir.

I highly recommend that anyone wanting to learn mridangam, should become a student of Vaidy sir’s. He will transform you, and help you realize your true potential.

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Srihari Raman

Guru Sri. Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan sir is really and epitome of happiness. Unlike any other guru, Vaidyanathan sir is one of the best gurus I’ve been blessed to share so many years with. In true essence, Vaidyanathan sir is more than just a guru; he is a friend, a mentor, and above all, a second parent. For everyone of his students, Vaidyanathan sir spends countless hours upon hours instilling such a divine art form to us. He strives to make each student successful, taking time to create opportunities as well as set each student up for success. He strives to make all of his students heirs of his art form, from camps to one on one classes. Personally, I’ve been blessed to share the stage with my guru on many occasions, sitting persistently watching Sri. Vaidyanathan sir accompany senior artists in the field. More than sheer magnitude of the fireworks that light up on stage, the after-concert discussions about Korvais, korraipu patterns, accompaniment, and many more is what entices the entire experience. The discussions feel short in time, but Vaidyanathan sir utilizes each opportunity to teach his students.  More than just a guru, Vaidyanathan sir is a mentor in essence. Through each stage of growth, Vaidyanathan sir stands as the pinnacle and as someone all of his students look up to. He embeds more than just the artform— discipline, humbleness, and determination are included. Vaidyanathan sir is one of the best gurus any student can have, and personally I believe that I am extremely blessed to have been able to be his senior student for all these years

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Akhil Paulraj

I came under the tutelage of Kalaimamani Sri Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan Sir four years ago with the goal of receiving advanced training in the art of Mridangam. The environment of Vaidy Sir’s classes is extremely encouraging and fosters growth. Vaidy Sir is an extremely kind and generous personality who truly wishes the best for his students. Vaidy Sir is also very organized and documents his lessons thoroughly, which is a major advantage for new students looking to grasp onto his valuable teachings. In this manner, joining the Tiruvarur Vaidy School of Percussion was a major step in my Carnatic music journey, as it allowed me to see new boundaries and expand my knowledge to new heights.

Some of the most valuable experiences as part of being a student of Vaidy Sir are the annual camps that are hosted over the summer. For about two weeks, students gather together and engage in rigorous training. The collaborative nature of this opportunity enables students to learn from each other and refine their skills. The camp is usually centered on two main aspects of being a mridangist: accompaniment and thani avarthanams (solo performances). Vaidy Sir helps his students gain confidence and instills high standards to meet. 

Vaidy Sir also goes to great lengths to provide his students with concert opportunities. He hosts an annual concert series in Chennai, India, where he invites artists from around the globe to collaborate with his students and deliver quality concerts. These opportunities are extremely rare and valuable for student growth. Similarly, this summer, Sir instituted a virtual concert opportunity with the goal of raising money for underprivileged musicians, which was not only an equally valuable learning experience but also very fulfilling. 

Vaidy Sir is undoubtedly a tremendous guru with great passion and thoughtfulness. I strongly recommend that if you are interested in learning Mridangam that you consider taking lessons from Vaidy Sir.

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Myan Sudharsanan

I began my training under Kalaimamani Sri Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan in 2010, when I was only eight years old. It had been a while since I learnt basics from my first guru, so it took me time adjust to the sollus of Vaidyanathan sir’s lessons at that young age. Despite my struggles, Vaidyanathan sir was very patient with me, instilling the approach of learning the konnakol of the lesson, along with actually having to play it. I am very grateful for his patience and teachings, which enabled me to move up to more advanced thaniavarthanams in just a couple of years under the tutelage of Vaidyanathan sir.

Vaidyanathan sir’s dedication to his students’ success can best be found in the vast documentation of lessons and thaniavarthanams that were made available to me by him in multiple forms. He would take time after class in order to produce video recordings or write-up notes of each lesson we learned in his classes. I truly appreciate this dedicated, detail-oriented approach of Vaidyanathan sir to make sure we understand the lessons and thaniavarthanams note-for-note.

Outside of mridangam, Vaidyanathan sir has taught me invaluable lessons that have allowed me to become the person I am. For example, whilst on tour, he would stay at my home, where he helped me establish a schedule which I maintain to this day. Vaidyanathan sir encouraged me to take some rest after school, complete my homework, and then move onto focusing on mridangam the rest of the evening. I admire the fact that Vaidyanathan sir is keen on respecting my academic goals, while also dedicated to help me master the art of mridangam.
Not only does Vaidyanathan sir spend an extensive amount of time preparing and perfecting thaniavarthanams for his students, he also helps us foster interest in Carnatic music as a whole. I cannot even begin to count the amount of times I have had the opportunity to share the stage with Vaidyanathan sir, viewing him (and learning from him!) while he accompanies accomplished, senior artists. In addition to allowing us to view him on stage, he also encourages his students to listen to a diverse array of Carnatic concerts and take inspirations from them. Combine this with the opportunities I have had to share the stage with him, I am now able to make my own judgements in accompaniment, all thanks to his uplifting encouragement.

