Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Moving in Winds of Change

In April of 2012, Mirra Arun, Meera Murthy Dhage and Pia Bunglowalla carried out a 10 day workshop at the school Winds of Change for the children. It was an enriching and exciting process for them all, as Mirra reports. 

Winds of Change is a school for special needs children. There were 7 children with varying learning disabilities and specific needs. Movement and music with props was our way to build a relationship with these children. We designed sessions that we would do in a normal class and observed that it worked wonders with any child.

The children were mesmerized in the Light, Water and Music session. We engaged them in a specific activity where we had them look into a cup of water in a semi lit room with candles. They were then asked to move without spilling the water and to place their cups in a floral formation in front of the candles. The one and a half hour session was charged with the children's intensity and patience. There was complete silence through the session as they moved to music with their water cups and settled down in front of the candles, watching the flame dance. 

Another session that worked magic was Exploring Paper Mountain – where we filled the room with strips of paper. We ourselves danced, jumped, twirled to the music on the paper, making mountains and breaking them. Initially, all the kids did was watching us and slowly one by one started joining and had a wonderful time immersing themselves in the paper. 

It was a complete process oriented workshop without the pressure of putting up a performance. Hence we could work according to the children's pace and interest. Some days we fit in a lot of activities and some days we stuck with just one. We listened to the kids rather than stick to a rigid plan. My experience at Winds of Change brings home to me again how beautiful it would be to follow a completely process oriented program for both the students and the teachers.

-Mirra Arun

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