The rubric I’ll be using to grade your participation is available here. Online discussion #5 is open for comments from Tuesday, September 26 until the end of Monday, October 2.


 

Leonardo da Vinci - Vitruvian Man 1490
Leonardo da Vinci, “Vitruvian Man” (1490)

Our bodies carry us through the world. Sometimes we’re proud of our bodies; sometimes they fail us. Others react to our bodies: with pleasure, attraction, seeking comfort, recoiling in fear, or—before humans climbed to the top of the food chain—viewing us as prey. Each of our bodies is different, and that means we experience the world in slightly different ways: a space that feels claustrophobic to one person may feel cozy to another, or a distance that is easy to cross for one may be intimidatingly far for another. Weather that seems pleasant to you may be too hot, too cold, too sunny, or too windy for another person’s skin color, body fat percentage, or hair length. Your body is one of the first determinants in how you come to know the world—how it feels, how it treats you, and your place in it.

 

 

 

One of the things that comes with living in a society is a sense of what is “normal.” We build doorways, cars, stairways, airplane seats, and clothing to fit the “average” body. Even the language we use implies that there is a baseline of normal, since we refer to some people as having disabilities or being disabled, but we don’t refer to other people as “living with abilities” or “being abled.”

 

Really, “normal” just average, the middle of the pack. And that means that almost no one is “normal.” We’re all above average in some aspects of our physicality and below average in others.

Bell-Curve

Music can be seen as a musician’s interpretation of the world, and their interpretation partly comes from moving through the world in their bodies—each person has a unique array of physical attributes as well as all the sensations, experiences, attitudes, and assumptions that come along with his or her body. A musician’s unique musical perspective comes from how they walk, the rhythm of their heart and lungs, the physical capabilities or limitations of their music making, how people treat them based on their appearance, and what they notice from their physical vantage point.

Let’s look at some musicians whose abnormalities—including physical and mental disabilities—shape the sounds they make.

Physical disabilities

Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder

There are numerous examples of blind musicians throughout music history: Ray Charles (1930-2004) and Stevie Wonder (b. 1950) readily come to mind. And there are others, all of whom are imbued with a degree of reverence or magical awe by others, that somehow the loss of sight makes these musicians seem even more musically insightful

 

  • Friedrich Kuhlau (1786-1832), a German pianist-flutist-composer who lost his sight as a child when he tripped going down a set of stairs while hold glass containers, which shattered in his eyes
  • Blind Willie Johnson (1897-1945), a blues and gospel guitarist from Texas
  • Andrea Bocelli (b. 1958), an Italian pop-opera singer-composer
shakuhachi
Meditating shakuhachi players would wear a basket called a tengai to hide their faces while playing

The eyes are so important that 19th-century meditating shakuhachi players (see Online discussion #3) adopted a reversed version of this blindness, covering their faces so passersby would be “blind” to the identity of the person playing the flute, allowing the sounds they made to seem even more timeless and powerful.

 

Although the ability to see is crucial for much human interaction, it clearly isn’t an impediment to participating in music, which is a sonic medium. Deafness would be impossible for a musician, right?

That’s what Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) thought when he started going deaf at the end of the 18th century as a result of an infection, just as his career as a virtuoso pianist and composer was taking off. Suddenly, it was all gone: his livelihood, his life-long honed skills (he had been trained by his father from a very young age—remember Online discussion #2?), and the joy he

beethoven standing
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

took in listening to the birds and rustling grasses on his walks through the countryside. He already felt isolated and lonely—he wasn’t a particularly attractive man, and he didn’t have the patience to always mind his manners when speaking, to dress neatly, or to, basically, kiss ass to the wealthy aristocrats of Vienna. So he’s a loner, someone who feels like an outsider in society, and he’s losing his one consolation: his exceptional musical talent.

 

In 1802, Beethoven went to Heiligenstadt, the country town that inspired his Symphony No. 6 we listened to in class. He was distraught—what point was there to living if he couldn’t be “BEETHOVEN THE SUPER AWESOME TALENTED MUSICIAN”? And he decided to kill himself.

Beethoven house Heiligenstadt
The house where Beethoven would stay while in Heiligenstadt

Spoiler alert: he didn’t. We’ve already heard music in class that he wrote after 1802, right?

Instead, he doubled down on being the best musician he could be, committing himself to creating music for the rest of his life, and did so because he believed the world would be worse off if he did not. Think about the gravity, egoism, and confidence of that position: that Beethoven was so sure of his talent, his creativity, and his role in the world that he believed depriving others of his music would make him feel worse than the physical pain, social discomfort, and frustration of going deaf.