Perhaps the biggest gift that Vaidyanathan sir has bestowed me with is the amount of opportunities I have had to perform with senior artists in his annual Chennai December music season festival. Prominent artists are willing to perform with Vaidyanathan sir’s students, like me, thanks to his well-respected reputation in the Carnatic music fraternity and the reputation he has built up by producing talented students. He has also helped me gain the respect of my local Carnatic music community. Vaidyanathan sir hosted a Carnatic music festival in my hometown a few years ago, where he had students, like myself, accompany other rising talents in North America. I was able to make a name for myself in my community, and become a respected figure, thanks to the dedication Vaidyanathan sir has for providing the opportunities necessary to extract the best out of his students.

Vaidyanathan sir’s assets of supreme dedication to instruction, earned respect of the Carnatic music community, and dedication to providing students opportunities to perform their best make him a truly one-of-a-kind guru. If you want are interested in learning the art of mridangam, I would highly recommend the guidance of Vaidyanathan sir to help carve out your musical journey.

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Abhinav Ganesan

Namaskarams! I began my journey under the tutelage of Kalaimamani Sri Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan Sir three years ago, during the annual 2017 summer camp conducted by my Guru. As for in this camp, it was run for approximately 2 weeks, and it was filled with the eagerness to learn and to enrich the special culture that has been passed down from generation to generation. All the students get trained in thaniyavarthanam and the accompaniment of the singer. Vaidy sir helps each and every one of his students to reach the goal required to meet every day and pushes us forward with utmost courage.

The most grasping and life-changing lessons that were taught by Vaidy Sir was affection towards people, always respect for others and elders, and should always have a drive and determination towards one’s goal. During times, where I had the opportunity to learn face-to-face with Vaidy sir, it was a blessing and was a special moment for me as I could learn more and more aspects my teacher has to offer. To explain the gift of being Vaidyanathan’s students was the numerous opportunities provided by Vaidy Sir in Chennai, India. In the annual Chennai concert series, I was given the opportunity to accompany senior artists and was able to listen to the divine art that was cherished through the singer and the mridangist.

In addition, I was also given the opportunity to participate in the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana events. It was a blessing to meet many other senior artists in the event, where hundreds of people and famous artists will join together and present many beautiful concerts. Such as Epic Choir, Sustaining Sampradaya, Percussion competitions, and many more.

Vaidyanathan sir will go out of his way to teach students, not only the art of mridangam but life lessons that will follow you throughout your life. He will be very patient, no matter how long, to instill and make sure the student has the sollu correct. Furthermore, there are no words to say about Vaidy Sir because he has done so much for me, like creating a pathway in mridangam and creating opportunities during the Margazhi Festival. Vaidy Sir’s determination is one that can’t be matched because he is willing to take hours to help a student grow and learn. Doing so, he allowed me to gain the utmost confidence and determination.

Vaidy sir’s determination to push individuals to their limits shows his true self and personality. He is a phenomenal teacher that has instilled me the interest to learn more and more every single day. I deeply recommend that if you are interested in learning the art of Mridangam, Vaidy Sir is an excellent guru who will guide you to achieve great heights.

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Anirudh Ganesan

First, I wanted to convey my utmost and sincere gratitude to Sri Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan sir for being my guru and playing a vital role in my musical journey as well as my personal growth.  I am truly blessed to have been receiving training from Vaidyanathan sir and it has been a wonderful journey which I will cherish every day. 

My journey started during the 2017 annual summer camp where all the students had attended and engaged in advanced training with sir.  It was my first time, and in a nutshell, I would say that was my turning point.  I learned a lot during that time and even had a chance and blessing to correct my approach towards playing.  I started under the arms of Sri. Vaidyanathan’s sir after the camp and I feel blessed to learn all the new konnakol lessons, along with new techniques and notes.

What I feel the most valuable lessons that Vaidy Sir taught me is to have discipline, determination, and respect for others. During his US tour, we had the opportunity to have Vaidy Sir at my home and focused on instilling his lessons.  He has so much patience that he will take as long as possible to accomplish a certain sollu or korai. During his stay at my house, he focused on the technique and precision of each sollu and he prepared me for the more advanced skills. 

There are no words to explain the opportunities that Vaidy Sir provides through the annual Chennai concert series.  I had great opportunities to perform with senior artists in his annual Chennai concert series. These concert series offer a great platform for the artists both in and around the world to join with his students and deliver wonderful concerts.  During this difficult pandemic time, Vaidy sir arranged for a virtual concert opportunity to raise money to support musicians who needed help.  I feel blessed to have taken part in a huge opportunity to play for senior artists.

Vaidyanathan sir goes above and beyond to teach individuals not only mridangam lessons, and to mold them professionally in their personal life by giving proper advice.  He will dedicate his time to individuals and make sure they understand and are confident enough to play those notes.  The amount of dedication Vaidyanathan sir has towards student’s growth is phenomenal.  During my personal training, he leaves no stone unturned, to make sure I get it correct and with utmost patience, he has taught me so many lessons and trained me to play in concerts.  This allowed me to gain confidence and meet higher standards. 

Instead of me recommending Vaidy sir, you should come and learn mridangam under the wings of Sri Vaidyanathan sir, then you will realize your true potential in playing mridangam, and also you will see the difference in you.

