musicians with disabilities

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  • 1.Musicians with Disabilities
    Presented By: Alicia Cooke

2. In researching, I found that there was no one definition for the word disability. For the purpose of this presentation I have chosen to use the definition given by United States Code Title 42 Chapter 126 12102 Definition of Disability (The Americans with Disabilities Act{ADA}) .
Under the ADA, which has a three part definition, an individual with a disability is a person who:
Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual;
Has a record of such impairment; or
Is regarded as having such an impairment.
Disability Defined
3. Physical
Blindness/ Low Vision
Medical
Deaf/ Hard of Hearing
Psychiatric
Brain Injuries
Speech/ Language
Learning
Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD)
Various Types of Disabilities
4. Attitude of Society Towards the Disabled
Over the years those with disabilities have suffered many injustices. They have been considered incapable of living a normal life and not allowed to make their own decisions. Some have even been treated like patients for their whole life. It was once a belief that physical disabilities and mental illness were caused by demons or evil spirits. The term lunacy was developed because it was once a belief that the pull of the moon was a cause of mental illness. Children with disabilities were seen as punishment for their parents. Which is still a belief by some today, for example Republican Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall stated in 2010 children born with disabilities are punishment for a woman having a prior abortion. Disabled persons were the subject of ridicule as court jesters. Not only drowned during the Inquisition, those with a seizure disorder could be considered a witch and burned at the stake.
Pictured: belief disability caused by demons; court jester; person being burnt at stake
5. Attitude of Society Towards the Disabled (cont.)
Featured in Freak Shows, like those put on by P.T. Barnum, or chained to the walls of the basement and put on display for a fee at the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia during 1756. They were placed in asylums, where they were just left in a cell for the remainder of their life or endured horrific medical treatments to cure them. From cutting holes in theirskull to let evil spirits out (trepanning), tospinning treatments, bloodletting,purging, blistering, frightening, and the spread eagle treatment which is like water boarding but meant to calm a disorderly patient. Not to mention electroconvulsive therapy, and of course Eugenics.
Pictured: Spread Eagle; Trepanning; PT. Barnum; a disabled person chained to bed in an asylum (was left there for 12 years).
6. Attitude of Society Towards the Disabled (cont.)
Many of this was brought on by the hysteria created by the pamphlet The Threat of the Feeble Minded. With the Eugenics movement various laws were passed to prevent people with disabilities from moving to the U.S., marrying, or having children.This led to the institutionalization and forced sterilization of disabled adults and children.Those who were believed to be feeble minded, depressed, insane, mentally handicapped, epileptic and other were sterilized. Another example of Eugenics would be the gassing of the disabled in Nazi Germany. By the 1970s over 60,000 persons with disabilities were sterilized without their consent. Even today, those with disabilities are still having to overcome abuse, rape, segregation, behavior management that in some cases is torture, as well as being euthanized, and even murdered.
Pictured: Eugenics Tree; Fitter Families medal; Sterilization Bill; Newspaper depicting doctors allowing disabled newborns to die, instead of giving medical aid.
7. Without the dedication, and empathy of those who were and were not disabled, along with the evolution of society through technology and education, the music industry could have been deprived of a variety of very talented musicians. Many disabled musicians (famous and not so famous) have persevered and overcome their disability. They have had very successful musical careers. And brought to us some of our favorite songs.

  • It is important to remember not all disabled people were born with a disability. Many people will develop a disability at some point in their life. Due to illness (physical, mental, or emotional) accidents, or late emerging effects of genetics.