He penned a document now known as the Heiligenstadt Testament, in which he states that it was “only his art that held [him] back.” You can read the full text here: Beethoven – Heiligenstadt Testament

Beethoven’s decision not to kill himself—and to base that decision on the necessity of continuing to make music—plays an enormous role in his legacy, making him a revered, admired, intimidating, and inspiring figure for musicians and non-musicians alike from the 19th century onwards.

Deafness is less of an isolating trait today than it was in Beethoven’s time; sign language hadn’t yet been developed, doctors didn’t understand what caused deafness, and the idea of finding “empowerment” through overcoming challenges wasn’t anywhere near as popular of a narrative then as it is today (stoic resignation was a much more common reaction or attitude). Antoine Hunter, in contrast, is a deaf dancer-choreographer who runs a studio for other deaf dancers in San Francisco, and his life’s work is devoted to the empowerment of deaf people:

 

Just as with Hunter, being attuned to vibrations, even without being able to hear all of them, is part of how Evelyn Glennie (b. 1965), a deaf percussionist from Scotland, is able to perform—she’s typically seen onstage barefoot so she can feel what her instruments are doing, and her 2003 Ted Talk describes how she learned to better understand the world by using her whole body:

 

Mental health

Amy Winehouse. Jimi Hendrix. Jim Morrison. Kurt Cobain. Chris Cornell. Chester Bennington.

Musicians who’ve suffered from mental illness and died from suicide and/or drug and alcohol overdoses seem commonplace. Mental health issues are common among musicians who are still alive and seemingly functional, as well, including anxiety disorders (Adele, Zayn Malik, Britney Spears, Barbra Streisand), eating disorders (Elton John, Paula Abdul Demi Lovato), depression (Lady Gaga, Sia, Bruce Springsteen, Kid Cudi), and performance anxiety (extremely common in the classical music world).

Mental illness can be debilitating, particularly because it often doesn’t seem as obvious to observers as, say, a broken leg or a runny nose. There’s also a long-standing myth that creativity and mental illness go together—that abnormality and freakish talent go hand-in-hand—and it’s untrue, but for people whose identities are inextricably linked to being creative on demand, doing anything that might jeopardize that “gift” (like seeking professional help) can often unthinkable.

We partly have Beethoven and other 19th-century musicians to blame—Beethoven likely suffered from bipolar disorder (his letters, conversation books, and descriptions by contemporaries suggest this diagnosis, even though contemporary medicine did not), and people found the idea of a tortured artist to be quite compelling in the 19th century, and this carried over into the 20th and 21st centuries. There are other examples of 19th-century classical musicians with diagnosed mental illness as well, and these reinforce the crazy-creative myth:

  • Hector Berlioz (1803-69), who self-medicated with opium and other drugs
  • Robert Schumann (1810-56), who walked himself into a river in his bathrobe to drown himself but failed and was committed to a mental institution
  • Anton Bruckner (1824-96), obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-93), whose depression was compounded by his shame over his sexual orientation and led to his suicide

When your body fails you

Then there are examples of musicians who don’t persevere—like Beethoven—and don’t spectacularly flame out at a young age—like Amy Winehouse—but whose bodies deteriorate and get the best of them over time, slowly changing or eliminating their ability to work: Lil Wayne and Prince, who both suffer from epilepsy; Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), whose compositional style changed as his brain deteriorated due to dementia; or Aaron Copland (1900-90), who simply could no longer come up with a single musical idea once Alzheimer’s set in (he lived for another 30 years after he last composed music in 1960).

Matisse - The Fall of Icarus 1943
The French artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954) turned to paper cutouts when his body would no longer let him paint after being diagnosed with cancer. The Fall of Icarus (1943)

“It was exactly as if someone had simply turned off a faucet.”

—Aaron Copland, describing his inability to come up with any musical ideas after his Alzheimer’s progressed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avoidable injuries that musicians give themselves

There are also disabilities caused by music making. Overuse and excessive practice habits can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and focal dystonia for instrumentalists. These injuries are common and often career-ending physical. There’s no cure for carpal tunnel syndrome (numbness and tingling in the hands and arms due to a compressed nerve) other than ceasing the activity that caused it—meaning, no more playing music. Focal dystonia, which causes involuntary spasms that contract muscles in the body, on the other hand, is neurological—it’s a problem in the brain caused by a “mismapping” of physical motions in the brain (the brain mixes up which muscles are activated by different parts of the brain, resulting in mixed signals). For musicians, this most often happens in the muscles they use to do the most precise work of playing their instruments: embouchures of wind and brass players, fingers of pianists. It’s possible to re-train one’s body and learn to play without triggering these spasms, as Chicago-based oboist Alex Klein was able to do.

