RockAbility, an integrated rock band for musicians with developmental disabilities, to perform June 3, 2022 at Bainbridge Town Hall

RockAbility, an adaptive, integrated rock band of musicians with developmental disabilities, will be performing at 7 p.m. Friday, June 3 at Bainbridge Township Hall (17826 Chillicothe Road / Chagrin Falls 44023). The performance is free, but the group is accepting donations at the door to help support the program.

RockAbility: A band for musicians with developmental disabilities

RockAbility welcomes musicians with developmental disabilities into existing, performance-based musical projects. Participants play with local mentor musicians who gig and record. This integrated group performs at coffee shops, open-mic nights, and local jam sessions. The June 3 rock-and-roll show is their first full-length performance. It features covers of well-known artists including Johnny Cash, Train, Genesis, Chuck Berry, Ben E. King, KT Tunstall, Joe Cocker, Elton John and more.

What RockAbility isn’t:

RockAbility is not a music instruction organization run by music teachers. Rather, RockAbilly mentor musicians play with musicians who have disabilities. Mentor musicians do not teach people how to become drummers, guitarists, singers, or play any other instrument. Rather, RockAbility places musicians with disabilities into situations where they can bring their existing skills to a project that can help elevate their abilities. Members must have previously demonstrated musical aptitude or be working with a private teacher who is helping them improve their skills.

Mentor musicians coach musicians with developmental disabilities

RockAbility’s mentor musicians are local artists, many of whom have life experience with someone who has a documented disability. Although a constant objective is to encourage all participants to improve their musicianship, RockAbility recognizes that mistakes will occur. While the emphasis is on spotlighting musicians with disabilities, mentor musicians provide a solid musical backbone while encouraging their peers with developmental disabilities to play to their fullest ability. In addition to improving musical skills.

RockAbility’s goals

  • Increase confidence
  • Build community connections
  • Elevate self-advocacy
  • Establish & build touch-points with audiences
  • Demonstrate integration in action
  • Have fun and rock out!

The band rehearses every week, and performs a short gig set of about 4-6 songs at small venues about once a month. The group hopes to perform two full-length shows annually in northeast Ohio. This June 3 event is the group’s first full-scale show. RockAbility is available to book for events.

Any musician with a documented developmental disability who wants to level-up his or her skills while working with musicians who already gig and record in northeast Ohio is welcome to contact us. Space constraints prohibit the group from accepting everyone. However, the group is looking to expand services. RockAbility has consistent rehearsals with a team of mentor musicians, all of whom take turns attending these collaborative sessions.

All rehearsals and performances focus on musicianship and collaboration. Participants are expected to practice their parts ahead of rehearsals, which are devoted to learning how to put songs together, collaborate, problem solve, and compromise. Mentor musicians provide guidance, suggestions, and musical camaraderie.

NPower Services thanks the Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities and the Metzenbaum Foundation for their generous support and sponsorship of RockAbility. This undertaking would not be possible without them.

About NPower Services

NPower Services helps adults with special needs build meaningful lives by identifying and finding opportunities including volunteering, employment readiness, athletics, art, music, and socialization. Learn more: