SOTA: School of the Arts Singapore
  ramuRamu Thiruyanam
Faculty of Music

Known for his dedication to music education, Ramu is considered by many to be one of the top up-and-coming young percussion specialists. With his experiences in musical performance and education, he is a widely sought after performer, clinician and adjudicator throughout the world.


Born and raised in Singapore, Ramu was awarded the National Arts Council Arts Bursary (Overseas). He recently graduated summa cum laude (1st Class Honors) from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Performance, with a Concentrate in Child Psychology. Ramu also received a teaching license certified by the Massachusetts Department of Education, and holds a Licentiate from the Royal Schools of Music, London, in both Piano and Percussion Performance. Ramu has had the privilege of working with great teachers and Grammy Award winners such as Dave Samuels and Mark Walker. He studied with artists such as Victor Mendoza, Ed Saindon and Nancy Zeltsman, on his primary instruments: the Marimba and the Vibraphone.

Ramu has received several awards locally as well as in the US, including the Berklee World Scholarship Tour Scholarship, the Berklee Achievement Scholarship, the Berklee Percussion Department Achievement Award (2007), Division Achievement Award (2008) as well as the Outstanding Student Teacher Award (2009). Upon graduation, he was also awarded Berklee’s Music Education Promising Alumnus Award (Instrumental Category) 2009–2010.


As an instrumentalist, Ramu has performed with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, the Singapore Lyric Opera, the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra, and the Boston Civic Orchestra, amongst many others. He has had several recording collaborations locally as well as abroad with several artistes, and for Sony Pictures as a Studio Session Musician for several movies, including August Rush. Some international artists Ramu has worked with are Andrea Bocelli, SHINee, and Shakira, just to name a few. Ramu has held several successful concerts, both as a soloist and supporting percussionist, in many countries in Asia, Australia, Europe and the US. Ramu is regularly featured in several Esplanade Presents Series concerts, including the Mosaic Music Festival, as a soloist and multi-instrumentalist.


As an educator, Ramu actively advocates music education in schools, and has worked with students from kindergartens to tertiary institutions, both within the region and in the US. He presented at the Music Education National Conference (Eastern Division) 2009 held in Rhode Island, advocating music education through technology and modern music. Ramu was a Collegiate Ambassador for Berklee College of Music for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) conference in 2008, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention) (PASIC) for two consecutive years (2007–2008).


Ramu has now relocated back to Singapore, and actively engages himself in creative musical projects as well as music education. He advocates a contemporary music education for youths through electronics and improvisation, and by bridging the divide between classical and contemporary music. Ramu began teaching in SOTA as an adjunct Music faculty member in 2012, and became a full time music faculty member in 2013.


He is currently a Vic Firth Education (USA/SG) Product Endorser and a Tycoon Percussion Endorser. Ramu also coaches percussion ensemble groups at the National University of Singapore, and the Music Talent Development Centre programme organised by the Ministry of Education and schools in both Singapore and Malaysia.


Ramu spends his free time gaming and enjoys cooking Indian fusion cuisines. As a qualified International FIA Rally license holder, he occasionally competes in international rally sport events during the summer holidays.