The best music recital ever is more accurately the most emotional recital ever. Jackson played the maraca in the Cincinnati Associations for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s (CABVI) music recital on June 4. It was a tear jerker! I cried during every song! But they were good, happy tears. All of the performers were blind or visually impaired and many of them had other disabilities as well. Each person was super excited to be performing and played to the best of their ability.
Music therapy at CABVI follows the school year and culminates with a music recital at the beginning of June. About one month ago Jackson’s music therapist (MT) asked me if he wanted to participate in the recital. The conversation went like this:
MT: Our music recital is coming up. Do you want Jackson to participate in the recital?
MT: Do you want Jackson to play in the recital?
Me: Oh my gosh!!! Are you serious?!? Yes!!!!
My family started crying when I told them. We decided that Jackson would play in a group song and would not do a solo performance this year. I had no idea what to expect and I wanted to check it out before Jackson went solo.
The recital began with a group song of “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors. Here are two pictures of the group:
After the group song, some children performed on their own. This is when the tears really started flowing. The first performer was a teenage boy in a wheelchair. He cannot talk or walk and he does not really use his fingers. He was wheeled up to the piano next to his music therapist. She began playing and singing and this little guy got so excited he started shaking his arms and cooing. I started crying. Halfway through the song, his music therapist starting playing very softly and said to him, “It’s your turn to play! It’s your turn to play! Play the piano.” It took a second, but eventually he was able to raise his arm and bring his hand down on the piano and hit the keys. I started sobbing.
The second performer played the drum and the chimes. Soon after the music therapist started playing the song on the piano this little girl started kicking the drum with her feet. I kept crying. Toward the end of the song, she lifted her arm and brushed her hand over the chimes to make them play.
The whole concert was emotional. Every person in the audience was so proud of every child.
Some of the children played the piano. It’s hard enough for a typical person to learn the piano. Can you imagine learning how to play if you can’t see the keys? Or if you can’t see the keys and you have a mental disability too?
Jackson did a great job even though he wasn’t feeling that well. We are going to continue music therapy, hope for a solo in the future, and store up our tears for the next recital.