The most common injury for singers is ruining of the vocal folds—Adele may never sing again because of her poor vocal technique, in which she creates a big sound by straining and tearing her vocal folds. Those kinds of vocal injuries are rarer in the classical world because operatic singers work with vocal coaches non-stop while in school and their professional careers to develop and maintain healthy technique. Melissa Cross is a vocal coach who works with metal and hardcore singers to be able to scream for hours on end, night after night on tour:

 

Music therapy

Music can also be used as a therapeutic tool to help people with all of the disabilities discussed above create a sense of home, belonging, and well-being. Making music is fun, motivating, social, and doesn’t rely on language skills—it’s an avenue for all kinds of people to find themselves.

When I’m not in class with you guys, I work at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, which has the largest clinical music therapy program in Brooklyn and provides music therapy in schools, senior centers, and community centers at 32 sites across New York City. (I’m not a music therapist; I do other work for the Conservatory.) The Conservatory works with 1,400 children, teens, adults, and seniors to help them reach their developmental, physical, social, and emotional goals through music therapy, including people with developmental, cognitive, and neurological delays; Autism spectrum disorders; Alzheimer’s and dementia; and emotional and psycho-social trauma.

Below is an introduction to the work the Brooklyn Conservatory does in its music therapy program:

 

Final thoughts

Disability studies is an emerging area of inquiry in the musicological world, with publications only appearing in the last 8 years or so. In his 2011 book, Extraordinary Measures: Disabilities in Music, music theorist Joe Straus frames the concept of “disability” as a social construct, not a medical condition: our societal needs decide and define what is “disabling” based on what activities we collectively expect, need, or value. There are aspects of music making that thrive due to traits that might otherwise be disabling—social anxiety, narcissism, autism, obsessive compulsive disorder—but these traits can be crippling in musical contexts, too. We don’t typically tell the stories of musicians whose physical, mental, or neurological traits completely prevented them from achieving fame, accolades, or success*—just the ones who were normal enough to use their abnormalities to their advantage.

*But what is success, really?

-Dr. J.

 

No conversation-starting questions this week—I don’t want to dictate where the conversation goes, and there’s plenty to think about here without them!

99 thoughts on “Music and disability (Online discussion #5)

  1. In this weeks discussion, I found the topic of music/disabilities very moving and inspiring. People such as Beethoven, Antoine Hunter, Evelyn Glennie all used their disabilities to their advantage and wanted to help people by sharing their experiences. One thing that stuck with me from Evelyn’s TED Talk story, was when she pretended to play her instrument, to prove a point of; if one’s eyes see something happening, we assume the sound is there. Her example was ” When we see trees rustling in the wind, we assume the sound of the trees rustling is there”, even though one might not be hearing anything at all. The “Brooklyn Conservatory of Music”, which is a music therapy program mentioned in this discussion connected with me the most. This program is for all types of people with disabilities, music therapy was proven to be an effective and creative way to help people embrace their disabilities and find themselves through the music.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with your text about Evelyn Glennie: TED talk. Also, I was inspired her performance, while using her bare hands, beat drum without sticks. She said that “listen to experience, do not judge, imagine and allow your body open.” She emphasizes that ” the hearing is not the same as listening – that in fact, ears are just one avenue of receiving sound.” What do you think her this opinion from “How to truly listen” ?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What is one thing that connected with you from reading this discussion?
    -One thing for me would be the “Brooklyn Conservatory of Music”, for music therapy, because i have a younger cousin with autism and i feel like this type of therapy could be very effective for her.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think what connected with me while reading this discussion was the beginning where it said we are all different and go through life completely different. I know it’s true, but it made me think about how true that it. We may have things in life that’s the same however, we experience life completely different. There’s no one in the world that could experience life the way you do, no matter what.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I completely agree, everyone experiences life in different ways. That is what makes us all amazing individuals. No one can write our story, only we can.

        Like

      2. I agree completely with what you said and just want to add that with each individual uniqueness creates for more expression in music and all art forms.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. One thing that connected with me is that we are all different and understand things differently. But its striking to me how everyone can be impacted with music, from people with spectrum disorders through to the ‘normal’ people. Music is just amazing! I have seen many disabled people make such beautiful music and I think its therapy to them and a great pacifier. They may not have a big break in the industry like Steve Wonder and others, but because they do what they like and they seem to have purpose and direction, they are successful in my own opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think it’s amazing how when people think of disabilities they think of people being incapable of doing things. However this week discussion proves that just because you have a disability or a mental illness doesn’t mean you can’t do great things in life. As the discussion proved there are many musicians that have persevered even through having disabilities or a mental illness. It all relies on yourself. We all have to learn how to make the best out of what life gives us. One of my favorite quotes is “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. With that being said there’s nothing wrong with pushing yourself, but also knowing your limit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you. Just because someone has a disability doesn’t mean they are unable to do what they love, as long as they don’t give up there is always a way out.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. If I were a musician with a disability, I would motivate me from this quote ” I have had this desire my whole life to prove people wrong, to show them I could do things they didn’t think I could do” David A Paterson.

