Musicians with Disabilities Part 1

By: R.A.

Music. What appeals to us? Who do we like or think is musically talented?

Which musical acts do we rate for their achievements?  We have to immediately think of rock acts like Rudely Interrupted, or Heavy Load, the Brighton UK based Punk outfit. What about the 67 piece orchestra, InterPlay Company or the British Paraorchestra?

How many of you reading this will have ever heard these names or know why I have chosen to mention these musically gifted individuals?

These are World-Famous musicians with disabilities, this is the point I am making writing this article. 

Rudely interrupted from Melbourne, Australia are a unique rock act. The 6 piece band came about when guitarist and music therapist Rohan Brooks had the idea of forming his student based band. The other 5 members have physical or cognitive impairments ranging from being totally blind, hard of hearing, Down syndrome, and autism.

The orchestra InterPlay Company play a range of genres including classical, jazz, folk and opera and every member of this Company has a cognitive difficulty.  Yet they manage to play with traditional instruments from countries all around the world.

If anyone watched the 2012 Paralympics, did you see the closing ceremony when Coldplay were on?  If so you would have seen the British Paraorchestra, the first of its kind in the UK, an orchestra whose musicians each have disabilities.

The other outstanding musicians I mentioned earlier perform their music very well even though they have various conditions like blindness, autism, cerebral palsy and Down Syndrome, but “one man’s disability is another’s superpower”. 

I realise when I talked about musicians with disabilities other names probably were in your head like Mozart or Ray Charles which means there will be a part 2 to this theme. 

This is just a little flavour of things to come.

If you are interested to find out more about what I have been saying, then you should check out this article about bands that don’t let their disabilities get in the way.

Who would you like to see in part 2? Let us know in the comments.

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