BEIRUT: Music sheets, notes, and instruments are more than just ingredients of a musical piece for Karim Yashruti, they’re a ticket to a trip of the imagination, where anything is possible.
Yashruti, 20-years-old, was born with Cerebral Palsy, a disease that causes movement disorders. Physically bound to a wheelchair since childhood, Yashruti’s imagination transcended his condition and enabled him to mentally travel anywhere he wished.
Fighting all the odds, he inspiringly reached his own personal musical nirvana.
“My grandfather exposed me to music when I was five-years-old,” Yashruti told Annahar.
Music was like an echo that accompanied him all the way to his grandparents' house in the US; it surrounded his day-to-day activities, and the then-five-year-old found himself attached to it.
Ever since, music no longer remained just a track, some lyrics, and a few notes, but rather, it became the theme of the young enthusiast’s life.
Noticing this spark of happiness that he experienced while listening to music, his parents took him to his very first Christmas concert.
“After this concert, Yashruti wanted to attend more concerts,” said his mother Myriam. “It was during this period that we discovered his passion for music.”
As his passion grew, a music teacher from the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra was assigned to teach Yashruti the basics of music.
Yet, the basics were not enough to satisfy Yashruti’s musical desire.
“Karim did have a private music teacher from when he was almost 10-years-old,” said Myriam. “A year ago, I heard about Keys’n Cords, his current music academy, and I felt the need to take it a notch higher,” she added.
Believing in her son, she contributed to expanding his musical knowledge and felt the need to offer him all the necessary means.
Over the course of a year, Yashruti learned to value music more.
He became well aware of the different genres and started accepting ones he did not previously like, such as opera. He was also trained to talk using musical terms.
“We laugh a lot during the session and I challenge him a lot,” Reem Deeb, Doctorate of Music, Yashruti’s music professor and Keys’n Cords Director, told Annahar. “We stress on conducting, because it’s what he loves most.”
His sessions with Deeb helped him branch out his musical knowledge, enhance his speech, and boost his self-confidence. Not only that, but conducting exercises also improved his movement and posture.
“After joining the academy, Yashruti started regarding music as a responsibility rather than only something he loves,” said Sebastien Nemri, Yashruti’s shadow teacher, the person who always accompanies a special needs student.
In parallel to his music sessions, Yashruti expands his musical knowledge at home through taking online music courses with the assistance of Nemri.
“We take different classes together and he enjoys them all; but, when it comes to music, the passion is obvious, which makes these lessons unique and much more engaging for him,” Nemri told Annahar.
With the power of music and determination, Yashruti’s musical life flourished in a short period of time. Music became therapeutic to him; enabling him to face all challenges.
Music was also a means to socialize for Yashruti.
Through participating in events organized by his music academy, his social life became more active.
Along with the social impact, his heath was also improved by the power of music.
“The benefits of music went further to affect Yashruti on a health level. His breathing is now better, and he developed better movement through learning conducting patterns,” Deeb said.
Through music, Yashruti displayed significant positive change, as noted by Deeb, whether it be on the social, physical, or individual level.
Determined and passionate, Yashruti never misses any of Deeb’s classes, and it seems that his journey had only just begun.
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