Music and Communication

Do you like my new blog template! Many thanks to Patricia Muller for this! (see link at foot of page) It’s called “Connections.” I love the graphic, which seems so richly symbolic. I may change it when I integrate this blog with my website but, for now, I’m greatly enjoying it.

Connections/communications are, of course, what a blog is all about. They’re also what music is all about. In a shared experience of music, diverse people can be connected to one another in a way that transcends barriers of language, intellectual ability and life experience. This is why I’m writing this blog and why I’ve spent most of my available time over the last four years running a website aimed at promoting creative and inclusive music. Someone asked me recently, “There’s a lot of mention of inclusive music on your site, but what does it mean?”

‘Inclusion’is a somewhat ‘dirty’ word, at the moment: people have come to equate the term with a political correctness that insists that everyone must be able to do the same thing, at the same time. I certainly don’t mean that ‘high-flyers’ should have their wings clipped and be held back by the pace of slow-learners, nor do I mean that those who need special provision should be placed in a mainstream setting when this has a negative effect on their performance or on that of the majority.

What do I mean, then? Well, the glorious truth is that in music people can participate or respond, each on their own personal level. As a teacher and facilitator, I have been responsible for providing music-making opportunities for adults, including former professional musicians who have been struck down by disability and, at the other end of the spectrum, for young children, and for younsters with profound and multiple learning difficulties. I found that I could use the same musical materials with all of them. It was as though the music were stored in a box, to which each had an individual code and it was my job to help them open the box. There was no need for ‘special’ music and it was impossible to predict what their preferences would be.

Yes, music is a great way in which to connect with people and the web is a great meeting place in which these connections can be made. Blog on!

(In case you’re as new to this as I am, to leave a comment, click on ‘0 Comments’ or ‘xx Comments’ at the top of this post and you will find the submission form. I look forward to connecting with you!)

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