THE CODA PROJECT

SOMETIMES THE MEANING of a few seconds, the moment of profound change in a child’s life is an accumulation of month’s worth of planning, studying, and writing. When we first conceived of CODA a year ago, it was meant to be a nice addition to the National Arts Centre's Summer Music Institute curriculum, from practicing, rehearsing to performance. Interestingly, it’s in the small moments, and usually with an individual, that a teacher defines the meaning of his work. I have always thought this to be an irony, considering that in education, we attempt to measure efficacy based on an average, or the group as a whole. However, I have come to realize that the small victories are measured relative to the short amount of time these children have been in this world. We aim small, planting seeds for the future, in hopes that every child fulfills their unique promise in life. more>>

CODAlonger.MP3

UPCOMING EVENTS

THIS SEPTEMBER, I WILL BE ATTENDING the Harvard Graduate School of Education to begin a new path in my life. This is a lateral step in my career, as I will continue to perform whenever possible, albeit less frequently than in the past. My goal is to research the role of adaptive instruments within a UDL curriculum, in hopes to exploring examples of "best practices" to eventually apply to my future work in education. Universal Design of Learning (UDL) is similar in philosophy to its counterpart in architecture, where we re-frame the idea of disability through an environmental context. For example, the use of curb ramps was originally intended for deliverymen who had difficulties lifting their trolleys from the street to the sidewalk. However, these ramps are used for baby strollers, wheelchairs, and bikers. I am hoping that, amongst many other courses, to develop measurements to gauge efficacy of music curricula withing a UDL framework, particularly within Canada. more news>>

Below: Verbier Concert (07.27.11), Debussy Quartet     

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THE VMI  INITIATIVE




I AM A ONE ARMED VIOLINIST, and have lived without the use of a right hand for my entire life. When I was ten, my parents bought me a violin, which was an inordinate expense at the time, and the possibility a successful adaptation would be difficult. With the help of biomedical engineers at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, I was able to play with an adaptive device known as a “spatula.” This product of technology has allowed me to play the instrument proficiently, with careful guidance from innovative arts educators within schools and the community. While all children may not have the same luck and opportunities as I did, I believe it is possible to have a career in music for those with disabilities, given the right environment and assistance. more>>