How Does This Affect Music?
8. There are many diseases that cause severe visual impairments. Often arising with older age. Such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts.
Some people however are born with blindness.
How difficult would it be for you to learn a piece of music by someone dictating one note at a time to you?Or just by listening to it?
Musicians with Visual Impairments
9. Ray Charles
Ray Charles began to go blind at the age of 6. He lost his sight completely by the age of 7. The reason for his loss of sight has not been clearly attributed to a cause. Some have said glaucoma, or an infection from getting soap in his eye. He has been accredited with the early development of soul music. And has received various honors in Jazz, R & B, Rock & Roll, Gospel, and even Country & Western music.
Some of his music:
Georgia On My Mind
http://youtu.be/Thls_tMuFkc
Ive Got A Woman
http://youtu.be/lsC4cH-v3ns
10. Andrea Bocelli
Andrea Boceli lost his sight at the age of 12 due to congenital (born with) glaucoma and a soccer accident. Bocelli prefers not to talk about his blindness. He once stated My blindness is not a tragedy to me- I dont see why it should be to others. He has been called the fourth tenor. And has been very successful in contemporary opera and as a pop ballad singer.
Some of his music:
Con Te Partiro
http://youtu.be/tcrfvP11Hbo
Vivere
http://youtu.be/N5q67TA8bv4
11. Stevie Wonder was born premature and lost his sight while in an incubator. He did not let his blindness stop him. By the age of 8 he was a skilled musician. He made is recording debut at the age of 12. He is not only a talented singer, but a great instrumentalist (playing piano, organ, harmonica, and drums), writer, and producer.
Some of his music:
Yester Me, Yester You, Yesterday
http://youtu.be/BFLCGPXS1gs
For Once In My Life
http://youtu.be/1vxVyaYuGYE
Superstition
http://youtu.be/wDZFf0pm0SE
Stevie Wonder
12. In the United States approximately 22 million people have a hearing impairment.
A hearing impairment is any type and degree of auditory disorder. Deafness is the extreme inability to discriminate conversational speech through the ear.
Can you imagine trying to sing a duet and not being able to hear? How about playing an instrument and not being able to tell if you are playing the notes correctly?
Musicians with Hearing Impairments
13. Gabriel UrbainFaur is known as one of the greatest French Romantic composers. He was not only a composer, but pianist, organist, and music teacher. At the age of 59 he began suffering from dizziness and migraines, as well as showing signs of hearing problems. Still able to produce significant music, he kept his total hearing loss a secret from everyone except close friends until the day he passed away at the age of 79.
Gabriel Faure
Some of his work:
Pavane, Op.50
http://youtu.be/xUsGh2xYYQg
Requime, Op. 48: In Paradisum
http://youtu.be/VUfi0ts_D-0
14. "... Know that my noblest faculty, my hearing, has greatly deteriorated... (Beethoven 1801)
We will never know the exact cause of Beethovens deafness because their were no specialists at that time. At the age of 39, his deafness had advanced rapidly. After a series of disastrous recitals, Beethoven began composing full time. He would press his ear to the wood of his piano to create pieces like the 7th symphony. Beethoven gave his first known public performance. It was said that Beethoven would be without a doubt, the new Mozart.
Beethoven has been said to be the greatest composer who ever lived.
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Some of his work:
7th Symphony
http://youtu.be/wBfKXHoSvDM
Moonlight Sonata
http://youtu.be/vQVeaIHWWck
15. Evelyn Glennie became deaf by the age of 12, which was diagnosed due to nerve damage. She did wear hearing aids for awhile, but then threw them away. She learned to decipher between high and low notes by placing her hand on the wall of the music room in her elementary school. Evelyn is a Grammy award winner, and the first person to be able to create and sustain a full time career as a solo percussionist.
Evelyn Glennie
Performances by Evelyn:
http://youtu.be/BLAQ0myEFgA
http://youtu.be/s-CV4eDlxw0
16. Mental/ processing impairments consists of those who suffer from learning disabilities and mental health issues.
This category could also include those with mental retardation or who suffer from an age related disease, such as Alzheimers disease.
How difficult would it be to read a sheet of music upside down while playing an instrument?
Musicians with Mental/Processing Impairments
17. Buddy Bolden
Charles Buddy Bolden once reigned as the King of black New Orleans music. He has been credited as the founder of jazz. However, his career ended when he began having a mental breakdown. At the age of 29, after being arrested for insanity twice, and continued episodes of violence, he was committed to a State Asylum in Jackson. Reportedly he suffered from schizophrenia. He died 25 years later, at the asylum, unaware of the life he led before being committed. Unfortunately, I do not have musical clips

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