Bands and Disabilites

Disabilities And Bands Go Hand In Hand

Before you begin reading, I encourage you to listen to the song “Close My Eyes” by Rudely Interrupted. Click Here to listen.

Now that you have listened to the song in its entirety, I hope, I would like to give you a rudelyinterruptedlittle background information on the band you just heard. This band was formed by a man named Rohan Brooks who is a musician out of Australia. Aside from his work as a singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer, Brooks works as a carer in the disability sector. In 2006, Brooks came up with the idea of starting a band with a few of his students. This was the beginning of a beautiful journey.

The band is made up of five men and one woman. Rory Burnside is the lead singer of the band; he is known for recognizing pitch, perfect pitch, or absolute pitch. Burnside is blind and has Asperger’s syndrome and epilepsy. Band member, Marcus Stone, is the keyboardist; he has Asperger’s and is 80 percent deaf. The bassist, Sam Beke, has Down Syndrome. The drummer, Josh Hogan, has Autism. The last member but certainly not the least, is percussionist Connie Kirkpatrick who has Down syndrome and is legally blind. Together they spend time traveling the world sharing their music with others. Their success is a partial result from the fact that they all bring something different to the band. I began to wonder what this experience has brought to these individuals. I found an article from a newspaper in Australia in which the mother of Rory Burnside was interviewed. The article describes what it is like watching Rory perform and it’s as if he feels the words more than he sings them. His mother, Deb Duncan, states, “This is just so important to him. He’s become a lot more independent.”

There is a sense of learning and a sense of understanding that comes along with creating music. There is always more to learn and more to improve. One quote that kept appearing on the internet while researching this band was “One man’s disability is another man’s superpower” and I think that’s exactly what this band is trying to prove. Some may see their disabilities as something that holds them back but they may see it as their strength.
For for information on Rudely Interrupted, click Here . If you liked this post, you may want to check out MusicAndMe!


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