      Like

    2. I would say family. They gave me life and bring me up even though I was blind. They pay a lot to me so i don’t want to let them down.

      Like

    3. If i were a musician with a disability I think the love that I receive from others in any way would motivate me.But I would also be motivated by those who didn’t believe in me or those who felt that my disability limited me in some way.

      Like

      1. Do you think having a physical disability will encourage you to try new things in music? Like things you would never see yourself doing?

        Like

    4. For me, if I was a musician with a disability, I’d push myself to be great to prove to people I could do something that others think I wouldn’t be able to and of course if I loved making music, I wouldn’t be able to just give up on it.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. What will motivate me Is the love for the art because music is very unique and what enjoy the most in life is to overcome obstacles. So I will set a goal to become the best musician even if I had a disability

      Liked by 1 person

    6. If I were a musician with a disability, I’d use the disability itself as motivation to be great. I’d view it as something holding me back and push to become the best I can that way people would say that I accomplished so much they didn’t know I had a disability.

      Like

    7. If I was a musician with a disability, what would motivate me to be great would be to make myself and others around me proud and inspired. To inspire people to show people your not alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “Music therapy that is relationship between clients, therapist and music.” : from Brooklyn conservatory of music. Actually, music therapists teach song, “Let it be by Beatles”, Children who have disabilities sing a long from therapists. I could notice from video on the above that therapists use repeating song to stimulate sensory nerve and musical element: melody, rhythm, etc. for developmental disabled children. So, some children don’t use sign language anymore, they can become using language to speak. Also, they can express themselves gradually through music therapy. Thus, through music therapy, it can motivate children like developmental disabled children, communicate with music. Furthermore, their self-esteem will be progressed more and healthy self image through music therapy. I believe that music will affect them to calm and rest.

    Like

      1. Music therapy works as a guide that bridges patients needs and their therapist. It focuses on patient needs to help them being creative, reduce discomfort and anxiety of being in a hospital and it stimulates the entire brain.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I believe that the music therapy truly helped those kids/ adults with their disabilities , because just like people without disabilities we can connect with music and have music bring the best out of us. This is why i believe that music therapy connected with those individuals with disabilities, because it helped them express themselves through sound and it brought the best out of them.

        Like

      3. i wanted to ask you does music calm you down when you are enraged, does music excite you when you feel down, does music help you think when you ponder on something. If you feel any changes in your behavior then isnt it a therapy for you too ? XD

        Like

  6. Oh my, My favorite part of these discussions are the videos. So the video This Trained Singer Teaches Metal Bands How To Scream (HBO) was quite interesting. I didn’t know that there was a proper way to scream. Its interesting because my neighbor sings like this and I always wondered how he was able to scream loud enough for my family to hear him in the house over.

    On another note, I like that mental health was included because as a celebrity it can be a form of disability and Its so sad to say that many of the celebrities listed are gone now because of their un-addressed issues. Amy Winehouse was one of my favorites and listening to her music now is saddening.

    The most important point that i grasped was that music is a way for people with disabilities to still express their thoughts and emotions. Musicians touch their listeners because they represent those without a voice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting enough yes there is a proper way for all types of screaming. When I first started I had an issue when I’d get lightheaded on stage and almost pass out from lack of oxygen. Besides incorporating different techniques with your throat and using your diaphragm, the most important skill as a screamer, as well as singer, is BREATHING. As a vocalist you’re nothing without breathing technique. Other screamers can always tell when someone is doing it wrong and hurting themselves.

      Like

  7. I think that being different inspires people to do great things, Does anyone else agree? Uniqueness produces some pretty impressive skills.

    Like

  8. From this discussion I’d like to talk about the section “Mental Health”. Actually, we can’t tell someone has mental health issues or not from their appearance. However, as singers, it’s earlier to judge she or he has a mental health issues or not, because we can read their emotions from their music. Personally, I really like Sia’s and Adele’s music a lot. Because they both have a very powerful voice, it’s so sad that I can literally feel the sad through their voice. Every song they made is telling a heartbroken story, and by watching their music video, I can feel the sadness in a deeper level. It’s an interesting phenomenon that people like me are actually love their music because their mental health issues. On my word, if they don’t have the mental health issues, their music is not the same. And I think almost everyone live on the earth have mental health issues somehow, because we all have hard time. So, here is the question, will you still like the singer you used to if they have mental health issues or they don’t have mental health issues?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think sometimes mental illness make them become the special singer that people like. People always say you have to have a lot crazy on your mind, therefore, you can do something that the other people can’t-do. And I will still love the singer as long as the mental illness won’t trouble other, I like her song, not his personal life.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. An interesting thing that I noted from the reading is that our bodies are unique and special. They have a preferred way of functioning and if we don’t do anything the right way, we will hurt or loose something. For example, its important to have good balance and coordinating for dancers, and now I have learned that its important to scream right and sing right else the vocal chords will be broken and one may never be able to sing again. A little diligence, exercise and training will go a long way to protect our voices.

