Performing Musician & Teaching Artist
Southern Ohio Museum
Verne Riffe School for Multiply Handicapped and Southern Ohio Museum invited me for a 3-week residency through the Ohio Arts Council Arts Learning program.
There were two core groups of about a dozen intermediate level students aged 12-16 with multiple disabilities. The peripheral groups were 4 primary levels, 3 transition levels, 3 pre-school classes, and one class each from Center for Alternative & Progressive Education, and Bridges, a support group for troubled teen-aged girls.
All classes took place either at the Vern Riffe School for Multiply Handicapped, where they dedicated a music room for my work, or on the stage of the recital hall at the Southern Ohio Museum, where there was a lovely grand piano. Activities were based on my way of teaching music through movement and involved learning songs, rhythms, dances (adjusted for each child’s limitations), listening activities, tempo changes, stopping/starting, and making shakers with the help of the museum staff, which we later used in our music making. Students who came to the museum also had a tour of the current exhibit. I also shared my huge collection of rhythm instruments from around the world, and every student got to play each instrument.
I performed some piano pieces, sang for them, and gave a few short concerts with my colleague Oleg (the balalaika player) to the students as well as the SOM staff. The last day of the residency, I, with a violinist and cellist (who came down the day before to rehearse) performed a chamber music concert of a Haydn Trio, Mozart Sonata for violin & piano, and the Mendelssohn Trio in d minor in connection with the opening exhibit at the museum.