By Faith Gonsalves:
In the summer of 2013, Music Basti embarked on a project called Re-Sound that marked a decided move forward towards the realisation of its founding belief in a ‘community led approach’ to music education for social upliftment in India. Re-Sound is a music teaching program which involves the recruitment of highly proficient musicians, a training period with the help of our mentors, the development of an 8 month curriculum which is carried out in at least six different community centres for at-risk children and adolescents, and the simultaneous conceptualization of a sophisticated evaluation schema to measure the success and weaknesses of the program.
Music Basti was set up in 2008 to address the predicaments confronting children ‘at-risk’, particularly those affecting former street children, in the city of Delhi. The urgency of this cause became blatant as a result of the clear contradictions that existed in the city: on the one hand, Delhi, the centre of political power, was evidently characterised by increasing wealth and luxury, while on the other hand a parallel movement could be noticed which saw the dislocation of large masses of people and their families. Consequently, it was felt that there was a need to take at least a few measures to dissolve the disparity in resources available to different groups and ensure that the fulcrum of India’s democracy displayed some measure of equal rights and access. It is here that Music Basti made a decided effort to intervene through a ‘community based music approach’ which sought the active collaboration of music professionals, child welfare organizations, rehabilitation centres and of course children and youth who had been marginalised by a series of socio-economic factors but were now in different stages of upliftment. This initiative has had several benefits: it has strengthened and widened the scope of several existing institutions and structures that deal with the rehabilitation of children, it has created a large network of volunteers and concerned artist-activists who actively engage with the program, and it has disseminated crucial skills of creativity and empowerment to children and youth ‘at-risk’.
Some of the key goals for Re-Sound include building in students musical skills and appreciation for music, social and life skills (empathy, confidence, group-work, achievement, communication, creativity), creating a sense of community, culture and diversity through music.
Watch Music Basti’s Re-Sound (2013-14) video story-report here:
APPLY if you are a Delhi based musician here. (Applications close June 30th 2014)