[On 16th-19th January, 2019, Homegrown is throwing a first-of-its-kind music festival in Mumbai designed to celebrate the city’s vast and diverse music culture. Dive deep into a wide variety of dynamic workshops, exhibitions, curated tours, panels, pop-ups, performances and parties that promise to be inclusive of all kinds of tastes and people.
There’s something for everyone, click here to find what’s perfect for you.]
Whether you’re the next John Bonham or just tapping out a tune on the tabletop, we all have a little rhythm in our veins waiting for a release. If you want to try your hand at shaping your own beat there is only one place you should go, Taal Inc. This one of a kind venture specialises in drum circles and gives people an opportunity to work with a range of percussion instruments. When Varun Venkat and Janak Vadgama founded Taal Inc. they never could have imagined the reach and success that lay before them. The company takes an entirely unique view of music and their drum circles aim to bring people peace, happiness and good health through the power of a rhythmic drum beat.
Each circle differs in objective depending on the group, some are just for a fun, chilled out experience while others are more sombre and act as a means of therapy. All the drum circle facilitators have backgrounds in psychology and music so that they can ensure you get the very best out of your experience. But they do much more beyond this, they also have separate classes where you can learn to play the djembe and they are currently the only school in India that offers this course. Varun himself is a certified djembe player and professor and represents Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy in India under the guidance of Grandmaster Mamady keita. There is also a fully fledged band called the Taal Inc. Rhythm Ensemble that plays traditional West African folk music and makes their instruments out of recycled waste.
Their more formal venture is the Research and Training organization that organizes corporate training programs, assesses the need for interventions for behavioural issues, executes various art based and experential training sessions and also does research in the area of arts and health. We’ve published papers in international journals and, also authored chapters in text books in the field of Arts and Health. They dedicate themselves to this cause because the truly believe the arts have the potential to change lives.
They had a bumpy start and the project was met by a fair amount of scepticism when they first launched, Varun and Janak remember a time when business meant a lot of free sessions to convince people of their legitimacy. Today though, they have a strong dedicated team that endorse each of their unique ventures with conviction. Whether their Kids in Rhythm module for children aged 3 to 8, their West African dance sessions or their Art Talks which are targeted at special needs groups such as people dealing with ADHD, Epilepsy, sex workers, geriatric groups or children in hospice care they bestow every endeavour with the same amount of love, care and enthusiasm.
The ultimate goal for Taal is to unite people under the banner of music. As they say ‘We are happy and proud to be a strong, committed and excellent team constantly focussed on learning and being the best we can be.’ They want people to feel healthy and energised by this novel mode of music therapy. They hope one day there will be a Drum In Every House and from their six bases across the nation they are working to train more therapists who promote the power of rhythm or healing. A united future with peace and well being for all is only a possibility if everyone is working together, as their motto states, Come. Drum. Be One.