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From toddlers to adults, a musical performance featuring artists of all ages

A Mumbai-based piano academy is trying to create a space that’s inclusive in its approach, and accessible to all kinds of students, regardless of their age

The 11th edition of the annual performance of 88 The Piano Academy will be held on 2 December.(Shivani Patel Vissanji)

By Aisiri Amin

LAST PUBLISHED 02.12.2023  |  12:30 PM IST

If you head to the Sophia Bhabha Auditorium in Mumbai this weekend, you will see three-year-olds playing the piano or jambe for an audience of 700 people. The 11th edition of 88 The Piano Academy's annual performance, is all about providing a platform for different kinds of students—be it a toddler or an adult.

Since its inception in 2011, the 88 The Piano Academy, founded by Shivani Patel Vissanji and Vivek Patel, has been trying to create a space that’s inclusive in its approach, and accessible to all kinds of students, regardless of their learning stage. 

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“There is a lack of platform for music students to perform and showcase what they have learnt over the year. Even in schools, only some students get to perform. This is something we wanted to address through the academy and our annual soiree," says Vissanji. 

As musicians, the duo understands how access to quality instruments and expertise can make a difference to students. With an academy that focuses on both, the founders hope to expand interest in music beyond a hobby. The annual performance is a way for the artists to build confidence in their talent.

About 150 student performers, aged between three and 45 years of age, are part of the annual event, Joie De Vivre. They are showcasing their talent in various instruments including guitar, piano, drums, and ukulele. Performing in ensembles, duets and solos, students are covering a range of genres, from pop and rock to contemporary.

“We don’t put restrictions in terms of genres. Students can choose what they connect with for the performance. So, people will hear a range of music from lesser-known to popular ones. It will also be an evening of discovery for many," says Patel. 

For school students, this is also a way to discover another aspect of the world—one that's outside the screens that they often get hooked to. “Today, the new generation is immersed in technology. We hope that through the academy and such events, they get to discover their varied interests and nurture them. Our annual performance also helps in bringing in a sense of accomplishment for students," explains Vissanji.

Joie De Vivre will take place at Sophia Bhabha Auditorium, Cumballa Hills, Mumbai on 2 December.

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