Pune: The music teacher at Bal Kalyan Sanstha, Dattatreya Bhave, has become the first in India to write a tabla guide-book in braille to boost the talents of visually impaired persons.
The book has given a ray of hope to thousands of people to excel in playing musical instruments and pursue their talent.
Bringing out such a book first came to Bhave’s mind when visually impaired students learning tabla started failing in music exams. “I saw a pattern in students who were failing. One was that there was miscommunication between the candidates and writers provided to them. Moreover, the writers, who assisted these students, lacked knowledge in music. Also, students faced difficulty in understanding music theory from books, which are meant for normal people,” said Bhave.
“Sandip Bhalerao, a student of mine, who is also visually challenged, taught braille to me,” added Bhave.
Bhave studied braille for two years under the guidance of experts. Speaking to Sakal Times, Bhave described the obstacles he faced while drafting the book. “For someone, who isn’t visually impaired, it becomes a little difficult to process things according to visually impaired people. I could read and write through my eyes, now I had to do it without using this part of my senses. I researched on how to write the notations, music codes, notes, etc. It took a while to understand signs and symbols. Time constraint was another limitation, which I faced during that period,” said Bhave.
Bhave released his first book of ‘Taal’ in 2010, which comprised syllabus of pre-elementary, elementary and an advance learning of tabla according to Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal.
“This book is written as per the exams conducted. In first two pages, it is mentioned how to read the book followed by question and answer format that will help the students to read it easily. I gave the book to some students for proof-reading and thankfully, students gave a good response,” said Bhave.
What came as a real achievement for Bhave was that music teachers from across the State started teaching visually impaired students with the help of these books.
“Shankar Muthgekar, a music teacher in Belgaum, who is visually impaired, started a music class with 70-80 students. He congratulated me stating that this book was of great help to him to teach these visually impaired students. He said there were no books that these students could refer to. With this book, it became easier for them,” said Bhave.
At present, the book is available in Marathi. Bhave plans to publish it in Hindi and English as well.