    Like

    1. I agree with you entirely because each individual is structured differently in a special way or identity. We are prone to various of symptoms, allergies , and pain, all based on our genetics. On average, in terms of DNA sequence, each human is 99.5% similar to any other human. Even monozygotic twins, who develop from one zygote, have infrequent genetic differences due to mutations occurring during development and gene copy-number variation.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I found this entire article very interesting. I always wondered how people who are deaf were able to create music and dance along to songs. I never even thought of feeling the vibrations of the music until now. Also, how singers could damage their vocal fold but are able to train themselves to make them stronger. This shows me that if you love something enough and put in the work, you could accomplish anything. In the music therapy video, everyone seemed happy and loved playing instruments. My aunt actually runs a program in Staten Island for special needs children and I’ll definitely talk about this with her next time I see her.

    Like

    1. Do you think there should be more music programs for specialized kids? How can they benefit from music education?

      Like

  11. Does anyone know of somebody who was able to overcome a disability to do something amazing? My friend went through the police academy with a Marine who lost both his legs and I found that extremely inspirational.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, and I would like to share this link with you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11oMu365xYU
      Rion, who has a rare condition called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita which has caused permanent damage to her arms, resulting in her hands being in a fixed bent position. Also,she is permanently blind in her right eye. However, Florida girl didn’t let anything to get in the way of her dream.

      Like

  12. Reading the Heiligenstadt testament, I was in shock that a man who is so highly talented could ever fall into that that dark pit of depression. Dealing with his mental illness by himself, he also had to deal with people who saw him as cruel,malevolent, and stubborn. The thing with mental illness is that no one ever truly knows that you are dealing with. They make a reason as to why your are acting that way not knowing you are dealing with a mental illness. Beethoven contemplated suicide as a solution to all his problems. But his love,his passion for his work made him overcome those thoughts and it led him to create even more beautiful music. I think a lot of people today should read this testament. Mental illness is a big deal in society today and a lot of popular celebrities who are loved by everyone are dealing with it. If they read this testament they would know that they are more than their illness. Their art is a major contribution to society today and their fans would give them unconditional support and love if they need.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This topic is interesting, I feel music can move people and do powers for disability if you believe it could, Music equals knowledge and knowledge equals power , aand power is great

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it depends on the persons. Most people find other creative ways to over power psychodynamics and/or physical disabilities . For me music only helps for certain situations, other times different creative activities help.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yeah I think music could help a force fight another force for example. Music can help improve the overall atmosphere of a group of people so in a battle like in war it can give a group strength and confidence to charge and feel patriotic or something along those lines. Do you think sound in general can be used in a way that harms people?

      Like

  14. “And that means that almost no one is “normal.” While growing up i learned this, Normal is another persons abnormal.

    i just want others to think on this.

    There is no baseline for normal because every normal baseline uses abnormal data. Also another thing i learned, in order to be perfect you must first be imperfect because every person sees one another differently. while you might consider something nice another person may consider it horrible.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. i wanted to know if there is any correlation to physical disabilities and a person gaining enhanced senses from the 20 plus that we have? is it normal for people to get an enhanced sense after loosing one or is it rare?

    Like

  16. My thoughts after reading this discussion are that there are many people around the world who love music but are unable to join in as a musician because of their physical disabilities. I think there should be more new technologies in the world of music which allows people to express himself freely through music, regardless of physical limitations.
    Also, I would like to talk about the music therapy which can increase our personal expression, communication and, motivation. It also has the power to enhance our physical rehabilitation. It can be really effective for people with disabilities to overcome their hardships.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. The sigma on mental health is significant but people fail to realize that things do happen in life that most people can’t overcome, it takes much more than a motivational quote to keep you going on a daily basis. Many of our beloved entertainers had mental disabilities and not a lot of people noticed and even though music was their escape it wasn’t enough to save them. Music is great but sometimes it helps to push people over the edge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I dont think having a disability makes you create a certain type of music. I think you should make the music that comes to you whether its pop, rock, classical. What do you think?

      Like

    2. I would make music that signifies and conveys my life emotion and experiences my music would tell my story there would be a crowd that are disable that wouldn’t feel left out of society as they already do.

