Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Most Epic Musical Maestros

Design for change has a knack for bringing the best out of students everywhere around the world. It did the same with my kids as I taught them blissfully unaware of their hidden talents. Until..

The School Band decided to teach the younger kids music since they felt very strongly about spreading their love for music and dismiss the stereotype of kids choosing STEM subjects as career options, the importance laid on them and the lack of importance laid on Arts and its forms. As the kids started teaching music to the hostel kids,they realized they could teach it in school as well and in their journey through the process the entire project evolved to be a three-fold process. 

While teaching younger kids the basics of music, they realized they only had 3 bag pipes and 5 drums which was not enough for a class of 30 students and also became the limiting factor for other kids who wanted to join the school band. That's when they realized that they can use trash to play music and went on a spree to clean their campus and in order to get musical instuments. They also approached the famous Ladakhi Musician Mr. Angchuk Ralam, who taught them how to make innovative musical instruments, like a flute with a PVC pipe and shared the importance of the flute in their Traditional Ladakhi folk culture. 

They say the best way of learning is teaching others, and thats exactly what the kids did! and in the process learned of their own potential as a team and made a band called Tash Band to spread the message of saving the environment, share their love for music and their reverence for their Ladakhi culture. 

This was one of the hardest videos to edit and make it less than 3 mins because we had hours and hours of great footage of almost about two weeks of the project. For me, personally this project was an emotional journey of getting to know my kids, their outlook towards life and it was moving to see them talk about their passions with such gusto and the why they love music so much. Each one has a different reason and a story of what music means to them and how they learned music. I only wish I could include all in the video but due to a time constraint I couldn't but here are some of my favorite quotes. 

"You can't see music, but you can hear it and feel it" -Mipam, Class 10. (he said it in hindi and it sounded even more beautiful) To get to know your students beyond their knowledge, beyond their marks, beyond their behavior in class an eyeopening feeling. "I picked up an instrument for the first time when I sneaked into the marching band practice even though I wasn't a part of the band, and the instructor was shouting on all the kids for some reason, but while we were all getting Dandda and I just started playing it, it came to me naturally and everyone was shocked!"

"Music is my stress buster. If i've had a bad day at school I come back to my hostel room and just play my instrument and I feel better"-Nurbu, class 10, Head Boy

"When I was small I used to pretend play the drums with tin cans like the big bhayyas because I wanted to learn so bad." - Galdan, Class 8

"I was taught music by a now ex-student of the school. and i remeber there being only one keyboard and all the students wanting to learn. I was lucky enough to play my hands on it. but not everyone was that lucky. This project is my way of giving back to my school." -Kesang, Class 8

For those of you who have been waiting patiently for the video from the two weeks of music masti at school! Here you go!
*View on youtube with Subtitles/CC option* 


  1. Great job Aarti! Loved this instrument metal music (perhaps music masti at your school) and dance. Truly inspiring..