This conference is an exchange of knowledge between researchers, performers, educators, practitioners, and community organizers. Through a range of informative and interactive sessions, participants discuss the present and future applications and implications of performance work with, by, for, and about children and youth. A range of in-person events, panels, performances, and workshops are presented, spread out during the conference days. This year, all presentations and workshop sessions took place on June 17th and 18th, 2023. My presentation was scheduled on June 17th at 2:30 pm.
“Disability and music: music education with adaptive instruments”
Adaptive instruments are generally used to teach music to children with disabilities. This project has for objective to demonstrate that children with all abilities are receptive to alternative ways of learning. I believe that the discovery of adaptive instruments can open the mind of a student, whether it is a young child, a teenager, or a young adult. It can also propose other teaching methods to instructors.
The project consists of a series of workshops held between February and June 2023, allowing groups of music students of various ages to discover instruments and musical material made for musicians and singers with disabilities. The workshops are held in classrooms of the Community Music Schools of Toronto at Jane and Finch. Each participant takes part in one of the workshops. Participants of the choir workshop sing with adaptive content such as brail scores and learn lyrics in American Sign Language (ASL). Participants of the jam session workshop imagine instruments that can be played with a missing part of the body or use conventional instruments in a non-conventional way. Participants of the new technology workshop use devices such as an iPad with digital instruments or digital gloves connected to a computer system. During each workshop, students worked together on a piece that has been performed in a recital at the Jane and Finch music school in June 2023, to show what they have learned during the workshops to an audience.
This research has received the support of York University’s Helen Carswell Chair in Community Engaged Research in the Arts, in partnership with Community Music Schools of Toronto at Jane and Finch.