      Like

  18. I find it fascinating that music can help and change people’s lives like metal singers, composers and even those with disability. A past experience I had was when my English professor brought people with mental illness like schizophrenia, dimentia, and depression. I had to interview Ardo Ba and he told me that in the skylight center he will always listen to music on his phone to relax. Music was a factor to keeping him relax but was a source for to meet people because others will listen with him and talk to him. Music helps change people’s life

    Liked by 1 person

  19. If you found out that you will end up with a disability, would it affect the thing you love to do the most right now?

    Like

    1. If I found out I would end up with a disability my first reaction would probably be to panic and do as much of that thing I love as I can. But I’d like to think that after the fear and sadness settled I could use those negative emotions to motivate myself. Hopefully, I’d try to find was around the disability and still do that thing I love just like all the artist we read about did. .

      Like

    2. Definitely not. I don’t think anything can stop a person from doing what they really love. All these artists in this reading discussion are a great example of this statement.

      Like

    3. i would most likely accept it and prepare and about it affecting the thing you love to do the most. Well if you will it there will be a way, though this train of thought may seem weird but if life gives you lemons then make lemonade XD

      Like

  20. I thought this weeks article showed a lot of great examples of how people can succeed no matter what obstacles they face. All it takes is faith in yourself, your talent and a drive.to finish what you start. I think the one artist’s experience that I found most incredible was Ludwig Van Beethoven’s. The man went deaf and still managed to compose beautiful, intricate music. It still boggles my mind just how he managed to create music he couldn’t hear. He’s piqued my interest and I think I’ll do a little more research on his methods and life when I have more time.

    Like

    1. I feel that the love and support that these artists get from those that listened to their music helped motivate the artist because it can make them become more confident in continuing to create music even though they had a disability because people admired it.

      Like

  21. In this discussion, I found the learning disabilities as well as what may seem avoidable, yet apparently are unavoidable injuries at times for musicians very compelling. The reasoning behind this is because although you should expect the unexpected by predetermined or planning, its not always easy to manage. Musicians can be overwhelmed as well because at the end of the day they’re humans like us too. They deal with emotions and personal issues as well. It’s just mind-blowing of how dedicated, committed, and compassionate an artist, musician or composer is to achieving their goals. It is as if they’re able to numb any physical or mental disturbances and focus on what is more important to them. I like to think of it as a mind over body trait. One of my favorite artist Zayn Malik dealt it anxiety, and still is but mange to pull through and it helps shape out who he is through is music entirely. As most artists, he tells a story. Music therapy is an amazing and astounding foundation, as well as association overall for individuals.

    Like

  22. I have a question on the point that Adele will likely damage her vocal chords. How come some music icons haven’t damaged their vocals or are the doing something different to what Adele is doing, for instance, the likes of Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé Knowles?

    Like

  23. After I read the part of mental health, I question across to my head: Why it seems like artist, musician, and writer easier to getting the mental disease more often than other? And I find some research online, research shows that people in creative industries are more likely to have genetic factors that increase the risk of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. On average, painters, musicians, writers and dancers to carry the gene variant ratio lower than the researchers believe that creative practitioners (including farmers, manual workers, and sales staff) are 25% higher.
    That makes me wonder, for us those work that made by those artists indeed entertainment everybody, give us a different world that we can’t see or describe. But for those artists maybe not always the good thing. Sometimes they express their dark side into their works, however people could understand it at that time. They have more sensitive motion and creativity than normal people, but those things let them see the more deep side of the world, therefore leads to mental illness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you think that sometimes the lifestyles of certain musicians is what incites their mental illness? For example some musicians make bad life choices to keep things interesting for the sake of their art. (Speaking from personal experience.)

      Like

  24. I feel that music is a form of medication especially for people with different ways of self expression who have any mental or physical problems. Dedication is something all these famous musicians from the reading had in common despite their disabilities. Anyone can dedicate their selves to music for life and it’d always be a solid relevant profession because hearing is one of our main and only senses. Hearing is one of the only things in life that make us use every part of our brain so it’s stimulating for majority of people.

    Like

  25. To be honest I hate the wold disabilities because it means that you are unable to do something. In my opinion, disabled people can be more successful than other people, because they work harder to do what they love and they can be so inspiring.They are inspiring, just knowing about them can help you not give up on your dreams. Life can be hard and having a disability can make it harder but as long as you don’t give up and when people say you can’t do something, you should just say “Watch me”.

    Like

  26. This week’s discussion was very powerful and moving. I always found the fact that Beethoven beat his depression state and continued doing music inspiring. He was proving that being deaf couldn’t stop him from achieving things in life and doing what he loves. Many people seem to think people with disabilities can’t do much, which i have always disagreed with this. I know somebody who is considered to have “learning disabilities” and honestly, he’s one of the smartest person i know.

