Orchestrating Compassion: Ten Year-Old Houstonian Partners with BARC to Revolutionize Animal Welfare through Music

Orchestrating Compassion: Ten Year-Old Houstonian Partners with BARC to Revolutionize Animal Welfare through Music

February 09 2024

Houston's softest hearts are singing a happy tune as BARC, the City of Houston's animal shelter, announces a soothing partnership with Wild Tunes, an extraordinary nonprofit organization that has sprung from the heart and mind of 10-year-old Yuvi Agarwal.

Yuvi, a fifth-grade student at The Village School, is the young brain behind Wild Tunes. With a spirit that vibrates with compassion, music, and love for animals, Yuvi has created a program designed to enrich the lives of shelter animals through the universal language of music.

"I care deeply about making a positive impact on the lives of animals and the well-being of our planet. Through Wild Tunes, I can make a difference in their lives," said Yuvi, whose likeable character and mature sense of responsibility are palpable. His dream of becoming an inventor, contributing to a cleaner Earth, is equally inspiring.

Wild Tunes originated as a simple act of kindness. Yuvi would play the keyboard for his beloved dog, Bozo, and witness the calming effect the music had on him. Backed by scientific research demonstrating the stress-reducing benefits of music, Yuvi along with his supportive mother, Priyanka Agarwal, ventured to integrate this innovative approach into various shelters, including Citizens for Animal Protection, Special Pals and now, BARC.

A video of Yuvi playing pianoforte furry friends at Citizens for Animal protection. (Source: Wild Tunes)

“Wild Tunes offers a win-win opportunity for both animals and volunteers. It has a positive impact on their overall well-being," said Priyanka, whose love for her son and enthusiasm for the program have driven this mother-son duo to share this incredible outreach with more shelters and ultimately, more pets.

Priyanka manages the day-to-day operations of Wild Tunes and is marveled by the effect her son's endeavor has had. Her son’s compassion inspired her to help make his vision a reality with Wild Tunes, amazed that “this innocent idea was conceived by a young, compassionate and kind boy who wants to bring music to more animal shelters, simply out of the goodness of his heart."

BARC was among the first shelters to open its doors to Wild Tunes. Recognizing the transformative potential of this program, Mick Compton, BARC's Volunteer Coordinator, warmly embraced the idea.

“Auditory/Musical enrichment is one of the many forms of enrichment that we provide for our shelter pets, and has proven to greatly benefit the animals that experience it!"

Houston resident Drew Harris playing acoustic guitar for a furry friend at BARC. (Source: BARC)

The impact of Wild Tunes has been remarkable. Yuvi has volunteered at multiple local shelters, his keyboard serenading dogs, cats, and bunnies. His music has woven a blanket of calm over these animals, making them more adoptable. Fundraising efforts have also been substantial. In November 2023, Wild Tunes hosted the Melodies of Gratitude concert, raising $17,000 after a generous company matched the initial $8,500 collected.

For Yuvi, music isn’t just a soothing pastime; it’s a way of life. "Music is food for my soul! I love to play all kinds of percussion instruments and compose my own songs. I believe every animal deserves a chance to hear the language of music," he said.

Join Wild Tunes by volunteering your time and talents at BARC, open for volunteers seven days a week (except city holidays) between 9 am and 5 pm. BARC is encouraging anyone with the talent and access to gentle instruments such as the acoustic guitar, ukelele, piano, violins and other similar instruments to help provide a calming experience for their shelter pets. All you have to do is register as a volunteer and participate in New Volunteer Orientation. Take a step towards making a difference by signing up on BARC's website today.

By Tiffany Krenek, My Neighborhood News 
Tiffany Krenek has been on the My Neighborhood News team since August 2021. She is passionate about curating and sharing content that enriches the lives of our readers in a personal, meaningful way. A loving mother and wife, Tiffany and her family live in the West Houston/Cypress region.

Subscribe to Your


Stay current on local news and events with periodic emails sent straight to you!

Change Neighborhood

Select Your Region/Community