If you happen to walk through the streets of Worli and Nepean Sea Road in Mumbai, you may come across a special kind of yellow bus. This is the South Space on Wheels bus, a vehicle that’s designed to promote learning music and musical instruments among underprivileged children.
The Sound Space is a modern-age music space formed by two sisters Vishala and Kamakshi Khurana. It is redefining traditional Indian music in the education, healthcare, and corporate sector through innovative programmes, workshops, and welfare initiatives. The sisters acquired the bus earlier this year with the support of several sponsors. The bus is completely renovated and transformed into a veritable music school on wheels. The bus houses a multitude of instruments, including violins, pianos, guitars, percussion instruments, and djembe.
Music teachers associated with The Sound Space will be present on the bus to train young budding musicians. Vishala says, the teachers will help them learn music and discover their preferred instrument before teaching them to play it. It is an initiative that aims to bring music education to children who otherwise may not be able to have access to it, according to Vishala.
“We felt that every child that we can reach out to should have music in their life. That was the initial idea behind making The Sound Space a reality to bring music and sound into as many lives as we can,” she said.
The Sound Space started in 2010 with the idea of making music more accessible to everyone. Vishala and Kamakshi intend to introduce music as a best friend in every child’s life. “Music helps and supports you at every stage of your life,” says Kamakshi.
Interestingly, the two are also breaking the popular idea of having a physical space to teach music. Their driving force is to make music relevant to the younger generation by making it fun, appealing and accessible to all.
“We don’t have a space of our own. For us, bringing Indian music out was important. We studied with fascinating gurus but in a traditional set-up. We wanted to make it a more open space where we can impart more in less time and make it more relevant to people for a longer time where everyone gets to learn music regardless of their background,” says Kamakshi.
With the bus, the sisters hope to democratise and promote the learning of music by going directly to those who do not yet benefit from it in school. With this in mind, The Sound Space on Wheels will tour different areas around Worli and Nepean Sea Road including Lotus Colony, Asha Nagar, and Simla Nagar in Malabar Hill. Additionally, the bus will also be parked at Yashwantrao Chavan Centre for the children living in small bastis near Nariman Point. The bus will welcome budding musicians once a week in each area.