aura-sm-square-author By William Aura

Strolling through the Lalitpur section of old Kathmandu is often a dreamy experience. There’s a peaceful timelessness that resides here 24/7. Lalitpur is best known for its rich cultural heritage, particularly its tradition of arts and crafts. We grab our gear, head out and walk briskly through the picturesque royal square of the Malla Kings - turning right down a cobblestone alley to the welcoming gates of the Musica Music Institute.

Co-directors of the Institute, brothers Dinesh and Mahesh Nakarmi, greet us at the door. It was my pleasure on behalf of PFCF and Roland to deliver a brand new Roland GO MIXER PRO - an audio mixer for smartphones and iPads. The brothers immediately connected the GO MIXER PRO to their iPad and discovered a brave new world in audio recording.

A valued mentor at the school, voice-of-an-angel Anu Shakya (who recently performed a high-ranking appearance on Nepal’s smash TV show ‘Voice of Nepal’) joined soulful singer/guitarist Anikesh Maharjan for the first recording session utilizing the new equipment. We left them continuing their sonic explorations and look forward to hearing the results. The Roland GO MIXER PRO will be an inspiring resource for the students and we all are grateful for the gift.

PFCF student and mentor Rajani Byanjanker is not only a marvelous singer and inspiration for a music program, but she devotes a tremendous amount of her time rescuing animals left wounded in the streets. Her goal is to perform music as a way to gather funds for her humanitarian effort. We had extended interviews regarding her experience both in music and with animal rescue. Her words are certain to touch your heart. So stay tuned to hear more about Rajani and her mission.

One of our top music students reaches for the stars. Singer/guitarist Rachana Dahal premiered her new music video to a packed crowd at The Foyer Club in Kathmandu. Accompanied by longtime friend, student and PFCF mentor Anikesh Maharjan, they performed to an enthusiastic group of fans and premiered her dramatic new video. All of us at Playing For Change Foundation are so proud of Rachana’s accomplishments and wish her all the best with her career.

Birthdays away from your homeland can be a bittersweet occasion but fortunately, the Musica Music institute team knows how to throw a party. And I am forever grateful for their kindness. There was scrumptious cake (with fireworks!), party hats, traditional food, live music and deep fellowship with peace-loving students I could not be more proud of. Through the support of Playing For Change and their hard work, the Musica Music Institute has emerged as an incredible force in the community with no end in sight.