Music For Change Holds Dance and Singing Classes to Specially abled
Sick, broke and blind, on September 18, 1945, Willie Johnson died a sad death, suffering from pneumonia. Despite being blinded by his stepmother at a young age, he went on to produce some remarkable work and shaped the blues genre for the jazz industry. Decades later, on a spacecraft named Voyager sits a small disk with his music etched upon it. Even as you read this, the broke, blind man’s music is travelling beyond the solar system.
What we leave behind in life is what matters the most- the memories we cherish and the stories we narrate. Two young men, Ashish Palanna and Arjun D’Souza are currently preparing one brilliant story to narrate in their future. Inspired by music and touched by charity the duo sought to do something remarkable and unprecedented- spread music to those that need it the most. They went on to create the Music For Change Trust.
This group of people have combined charity and music and spread it to the unfortunate ones. Why should music be cherished and safeguarded solely by those that enjoy it in pleasure? It seems that we as a so called developed society have pigeon holed acts of enjoying and learning music solely to those that can afford it. But that needn’t and shouldn’t be the case. And so, through fundraising events, the Trust spurs its plan into action. Distribution of free musical instruments has been the main part of the agenda so far. Funding teachers to teach the various children has been the next step in the plan. To see the joy with which these children learn and relish their classes is heartwarming. One can almost feel the nervousness and inferiority being shrugged aside, a confident, carefree smile taking its place instead. And that is how one builds a person. Today’s charismatic child and the passionate dreamer is tomorrow’s next big name. The plans prepared for the days to come are numerous, waiting to be executed.
They say that we see the world not as it is but as we ourselves are. Children, in particular, have their world views crafted through the influences around them. Bringing them up in a world of good things makes them have a positive outlook towards life. The opposite, however, is scary. Whilst the gifted members of society shower their kids with all that they want, answering their needs and often even their fancies, some aren’t that fortunate. It is these very children that the Trust hopes to help. The ones, who are physically disabled, mentally challenged, specially abled and economically backward. The plan is to gift them music and the ability to create it on their own, imparting ‘talent’.
A child who has lost his sight ought to be able to appreciate the world and its beauty in other ways. The same applies to the teenager who leans against a wall, quietly observing as other youngsters his age go in and out of the annals of great colleges. Both of them might have already kept far aside any hope of attaining success in life. They have been put down by life and society, to the extent where they even consider themselves to be of no great use. A greater injustice couldn’t exist. It is saddening to see what the world has come down to. To reach out to them in itself is a noble task, to devote resources to change their condition is sheer brilliance.
The best way to mould a future is to start from the bottom, which is why education is essential. However, equipping our future with education in the arts is looked down upon in society. Somehow, the idea that music is rustic and that dance is cheap has crawled into the modern mindset. To want to be a singer or dancer is thought to be demeaning. Just thinking about potential singers deconstructed in engineering colleges and the wannabe poets surgically dissected in medical schools saddens me. And this is allegedly the middle-class mindset. How much harder must it be for these ones, for whom even attaining a normal education is an uphill task. It is this very mindset that the Trust hopes to shatter. Currently over a hundred children’s tasks have been made easier, an alternate path being carved.
To learn that the children who were trained are now themselves taking on the tasks of teaching is remarkable. It is often misunderstood that a movement is a slow, grinding process. Given the proper energy, anything can transform into the next big thing- that, is the muscle of passion. Music is powerful. That simply cannot be denied. For all I know, it is the tunes flowing into my ears as I type this that is driving the words forward. If music can be a Muse, it most certainly can be a teacher. One doesn’t need to be a billionaire or a bestselling author to bring about change. It can be done through little things and acts. What is your little action to make this world a slightly more joyful place? You know the Music For Change story. Wouldn’t you like to add your own chapter to this budding tale? Or perhaps you’d pen down one of your own…
And every time you doubt what you may leave behind, just think about the work of a blind man, now farther away than anything ever created by Man.