Wednesday, January 13, 2010

MSCED #4 - Widney High

There's a bit of a story behind this spread -

Last night I was flipping through a stack of Ranger Rick magazines from my childhood, and found the "Look into these eyes" paragraph on the right page of the spread, next to a photo of a monkey. Thinking it was funny, I tore it out, and made that little collage on the right page.

I was about ready to scan and post that page when my brother Dory invited me to tag along to Widney High, a special needs high school, famous for "The Kids of Widney High", a group of students who perform original songs - a Widney High tradition since 1988. (Some of you may be familiar with their song "Pretty Girls"). Dory teaches two groups of developmentally challenged and blind children musical appreciation and listening, coming in once a week to play and discuss music with the children.

Today we played for them a few different versions of Beethoven's 5th and 7th symphonies - full orchestral versions, as well as solo piano renditions. It was a very interesting experience for me to see how these children reacted to the music. The first group responded with such enthusiasm - when the famous BUM-BUM-BUM BUUUUM opening of Beethoven's 5th symphony kicked in, the students laughed and clapped with glee, and most had something to say about the music and about the differences between the versions. The second group was made up of more severely disabled students, many of whom cannot communicate verbally, but a few students danced to the music.

As I drew a few of the students from the first group on the left page, my goofy little collage suddenly became a little more meaningful to me. It was a pretty great experience, meeting those students and listening to some good music with them.


Craig said...

Looks like those pages were meant to be together. Really fantastic man

Mel Bar said...

thats awesome niv!