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KEY 3. Music Moves

Music can be such a powerful tool for activism in the community, leadership through lyrics, and communicating authentic messages. 

2 mins

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Music Moves us to take action, pushes us to finish that last workout, connects us at concerts, calms us when life gets tough, reminds us of our first love, and allows us to dance the night away. Music can be such a powerful tool for activism in the community, leadership through lyrics, and communicating authentic messages.  We can think of many ways music has impacted our lives, but here are a few:  

  • Studying for school and remembering concepts that were hard to understand
  • Brought us to tears at a loved one’s funeral service
  • Conversation starter with people that are now lifelong friends
  • Incorporated into teaching students to help them understand different skills and reach their goals

Music Moves Articles

1.  Remarkable Cork man defies odds to create tribute to frontline workers by Sarah Horgan from Echo Live

Cillian has cerebral palsy, he uses assistive technology to help him communicate with others. Cillian created a song for frontline workers entitled “Don’t Give Up”. Through his eye-gaze software, Cillian created the lyrics and music for the song. 

Quote from the article: “People sometimes assume you don’t know what’s going on,” he said. “Sometimes, they’ll shout really loud into your face as if you’re not able to hear them. Music gives me a chance to be able to express myself.”

2. Rising Phoenix’ Enlists Disabled Rappers to Join Daniel Pemberton for Documentary Soundtrack by Jon Burlingame from VARIETY

The soundtrack of Rising Phoenix includes three musicians with disabilities. They all wrote from their personal experience and then sent in their parts for mixing into the song.

Quote from the article:  “I feel what everybody else is going through in that film. I’ve witnessed discrimination not just as a Black female but as a disabled person. People think you’re ‘less than’ because you’ve been through what you’ve been through. We assume because a person has a disability, they are not capable. That sucks.”

3. DigiFest 2020 artists, performers and activists join to mark Alf’s Act by Nigel Barlow from About Manchester

DigiFest brings together disabled and non-disabled people who have worked together for this program.  It is a free two day digital festival that features various talent ranging from story sharing to music and films.  This festival seeks to celebrate, learn and challenge the legacy created by the 50th anniversary of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act (1970). This is a milestone that is marked in Manchester.

Quote from the article: “DigiFest shines a light on Alf’s Act which changed the lives of millions of disabled people worldwide and provides an historic opportunity for us to celebrate and learn. Most of all it will look to the future and how, together, we must shape a more equal society for disabled people. I hope that everyone will tune in, feel inspired, motivated and proud.”

4. Meet Darwin’s Sing Song Signers, a choir of young people who sign rather than sing by Lauren Roberts from ABC News 

Quote from the article: “For the past decade, the 27-year-old courier has spent his Saturday mornings rehearsing with the Sing Song Signers, a choir of young people most of whom live with disabilities. But unlike most chorale groups, the Sing Song Singers don’t sing — they entertain crowds by interpreting the lyrics of songs through sign language.”

5. Play what you see: how graphic scores can unleash your inner musical genius by Phil Hebblethwaite from The Guardian

Matt Ashdown is determined to help people get access to all aspects of music-making – composing, recording and performing.

Quote from the article: “For his latest project, Ashdown is hoping to engage creative minds far beyond Cornwall and particularly encourage children, young people and those with learning disabilities to get involved.”

6. Felix Klieser, the musician who plays the horn with his feet for La Orquesta Imposible by Alondra de la Parra from Explica

Quote from the article: “To change the different keys your instrument has, Felix Klieser uses his mouth, regulating the amount of air he blows. Thanks to this managed to have a one-of-a-kind style that has earned him recognition from his colleagues, although there are occasions when it is inevitable to have to silence the sound in different pieces, so for that he uses a mechanical device that operates with his right foot.”

7. WATCH: The King’s Singers collaborate with Soundabout in touching performance of ‘Amazing Grace’

Quote from the article: “The Soundabout Inclusive Choir is a musical community without barriers for people of all abilities. Soundabout supports families and carers of people with severe and profound learning disabilities being able to not only have a voice, but to lead the group.”

Insight Question

How can music move us to make changes within society and to be a tool to use to drive inclusion and accessibility?

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