During day he is an ordinary mechanic holding spanners and repairing vehicles. While in the evening his mechanic shops transforms into Rhythm class room for which he is a tutor.
54-year-old CR Raghavendra Prasad who is a mechanic by profession has created a niche in the field of music by teaching drums for children. He teaches them how to play drums, rhythm pad, jambe, Congo, African Thumba and several other musical instruments, under the banner 'Prasad School of Rhythms'. The specialty of Prasad is that he teaches blind folded and can also teach Rhythms in both western and Carnatic style.
For the past two decades Prasad who has been working as an mechanic says: 'There are several talented poor children who cannot afford to pay fees for training. As I conduct classes in my own garage, I don't incur any expenditure. For poor talented kids I am providing training for free. In the beginning, parents hesitated to enrol their wards, and looked down upon me as to what a mechanic can teach. But now their perception have changed. I have taught music for more than 300 children in the past ten year and am happy.'
'There is a lot of demand for drummers across the world, but one should be dedicated. There are 8 grades in all and students have to learn music for nearly 5-6 years to complete all grades. I conduct classes based on the international standard syllabus of Trinity College of London. There is good demand for music teachers, as they will be recruited in every school, Police bands, Navy,' he adds.
'Even for 'Nadaswaras' drums can be played. I teach children to play Mrudanga in drums. I am the only person to play fusion, 'Thalavadya' for drums. I have played music for nearly 80 Musical Nite programmes conducted by late Kannada matinee idol Dr Rajukumar and Actor Vishnuvardhan,' he adds.
One of his student Aditya, a Balashri Awardee, studying in 4th standard, says: 'We are blessed to have Prasad as our tutor. I don't miss any class. He teach us very patiently and learning Carnatic Style is a good experience.
Going down the memory lane : Prasad holds a Diploma in Tool and Dye making and also an ITI Mechanical. From his childhood he is passionate towards beating drums, and only by seeing he has learnt. For his valuable contribution of drums and achievements he has been honoured with several prizes by various organisation.
He says: “In 1992, I moved to Saudi Arabia and worked there in a company for two years. All Indians residing there got together every Friday while troupe member of Magnificent Seven was hosting Orchestra. One day, I took empty buckets and played music. It was then my life in Music started. Impressed by the performance the troupe members gave me an opportunity to play Rhythm. Later, I gave performances in France, Germany, Italy and Gulf countries and also in Singapore, Germany and several other countries. I returned to India in 1995, and set up a garage shop.” Interested can contact him on 98802 79791.