Varun Venkit

Varun is the founder and director of Taal Inc. The visionary behind the motto
Come. Drum. Be One.

Inspired in part by his father, who played drums and guitar in college and mother, who worked as a radio jockey in Kolkata, Varun took the Drum kit at a young age and never looked back. Growing up, Varun dabbled with thoughts of becoming a doctor, chef and joining the army.

But in the end, valuable guidance (and good sense!) prevailed and Varun pursued clinical Psychology along with Drumming. He is now a published Psychologist, master neuro-linguistic programing practitioner, a Drum kit player, Percussionist and Drum Circle Facilitator. His aim is to marry his two loves: Rhythm and Psychology – It is ‘GENESIS’.


the drum circle facilitator

Varun is a certified drum circle facilitator and member of the Drum Circle Facilitator’s Guild; an association based in the USA that recognizes facilitators of rhythm based events. He has been facilitating group drumming activities for a wide range of populations since 2003 when he was initiated by his then mentor Mr. Zubin Balsara. Thereafter he completed the intensive facilitator training with Arthur Hull (Village Music Circles, USA) in 2017. With over 800 drum circles as a facilitator under his belt, the highlight of his career has been when he facilitated a drum circle at the Mumbai University for 30 underprivileged children where the special guest was none other than the ex-first lady of the USA, Michelle Obama. Apart from this he has also drummed with the Chief Minister of Gujarat Smt. Anandiben Patel. He has been tirelessly working towards correlating Drum Circle concepts with that of Psychology and has published academic papers exploring the potential of group drumming and the arts vis a vis health and well-being.

the djembe professor

Varun, the head of Taal Inc.’s School of Rhythm, has been playing the djembe for over 10 years and is an advanced level student of djembe grandmaster Mamady Keita (president of the Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy) He was christened as ‘TTM certified professor’ of the djembe by the grandmaster himself in Tulum, Mexico in 2014 and is the first Indian to be bestowed this honour.You can learn the djembe at Taal Inc.’s Traditional West African Djembe Classes or Jr. Djembe Classes and study with India’s only certified TTM professor and team of teachers.

the performer

Varun has been performing since the age of 15 and is among the most sought-after drummers in India. He has played with veterans such as Sivamani, Amit Kilam (Indian Ocean), Taufiq Qureshi, Fazal Qureshi, Raghu Dixit, Dhruv Ghanekar, Jayant Sankrityayana, Derek Julien, Roger Dragonette, Sanjay Joseph, Shri Rajeev Devasthali, Kaustubh Dhavale, K Mohan, Rushad Mistry and more. Varun has also been a part of Agnee, India’s biggest folk rock band, for three years. He has performed nationally and internationally; Abene Festival 2013, Senegal, Bali Cultural Festival 2011, Singapore Drumming Festival 2010, Dumru – the drum festival of India 2012, MTV Unplugged to name a few. A grade 8 drum kit player as certified by the Trinity College of Music, London, Varun has learned from many teachers. Mamady Keita and Joshua Banks from Brisbane, Australia (ex Berklee College of Music, Boston) are his most recent and influential djembe and drum kit teachers respectively. He is a mridangam student of Shri Chandrashekar since 2007. Varun also plays the dhol, conga, bongo, darbuka, tar, dafli, daff and other percussion instruments. His latest musical creation is the collaborative concept of Taal Inc. and Friends.

the researcher and trainer

He is a published clinical psychologist and a master neuro-linguistic programming practitioner certified by the National Federation of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, USA. In the pursuit of excellence he has undertaken research studies to go to the core of understanding the physiological and psychological benefits of drumming and arts on health and well-being. His work has been published in the journal of Arts And Health, Canterbury and in a textbook of Arts and Health by Oxford University Press. Varun has always been interested in using drumming as a form of therapy. He has shared his passion for music and healing by presenting in national and international conferences some of which are ‘The Asian Rhythm Facilitator’s Conference, Malaysia 2016 and The Drum Circle Facilitator’s Guild Conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA 2017. Encouraged by positive feedback on the uplifting effects of drum circles from people from all walks of life, he aims to continue using rhythm to soothe, heal and motivate. He currently leads a course that teaches people how to work with groups using rhythm to facilitate a positive change. Click to know more about Drum Circle Facilitator Course.


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