HOUSTON — Yuvi Agarwal is about to start fifth grade at The Village School in west Houston and he’s already working to make a difference in his community.
Yuvi has a passion for music that started when he was a baby, according to his mom Priyanka, and he began playing instruments at a very young age.
“Maybe when I was around two or three, I started liking music and I started playing piano when I was four and I think drums when I was five,” Yuvi told us. “I started out with a tiny set from Five Below.”
The 10-year-old also loves animals. He said they have a dog named Bozo who seems to enjoy music too – at least the piano; the drums, not so much.
“When I play the piano or when I play music just on my speakers or something, my dog just always just relaxes, lies down and just listens to the music,” Yuvi explained.
Through his school, Yuvi participated in a program to read to the animals at Citizens for Animal Protection -- or CAP – a privately-run animal shelter in west Houston. When he saw how the dogs seemed to calm down, it was a lightbulb moment.
“I decided to basically play music for the animals,” Yuvi said. “Definitely not drums, a melodious instrument such as piano, guitar, steel pan, and that will reduce their anxiety."
He pitched the idea to his mom, and she encouraged him to write up a concept plan.
While working on his two-page plan, he came up with the name: Wild Tunes.
“It just, you know, popped into my head,” Yuvi said.
Mom and Dad were pretty impressed.
“As parents, we're really proud of how he came up with this whole concept of Wild Tunes,” Priyanka told us. “He came up with the name, he came up with the design.”
They took the idea to a few shelters, but they passed. Then a family friend mentioned Yuvi to Houston Pets Alive, a rescue that works with BARC and the Harris County Animal Shelter to help save as many animals as possible. They loved the idea and said let’s do it.
Now, Yuvi plays his piano for the dogs at Houston Pets Alive every week to help soothe them and give them a little peace. Some of the dogs even “sing along” during his sessions by barking.
The Village School encourages students to “make a real-world impact” and Priyanka said they’ve been very supportive of the project.
Yuvi isn’t stopping here though.
“I want to expand it and eventually make it into a nationwide initiative where people can just openly participate,” he said. “And they just need to love animals and be able to play a melodious instrument.”
Priyanka said they also hope to host a holiday concert with Yuvi as the lead pianist to raise money for Houston Pets Alive.