5 years ago

Music as a Global Resource: - International Council for Caring ...

Music as a Global Resource: - International Council for Caring ...


SECTION: Music for Sustainable Community Development COUNTRY: India PROJECT: MUSICAL INSTRUMENT DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION IN A CREATIVE COMMUNITY ENTERPRISE FOR AT-RISK YOUTH: SVARAM DESCRIPTION: Since 2003, Svaram is one of many outreach projects of the internationally recognized Community of Auroville, India and is dedicated to the improvement of its local, indigenous neighborhoods in the surrounding villages of Tamil Nadu. Svaram is a vocational training opportunity for the youth of local villages. The training program focuses on the teaching of instrument design and construction, musical theory and practice and organizational skills. In addition to the hands-on aspect of the training, the youth are exposed to traditional performing arts and crafts to enhance awareness about the rich heritage of Tamil Culture. Involvement in this educational, vocational and employment activity helps to save the rural indigenous youth from the ever present onslaught of juvenile alcoholism, aggressive behavior, gang formation and criminality. Svaram is dedicated to creating new musical instruments which are available to everyone, regardless of age, talent, social or cultural background. SVARAM may possibly be one of the few places on the Indian subcontinent experimenting in the field of creating new musical instruments. The learning process is monitored and guided by selected resource people and teachers in the area of crafts, management, design, music and body awareness, cultural integration and development. Svaram program promotes the following: Trains local youth in the production and marketing of musical instruments for income generation based on a model of cooperative management Engages in technical and musicological research exploring this new field of research into ―sound materials,‖ bringing together Indian traditional methods and the expertise of a contemporary world music culture Involves international students and volunteers and hosts graduates of Indian colleges for internships and field research work. Supports a social outreach program sharing the acquired skills in village cultural education Participates in local and national cultural programs CURRENT STATUS: Now in the later phase of the 10-year development plan, the aim for the completion of the first ten years will be the ability to run the community enterprise in an independent and sustainable way. Started as a youth project, the original trainees are currently raising families and stepping into responsible positions in their home situations. They are challenged to manage the production and ongoing project work. Therefore the focus with the younger team is on capacity building, both in technical craft as well as organizational and social/life skills. The goal is to enhance the participatory management model of Svaram – integrating former illiterate young man in decisionmaking processes of the emerging community enterprise. Generally speaking, Auroville activities are financed by donations from Auroville residents, through income generated by Auroville business units and by international grants and donations. 50

These activities are co-ordinated by various Auroville working groups. ( RESEARCH AND EVALUATION: Through the integration of the traditional calendar and events our program has a clearly defined yearly cycle with various emphasizes according to seasonal changes, and a yearly evaluation in May (a hot summer month) is welcomed by the whole team to introspect, raise awareness and integrate. The pragmatic work with crafts, skills and production offers concrete measurable results and we found that it is important for the youth themselves to be able to see and evaluate their own progress, both through analyses of challenges/improvement of performance at work and problems/positive changes in their village/social and peer environment. Learning and working together has become the pulse of the project and it is a gift to see how the senior members (from the first training) are now supporting the junior members who in turn are helping new trainees. The project initiators are responsible for ongoing research, innovations and new processes. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Beginnings: and Video: Videos: Publications: Volunteers Blog: Radio: CONTACT INFORMATION: Organization: Svaram Address: Musical Instruments and Research, Kottakarai, Auroville, Tamil Nadu 605111, India Phone: +91-413-2622 220 Contact Person: Aurelio A.C.Hammer Email: 51

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