Manna School, Liza’s Home and the DIYA Foundation
In April 2018 the Music Man Project returned from an incredibly successful teaching and training trip to Bangalore in India. It surpassed our expectations, and all three institutions visited have committed to continue their own Music Man Project service in the future.
We taught at a Special School called Manna, which was started by a married couple to provide opportunities for their twin children and others like them. We also worked at an adult residential care home for ladies called Liza’s Home, started by 2 Doctors to provide safe, dignified care for their daughter Liza. Finally, we taught students at DIYA Foundation – a vocational college for young adults.
We taught for 1-2 hours a day, for three days in a row, then on the Saturday we brought everyone together for an hour-long concert in the community. It was a truly magical occasion, featuring 80 new Indian Music Man Project students performing to an audience of 150 people. Nothing had ever been done like this before. The feedback we received was highly moving. Parents and staff thought it would be impossible to teach such large numbers of children and adults with disabilities in one group and for them to make so much progress in such a short amount of time was a revelation to them. The concert brought a forgotten community together.
Our biggest impact was to show them that people with learning disabilities do not have to be taught one-to-one all the time, do not have to be kept quiet for fear of shame and embarrassment but instead their talents and personalities can be shared and celebrated with great joy.
Our visit marks the beginning of the Music Man Project’s expansion into India, following the UK model that has already led us to reach 6 counties in 3 years.