    Like

  27. In this weeks online discussion, I learned that music is something we feel. As soon as we hear a song playing, the beat drops and we all have reactions to it. Like when I listen to Drake’s “Jungle”, as soon as you hear that BOOM(bass), you actually feel it. When hearing Antoine Hunters story, he really put me in his shoes. Just imagine how good we have it. For us to listen to music everyday on blast especially and getting to hear artists express themselves. But Mr. Hunter actually had to practice this by playing the music loud on his speaker next to his ear. Just to feel the beat itself and dance to what you are feeling is inspiring. And Ms. Cross with her vocal training for these metal artists. I have always wondered how Metal singers were able to scream like that, and be able not to lose their voice for the next show. On YouTube I actually seen Drake doing this before recording Fireworks off his first album. You can tell that having a physical disability can be a struggle, but at the same time it is not the end of the world. Beethoven should be the poster child for this statement. To be deaf and write songs for the piano and my favorite being Symphony No. 9. I am grateful for being blessed to have hearing, but this discussion showed me how life is like without hearing. How people took a negative aspect and made it positive for music and the future of music.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Illness is a detrimental factor of music. I found this discussion interesting because it briefly touches on how mental health affects many of our favorite musicians. Mental illness is a problem we don’t talk enough about in the world. Even though it may seem as if musicians and the listeners are constantly talking about, the topic amongst our media, government and educational systems etc. goes largely unnoticed. We can all make more of an effort to further the conversation on the importance of good mental health and how we can better help the mentally ill.

    Like

  29. I believe that those who have a disability but still created music are gifted. Reading about those that created and played many instruments while having a disability really made me feel like nothing is impossible and it just takes a lot of time and effort to make it work. Friedrich Kuhlau the German pianist and composer has lost his eyesight due to a very unfortunate incident and he still managed to be able to play the piano, and compose music. Disabled people have to be willing to work harder to do what they love and they also have to develop many skills that make music composing easier and enjoyable for them. The love and support that they will receive for doing this will motivate them to keep going.

    Like

        1. it would be the hardest because sight and hearing is essential to learning music and for the practice and composition of a music piece. Though the human body will likely adapt and use the feeling of touch to interpret music if the person truly strives for it.

          Liked by 1 person

  30. What disability scares you the most? And if you had it could you give up on your dreams? I think I could never give up on my dreams no matter what but I am scared of being blind. Just the thought of only blackness terrifies me.

    Like

  31. To read this entire online discussion the thing I found most interesting is that nothing can hinder you from doing what you want to do. Whether it’s physical or mental disabilities the controller of it all is you yourself. Stevie Wonder who is a icon to me and a legend made this post as well which made me feel good. Look at the impact these artists have had and some continue to have.

    Like

  32. My question to the best professor and any lover of music that reads this is: do you feel like there was an extra advantage of support for these artists with disabilities because they had to work harder to perfect their craft? Do you feel if you had a disability it would make you stronger at other things? What impact would you want people to remember from what you do?

    Like

  33. This discussion reminds me of an musician I know named Tony Iommi in a group called Black Sabbath. Tony Iommi is a guitarist who used to work at a factory in Birmingham when he was 17. One day one of the machines had cut off the tip of of three of his fingers tony was devastated and contemplated quitting music until the manager of his factory had told him of a jazz musician named Django Reinhardt who had the same problem, and so Tony had overcome his thoughts of quitting music and made fake finger tips which he made from melting soda bottles tops on to his fingers, and now Tony credits his unique technique and sound from this accident. He took the worst thing that could happen to a guitarist and made something successful out of it. And because of this accident he created a whole new genre of music which is also discussed. Nothing is impossible when you put your whole heart into something as what has been shown by many like Beethoven to the amazing Stevie wonder. Does anyone know of any other musician or artist who has had a disabling ability to perform or create music I would really be interested to know of anymore stories I find these extremely positive stories inspirational.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. This week’s online discussion taught me that having a disability can’t stop you from being creative and doing what you love. I always thought having any condition in life that could slow you down, or potentially stop you. In this week’s reading, learning about people such as Friedrich Kuhlau and Ludwig van Beethoven showed me that having a disability can actually help you be more creative and do great things. Beethoven’s story was honestly inspiring because it told me that no matter what happens in life, if I strive for greatness I can succeed in every way possible that I try.

    Like

      1. I think so.
        they know if they want to be excellent, they need to work harder than normal people, because of the disability. but I also think the disability is the reason can make them to be respected because they beyond prejudice and misunderstand and most importantly they can accept millions of failures and still choose keep going rather than give up.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Absolutely, especially because you feel you have something to prove for yourself and the world around. Plus you don’t want to stop doing what you love. We have other senses, anything is possible.

