RockAbility

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RockAbility 2022 Holiday Performance
Recent Performances 4

RockAbility’s 2023 Performances

Stay tuned! We've putting together our schedule of upcoming performances. We will publish events as they are added.

What is RockAbility?

RockAbility welcomes musicians with disabilities into existing, performance-based musical projects of varying genres. Participants work with local mentor musicians who already gig and record. A successful audition demonstrating an ability to play an instrument or sing is required to participate.

 

Goals

- Increase confidence

- Build community connections

- Elevate self-advocacy

- Establish & build touch-points with audiences

- Demonstrate integration in action

- Improve musical skills

- Have fun and rock out!

 

Tactics

1. Weekly rehearsals

2. Small ensemble performances at existing open-mic venues

3. Large group performances: fully integrated rock / blues / funk / folk / country music show

 

What RockAbility Isn’t:

 

RockAbility is not a music instruction organization run by music teachers. We do not gather during rehearsals to teach people how to become drummers, guitarists, singers, or play any other instrument. RockAbility places musicians with disabilities into situations where they can bring their existing skills to a project that can help elevate their abilities. RockAbility’s mentor musicians are local artists, many of whom have life experience with someone who has a documented disability. Mentors realize that things will take time and not be perfect - but that’s why they're there. Mentors provide the backbone of the material as needed. They offer constructive suggestions to the clients who need help finding the beat, staying on pitch, or working out a few kinks in a solo. Often, mentors show up at practice early or stay late to help a client musician work on specifics. Although the emphasis will be on spotlighting our musicians with disabilities, mentor musicians can step in and help carry the material during performances.

RockAbility exists as a quality-of-life program for musicians with DDs so they can have something productive and constructive to do with their talents and abilities. It is offered free of charge to client musicians. NPower Services is grateful for the support of individual sponsors as well as the Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities and the Metzenbaum Foundation and Jewish Family Services Association. RockAbility is not intended to be a source of income for any client musician.

 

Inclusion and Diversity in Action

 

Who can participate?

Any musician with a documented disability who wants to level-up his or her skills while working with musicians who already gig and record in northeast Ohio are welcome to contact us for an audition. RockAbility has consistent rehearsals with a team of mentor musicians, all of whom take turns attending these collaborative sessions.

All rehearsals and performances will focus on musicianship and collaboration. Participants are expected to practice their parts ahead of rehearsals, which will be devoted to learning how to put songs together, collaborate, problem-solve, & compromise.

Mentor musicians will provide guidance, suggestions, and musical camaraderie. Participants with a disability will not work in segregated settings only with others who have disabilities. Rather, the emphasis will be on collaboration. Actual working musicians will sit in and play their instruments in collaboration. 

Two styles of performance:

  1. Small ensembles in open-mic situations

Based on participant readiness at rehearsals, RockAbility matches small ensembles with existing open-mic and small-venue performance opportunities. RockAbility identifies small ensembles such as duos and trios (instrumentalists and singers) and plugs members (diverse and typical) into low-stakes performance situations. 

  1. Full-scale, large-group music show

    All participating musicians who would like to be part of a larger stage performance, will join together to share their songs in one final production. This event would share the small group work (duos / trios…) and also include material performed by the entire group. Everyone would see, hear and appreciate everyone’s efforts. Family members and the greater community would be invited.  The event would be recorded and shared.

 

Integrated Drum Circles: Non-Performing Track

Another anticipated component of RockAbility is integrated drum circles. Drum circles are inclusive gatherings of people playing percussion instruments and chanting. These sessions often incorporate storytelling and dance. We hope to offer sessions in Geauga County that our members would participate in. People are encouraged to bring their own drums and play along. RockAbility will be able to provide some instruments to people who need to use them during the events.

Ready to rock? Contact us at lorivw16@gmail.com.

 

NPower Services thanks our generous sponsors: The Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, The Metzenbaum Foundation, and Jewish Family Services Association. We also thank all our individual donors.

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