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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont

Founded by Kamakshi and Vishala Khurana, The Sound Space is a music institution that teaches Indian classical music in a deconstructed manner.

In this exclusive interview with the India Currents, the institution’s founders speak about the motivation for setting up TSS, how music therapy helps with post-Covid effects, and the work they do with schools, corporates, NGOs, and care centres.

Kamakshi and Vishala Khurana.

IC: Tell our readers how you decided to set up The Sound Space.

KK & VK: The Sound Space is a culmination of our dreams, hopes, and ambitions to make music a part of everyone’s lives. It started off as an experiment where we explored the different ways in which music can impact one’s life. Now it’s moved on to become a full-fledged company that infuses people’s lives through education, events, and therapy. 

We grew up in a very musical household, and been very deeply inspired by our dad. He left his business and started a career in music, and we grew up around his gurus. Music has always been a part of our atmosphere. We went ahead to study music on our own, completing our visharads from the University of Lucknow. Our deep connection with music led us to found The Sound Space.

We’re deconstructing the complexities of Indian music and using it to offer an enhanced life to children and adults alike. For that, we’re working hand-in-hand with various schools, NGOs, and multinational corporations through The Sound Space’s diverse programs. The Sound Space is redefining traditional Indian music in the education, healthcare, and corporate sectors through innovative programs, workshops, and welfare initiatives. This is because we believe that Indian music is at the epicenter of human wellbeing and holistic living. 

Working with children.

IC: How do you deconstruct classical music in order to teach it?

KK & VK: Our aim for TSS is to make Indian classical music approachable. Therefore, we deconstruct more complex concepts, like the bandish or ragas, and we try to explain them through simple games or stories. We introduce children early to different genres of Indian classical music, and how they can be approached in a friendlier and easier manner through movement, music, games, stories, activities, and simplified methods.

A ragamala painting (Image credit: Wikimedia)

IC: Tell us about some of your modules, workshops, and interactive sessions.

KK & VK: We work with various schools and institutions across the city. Our modules are mainly created based on the age group we’re working with. For example, we have created a module around the Ragamala paintings, which involves music, dance, and fine art. These are used together to create an educational and insightful presentation.

With folk music, children explore different kinds of folk music and dances around the country with very specific classical modules. So, depending on the age group and the requirement, we work to create the most insightful and child-friendly modules.

IC: You use music therapy to help combat stress, anxiety, and its after-effects, particularly post-Covid.

KK & VK: Science has shown that musical training can change brain structure and function for the better. It can also improve long-term memory. It can lead to better brain development for those who start at a young age. Sound has the power to center us by relieving stress in its strong abilities to heal and revive the mind, body, and soul. Everything in the universe vibrates at its own, specific, natural frequency—including every human being. Every system in our body has its own cycle, rhythm, and pulse. Our therapy sessions help individuals relax and be in their bodies, while experiencing the boundless energy of music.

We believe that overall, music therapy helps to increase lung capacity. If there is any phlegm or mucus filled in the lungs and sinuses, it helps to release these and makes the patient more comfortable. Because Covid causes a lot of congestion, this kind of therapy is very helpful. Chanting helps to regularize the heart rate, helping the body reach a state of calm so as to cope with the healing process and after-effects of medication.

The focus on the anahata chakra helps with healing any emotional trauma. Using the power of sound and frequency to heal the chakras coupled with various vocal exercises can help distress and cope with the effects of the illness. It helps to alleviate exhaustion caused by the illness. It also helps increase the breathing capacity and immunity of the body over a period of time.

Working with children.

IC: Tell us about the work that you do with schools, corporates, NGOs, and care centres.

KK & VK: We want to bring music to the doorstep of every child in this country. Many children are unable to go to school or don’t have a better way to spend their time, so we want to bring a classroom to them. We want music to become a part of their life—to help them ease stress, express themselves better, use their time in a more constructive manner, and help with left and right brain development. The idea is to bring music to their doorstep, and we have done this by introducing our most recent project that will be up and running soon—The Sound Space on Wheels.

Our other classes at various institutes also aim to bring Indian music to more people across the city as well as a few projects across the country. All these sessions involve introducing children to music and Indian classical music. We also do music therapy sessions in various foundations, such as Jai Vakeel Foundation, VConnect Foundation, and EAR.

IC: Any plans for the future?

KK & VK: Our plans for the future are to bring music into every home in the country—to reach out to more people, so that they can experience the benefits of learning an art form that helps them to deal with life in a more systematic, happier manner. It also makes space for self-expression, to make time for oneself, so that whenever one needs a good friend, they have music by their side. We also hope to bring music to more children and adults with special needs. This is a very important aspect of our work, and we definitely want to explore it more.

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Neha Kirpal

Neha Kirpal is a freelance writer based in Delhi. She has worked for over a decade in print, television, and online media. Her diverse interests in the culture beat include books, music, travel, films,...