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Aadithiya Bharanidharan

When I began learning mridangam from my guru, Kalamamani Sri Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan, I knew nothing about the ocean that is the art of mridangam and Carnatic music. Nevertheless, Vaidyanathan Sir has an infinite reservoir of patience in guiding me through all my stumbling and mess-ups to where I am now. Vaidy Sir ensures his lessons are always coherent and easily understood by tailoring his teaching to meet every individual student’s needs. Vaidyanathan Sir also makes sure to record, write out, and otherwise develop materials for all his lessons. For me, learning mridangam with Sir has never ended with class; layam has ended up seeping into every facet of my daily living. Attending mridangam classes with Sir has allowed me to enhance not just my understanding of mridangam but also my perception of life.
During my first attempts at mridangam, I would tense up and lose sight of the kalapramanam. Vaidy Sir taught me to relax and play from the heart, which allowed me to appreciate and enjoy the music I was playing. This advice greatly aided me when I started to accompany songs: accompaniment comes from improvisation, which in turn, originates from bhavam or feeling. My experiences with Sri Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan Sir prove that he does not merely instruct his students, but rather, he forms a deep guru-disciple bond with each student. 
Vaidy Sir, unlike any other teacher, places his students first and foremost and makes sure to offer and encourage any opportunities that come his students’ way. I remember that Vaidyanathan Sir allowed me to ascend the stage and help contribute during my first ever thani avarthanam. Although I was inexperienced at the time, being immersed in a concert early on allowed me to understand the life that flows through every katcheri. The opportunities Sir has allocated for his students are innumerable and have helped me mature as an artist and a person. Guru Vaidyanathan Sir cares for and nurtures his disciples as if they were his own. As such, I owe Vaidy Sir for all my successes in mridangam. 
Personally speaking, Guru Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan is capable of transforming any student from a beginner to an eminent mridangam artist and mold them into being able to express themselves through music. I recommend that anyone interested in learning mridangam should seek to learn from Vaidy Sir to gain an unparalleled insight into Carnatic music.
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Arjun Ramachandran

I started learning mridangam from Vaidy sir at the age of 8. Vaidy sir not only taught me how to play/accompany well but he reinforced the importance of listening to concerts as being an integral part of becoming a better musician. Under his tutelage, I’ve annually performed concerts in the prestigious sabhas of Chennai during December season as well as the Nadaneerajanam program in Tirupathi. An unforgettable experience was going to Thiruvaiyaru with Vaidy sir for the Tyagaraja Aradhana. Along with performing individual concerts there, I was able to take part in the chanting of the Pancharatna krithis with Sir. It’s a memory I’ll always cherish. His teachings have opened up several doors for me as an artist. Vaidy sir’s attention to detail in accompaniment and his sarvalaghu prowess sets him apart from other musicians. It’s a level of mastery that I strive for everyday. I’m grateful to have learned so much from him.
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Suriya Nambisan

Namaskaram!! I began training under Guru Sri Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan sir from 2012. I sincerely thank him for playing a vital role in shaping my musical journey. I am one of the very few fortunate boys from Chennai to be accepted as student by him. Vaidyanathan sir is one of the best teachers any student can ever ask for. I am truly blessed to be sharing a special bonding with him for so many years. 

The very first instance with Vaidy sir that completely changed my life and brought out the passion, love and interest for mridangam was during Sri Vaidyanathan sir’s vibration concert (Fusion Ensemble). During Vaidyanathan sir’s Thani Avartanam, due to the sheer magnitude and blistering performance I couldn’t control myself from putting the thalam which was very much appreciated by Vaidy sir. This can be deemed as the turning point in my musical journey

During classes Vaidy sir shows immense patience and calmness in teaching his students. He gives constant tasks for the students to bring out the creativity and thinking ability in them. The teaching methodology followed by Vaidy sir through documents and videos is one of the best methods by using the latest technology to make sure students learn properly and correctly. 

Apart from classes I have had the fortune of sharing the stage with Vaidyanathan sir, viewing and learning from him, while he accompanies senior artists. It is practically impossible for me to keep count of the number concerts I had been with him. These acted as the building blocks to my musical carrier. I also had the fortune of traveling to various cities for concerts along with Vaidy sir. The pre and post-concert discussions, advices, have helped to me to shape as artist. These moments which I spent with him will always continue to cherish in my life and help me in my journey through this vast ocean of music. These are few examples that showcases the dedication of Vaidy sir for the instrument and to his students for them to reach the goal.   

To explain it more, it can be clearly understood from the various concerts organized by Vaidy sir for his students during the annual festival in Chennai alongside senior artists and also providing the opportunity to perform at The Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival, through Sustaining Sampradaya and Thaka Di Mi Thakita apart from individual concerts. 

One of the most important lessons Vaidy sir taught me was “always learn to give” which I follow till this day. To explain my special bonding with Vaidy sir, he always treated me as his child. Vaidyanathan sir is more than just a guru for me. He teaches as Guru, He advices as a Parent, and He converse as a Friend. He shares his experiences, advices and transforms his students into a great personality.

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