Mumbai teen develops music app 'Theratunes' to help children with varying mental abilities

It offers original music therapy compositions and a teacher training module to support instructors throughout India including Delhi, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Sherine RajUpdated: Monday, February 14, 2022, 02:22 PM IST
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A Mumbai teenager, Nirvaan Pandit aged 17, has created a music app ‘Theratunes’, a music therapy program designed for children with varying mental abilities. It offers original music therapy compositions and a teacher training module to support instructors throughout India including Delhi, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Maharashtra. This free app has already crossed over 10,000 unique users.

Rhea Daulet Singh, a teacher at St Judes Cancer care hospice for underprivileged children, said, "It is the first app I've seen in India which is developed mentally appropriate for children and is completely research-based which focuses on communication, creativity and cognitive development. It is a great tool to ignite all of these things in children in an enjoyable way which is through music. Also, children are kinaesthetic learners, that is, they learn through movement and action which we can teach through this app because of the songs and music."

"It is also a user-friendly app which has detailed instructions for the teachers and the music of the app also leads to a social and emotional development of the children which helps in developing their Emotional Quotient," she added.

While talking about the app, Nirvaan said, "Music is therapeutic and soothing for anyone, so we researched specific skills that can be developed through music that can specifically help children with mental disabilities. Earlier we trained teachers how to teach the 'Theratunes' contents to their students through books but during the lockdown, I developed the app which has helped us reach a much larger audience."

"The app is available in English and Hindi currently, and in future, we will add more languages which will also help in reaching more children. All the songs are original, I write the lyrics and compose the songs, and we also have actions with it that we choreograph by researching music therapy songs which help in developing the motor skills of the students," added Nirvaan.

"In India, not just music therapy but any kind of music education is very underdeveloped and for young children, it's almost negligible. Music therapy and music education should get more focus because it can help drastically in the development of children," he said.

Aditya Mayekar, a teacher from Jai Vakeel Foundation, a special needs school, said, "Earlier this app was used in the school but now because of the pandemic we are using it through online classes which have also been successful. The app has different action songs through which the students learn many things while also having fun. My son who is only a year and a half old also started learning the songs and the actions while watching me teach my students during zoom classes. This surprised me and it proved how good this app is for the quick and efficient development of children."

Nirvaan's music teacher, David Williamson, said, "I've been Nirvaan's music teacher for 12 years and I know that he is a good guitarist and he is an analytical listener. He is very passionate about his project 'Theratunes', and the fact that he can extend its possibility beyond him and reach teachers and students all over India is very remarkable."

Theratunes.org is a free app and is available on Google Play Store. iPhone users can access it at theratunes.org/app.

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