Monday, August 10, 2015

Are we really from a different planet?

Editor's note: No, this piece is not related to my Facebook post about my "bad day" today. It happened a few days ago. But I couldn't get it out of my mind. And I thought you might find it interesting. Louise

I bought an instrument for my son a couple of years ago but had trouble finding a teacher and it remained largely in the box.

My son took it out the other day for a little jam session and I thought I'd look again for an instructor.

I got some great recommendations on Facebook. Then I went online and found what looked like a really cool organization that offered lessons on this instrument to all age levels, privately, in school, in groups and even as part of corporate team-building. They hold all kinds of regular jam sessions open to anyone at venues that sound really fun. Even I was getting psyched at the idea of showing up one night. This is what I would call a high-profile group of musicians. In their signature, they use this tagline: "democratizing the arts, one strum at a time."

So I filled out their query form. See below.

Hi there -- Can you recommend a teacher who may have had experience working with children or adults with disabilities? I would like to find someone to teach my son and I. Thanks.


I really wish I could be of help, but I don't know anyone who might be a fit for you and your son. Best of luck with your search.


Hi -- thanks for your message. It doesn't necessarily need to be someone who has worked with someone with a disability. Just someone willing to try something new? Thanks.



If this group is unable to interest an instructor in "giving it a whirl," or to suggest someone in the industry who might be able to "stretch" themselves just a tad, who would? I'm a realistic person. I know sometimes things work and sometimes they don't. All I was asking for was a chance. A paid chance. So much for democracy. 


I think most of us have had an experience of that silence.

Yes I just keep trying when have people not willing to help or go the extra Mille.

But I would suggest forming a group of own with other people learning the same instrument this summer I was happy to go to interviews but no luck because of my disability even though if had and have most of the required skills.

And if think too is the word Disabilities. Mean different things to different people so when people hear the word disabilities They just think these people can't learn that's not True. I wish people could be more open minded because people with disabilities are just like everyone eles. .

what instrument? I could probably teach him. :)

I tried to sign my son up for a class at a dance studio starting this fall. The dance studio is getting established, but has a similar type of tag line about making dance "available and accessible" to the community and being open to a wide range of dancers. So I thought, great, I would love to sign my son up for a ballet class at the fall. He has friends at this studio who absolutely love it. I could even supply a PSW of my own, using my respite time for his class.

When I called though, the person on the phone was hesitant, and told me she would have to call me back. When she did it was a few days later, and she said that they had had a "long discussion" and decided that we would be "allowed" to "try" a few sample classes at the beginning of term "if we still wanted to go that road", but we wouldn't be "permitted" to sign up for classes or register on-line.

I like to call it "rolling out the you're-not-welcome mat". We got the message. We're not signing up for ballet classes this year.

I am an autistic flutist studying with a music teacher. Because of my music teacher, I love my instrument even more.

Hi Anonymous -- so sorry to hear about your experience and especially the language used. Sheesh!

I know there are parents on the Parent Voices at Holland Bloorview Facebook group and the Three To Be Facebook group who have had great experiences with dance studios accommodating their kids. I will post a note and get back with what I hear.

Hi Anonymous -- Here are the response from Parent Voices at Holland BLoorview Facebook group -- search us and join you are most welcome.

ViBE is great! They accommodate a wide variety of physical and developmental needs in either a regular class or the VIP class specifically for kids with special needs.
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Turning Pointe has a wonderful class that my daughter has been in for the last 5 years, "Ballerina Dreams". They are wonderfully accommodating and VERY reasonable prices. Each child is provided with a ballet student volunteer.
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and by the way, Ballerina Dreams has one boy in the class as well!
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Dance Ability has programs in a few studios in the GTA. I'm waiting for one to come to Hamilton, though.