Tarang | Creating a special bond through music

My Blue Blue Sky…

Where is that unseen unheard melody to which I dance and see the Divine?

While the world around me spins with its limited take, I see the wonder that is so evident to me. I feel things you cannot. I’m special and I am here to change the world. I am God’s chosen one…

To be unmoved by the experience when Tarang is happening is difficult. Like the other day at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. It is not just about music or the well-known musicians who are part of it; or even the way organisers put it together month after month! It is the heart-warming presence of children, who are so very special. They dance, yell, walk about and wave their hands. And for that one hour between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., they are happy, fulfilled and comforted.

Life pans out differently for them. However, there is no sadness. There is comfort in knowing that they are here to make us understand that the world is better because of them. Engaged, entertained and educated by the V Excel Educational Trust (a unit of the Sringeri Sri Sharada Peetham Charitable Trust) Group of Institutions, the love for music brings them together under Tarang.

The programme gives them immense joy and understanding of everything around them. Some of the best musicians have chosen to be part of this endeavour.

The first such programme was held in 2010, with Bombay Jayshree, in their former school campus, when Vasudha Prakash, founder trustee, discovered what music did to autistic children. T.M. Krishna, Trichur Brothers and many more have sung and interacted with these children.

When Shobana Vignesh performed at the recently held event, the children moved and swayed to the songs, which ranged from the pure classical and light to filmy (from Mahanadi for instance).

Art as therapy

According to Puja Bhalla, a young music and movement therapist at V Excel, these children are extremely musical.

“They have a deep connect with it and are instinctively drawn to it. Once the music is on, they even start singing. Which is wonderful because otherwise they won’t utter a word. They won’t talk, and don’t react,” she says. “Music also binds them together,” she adds.

The school has a choir to encourage the children to find a voice through singing. Their anthem is ‘Blue Blue Sky, My Blue Sky,’ which is also the name of the choir. “These words calm and soother them,” says Puja. As if to demonstrate, she sings and the simplicity moves the heart.

The school offers music, art, painting and some of these children write. “They write poems, some so profound that they will tug at your heartstrings,’’ points out Puja. They are also taken to different schools to sing at morning assemblies and that is how they connect with other children and develop friendship. Tarang comes as a part of the creative process to engage and make them tune into their finer core. “It was Vasudha’s idea and we started with Carnatic music and Bombay Jayshree. Even when I sing to them, I can see the connect I make with them. They are so happy. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan got on board to provide a platform where the best musicians can give, and the children receive it,” explains Puja.

Tarang presents musicians on the last Thursday of every month. They are greeted enthusiastically. There is also the Sukritam Trust, which provides music classes to those who want to pursue it. This is done as a group as well as individually.

An annual music show showcases all that they learn. The latest one was the Lion King, which involved all the centres of the Trust. Close to 100 children participated.

“We work a lot with their bodies and that is part of the therapy. They find the world too noisy. There is the inner harmony which they turn to most of the time. Only those who are willing to look at things differently can work with them. People think we are doing something noble working with these children. But no. We are the ones who feel so rewarded because of the love we get from these beautiful souls,” says Puja.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 1:23:27 AM |

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