How Music Basti Is Improving The Lives Of Underprivileged Kids

Posted by BitGiving in Society
January 17, 2018

Every child deserves proper education and should have access to learn arts and music. However, in India, the reality is something else altogether. According to a report from 2014, only 10% of students in India have access to higher education. According to a 2016 report, 47 million students drop out by class 10.

The education system is also not teaching the fundamental skills and values children need to succeed in today’s world. Learning others skills is essential for a well-rounded development.

Started by Lady Shri Ram (LSR) College alumni Faith Gonsalves in 2008, ‘Music Basti’ is an organization that enables music learning for underprivileged and at-risk children. The focus is on teaching a mixture of musical training, songwriting and performing to these young kids.

‘Music Basti’, along with a team of musicians, help nurture the confidence of these children through a creative and joyful music-led learning experience. Music Basti’s program approaches music lessons differently, with an explicit focus on cultivating life-skills, confidence, creativity, community building and leadership.

It’s a positive innovation in the field of education. Music as a mode of teaching makes perfect sense. Music is a fun and energetic way to retain education,” says Faith Gonsalves, the founder of Music Basti.

Today, this Delhi-based organisation has a team of 20-25 full and part-time staff who are assisted by a large number of volunteers. Every year, they teach about 200-300 students (from low income families), who attend government and private schools, and also involve NGOs working with kids from slum areas. Beyond their core team, they also have more than 20 teaching artists every year. This inclusion plays the most important role in the students’ learning and experience.

Music Basti’s ReSound program

In 2013, Music Basti launched an annual community music-learning program for children called “ReSound”. ReSound enables children to write and perform their original songs that tell the story of their communities.

“ReSound” has worked directly with over 850 students in community-based NGOs and schools and trained over 100 musicians as teachers. The program has three key components, namely, music in classrooms, teacher training and curriculum development. Each year, ReSound has expanded to include more students in its program through partnerships with NGOs and schools.

In 2016, the program was launched in classrooms in government or low-income private schools, offering bi-weekly lessons. The content of the lessons includes a combination of musical training and song- writing, culminating in the annual “ReSound” concert, a public performance for all the program’s students.

Each year, “ReSound” recruits and selects musicians who are then trained as part of a two-week program on how to teach effectively, using ReSound’s curriculum and approach. Teachers then go on to receive placements with identified partner organizations or schools.

This year, “ReSound” is being held on February 26. Musicians like Vishal Dadlani, Ehsaan Noorani and bands like The Other People and Parikrama have initiated their support to sponsor instruments for the children at the NGO.

On extending his support, Vishal Dadlani said, “I have had fervour for music since childhood but never really got the opportunity to take it up as a main stream subject in school. For the first time, I ended up taking up music when I was 19. This is one of the main reasons I want to support the cause and motivate kids to do what they like. I am donating a guitar which has always proved to be my lucky charm.”

Since efforts like these need combined support, News18 is helping raise funds for the cause. The campaign is to support the initiative and fundraise to get new musical instruments and kits for their class room. Let’s do our bit to make a difference in the lives of these little learners.
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