        Like

      3. Depends on the support you have around you, having any type of disability can cause a big disadvantage in your life based on what you can have, but when you’re being supported by friends of even in the mindset where you can support yourself, anybody is able to overcome disadvantages and sometimes flip it in their favor.

        Like

  35. I was shocked by the first video, and I can’t believe without hearing he can still dance that good. i realize there is no limits and nothing difference between disability and normal people, because either of us have feeling which needs to release, and people can find themselves in it.

    Like

    1. There are really no limits. When I saw a someone from America’s Next Top Model perform on Dancing With the Stars “Nyle Dimarco” he was born deaf. He came out on that stage and danced as if he were almost professional. He ended up winning that season! This is the video of his first dance where everyone was shocked that even if he was deaf he could still dance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LW0Cwwtom8

      This also reminded me of an act on America’s Got Talent this past year where a women lost her hearing to a disease and still continues to sing beautifully even though she cannot hear a thing. This is the link of her first audition. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKSWXzAnVe0
      It just shows that people can do anything they put their minds to.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. I personally know a hearing impaired person and ive never meet someone who loves music more than him. At first i was confused, how did he know what was playing how can he feel the beat and move with it? luckily he reads lips because i do not know sign language but i asked him questions about how did he do it and how was he so good? his response was ” i feel the beat the music moves from the soul of my feet” i looked down and he had on no shoes he literally feels the music. that touched every muscle and bone in my body. I do not see him as disable i see him as able to do anything a hearing person can. our relationship grows stronger everyday because im there to help and support him in anyway he needs.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. i love the idea of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music because there are a lot of kids out there that feel isolated from the world that needs that support. ive learned that having a disability cant hold you back from your dreams with examples of Beethoven, ray charles and stevie wonder.

    Like

    1. I definitely agree with you. Just as I mentioned in my comment, artist Sia has a similar issue being as she has problems being around big crowds. Which is generally why she always wears masks whenever she goes places.

      Like

  38. In this online discussion I thought it was a very interesting outlook on music on disability connecting with music. It’s still a miracle that we have musicians still alive today like Stevie Wonder who is completely blind all his life and has been one of the most successful artists. I also find it mid blowing and incredible that someone who goes deaf can still be able to do music such as Beethoven. One of the most famous composers of all time had a huge disability that most people can’t even do day to day activates let alone compose music. Also musicians who suffer from mental illness still have careers and still have normal lives. This just proves that music is for everyone no matter what you’re going through, who you are or what you look like. If you love it bad enough you can make it happen.

    Like

  39. Its amazing how there are people out here who love music so much that even after their disability they still decide to do music. Even if their deaf, blind, or even handicapped. This reminds me of the time I was watching Americas Got Talent and there was a deaf woman who can sing perfectly fine. So this just inspired me to love music even more.

    Like

  40. It is amazing how people with a certain disabilities will use other parts of their body to their advantage to better their musical skills. The way that Evelyn Glennie uses her bare feet to feel the instruments on stage goes to show that there is more than one way to create and feel the music rather than just listening with your ears.

    Like

  41. I believe that the way deaf individuals can use musical vibrations in order to dance is absolute astonishing. It’s something I never would have thought would be possible for anyone with a hearing disability. As for artists of the old and modern age, I had already known about a few of them having the mental health issues that they do. One that wasn’t mentioned amongst the few, whom I listen to occasionally is Sia, who is generally afraid of big crowds. It’s the main reason why she wears a mask more than half the time. So I definitely understand the gist of Music and Disabilities and how they can correlate, yet more or less make the individuals who have the disabilities better.

    Like

  42. i mentioned i one of my assignments back at the start of the semester talking about how music can affect the way our brains function in so many ways, and as an example i talked about was the use of memory, A patient named Henry that was housed in a Recreational Therapy Nursing home in Cobbie Hill New York. The short documentary demonstrated how music can act as a trigger for patients that have Alzheimer’s disease, Henry, when given an iPod full of a playlist of music from his era would suddenly go from staying put and silent, and not wanting to speak, to changing his facial expression entirely and even being able to recall his favorite songs from his time. He would even start singing or tapping his foot. Another example is how a boy diagnosed with Tourette syndrome had trouble with public speaking, The words would escape him and he wasn’t able to talk or make that many friends, but after putting on a pair of headphones with some songs he was able to to not concentrate on him messing up but distract himself using the music and the ticks would stay calm and he was able to speak clearly in front of others. Its truly amazing to see how our brains react to music and what it can help with seeing how to treat those with mental disabilities.

    Like

  43. What others studies can possibly be made with the use of music, and will it be enough to maybe at one point people start treating music like a medicine.

    Like

  44. A question I have is, for people who have paralyzation in certain parts of their body(such as their arms and/or legs),would it still be possible for them to be able to do dance performances? If so, how?

    Like

Comments are closed.