PELE UPDATE: THE INCLUSIVE CHILDREN’S ORCHESTRA
WITH ADAPTED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
During the 2019-2020 school year, a group of children in ALYN Hospital’s SHACHAR school participated in a year-long inclusive music program with children from the community. The SHACHAR music therapist and music teacher turned to PELE to adapt musical instruments to the needs of the children, enabling not only more children to participate, but also for their participation to be more significant. The PELE track of ALYN Hospital's Innovation Space, made up of professional staff and volunteer “makers," provides case-driven, personalized, affordable solutions for children of all backgrounds and from all parts of Israel who face physical challenges to independence in their day-to-day activities
In all, 10 children received adaptations to musical instruments of their choosing, including:
- Accessible Mallets for Percussion Instruments
- Adaptable Stands for Percussion Instruments
- Accessible Plectra (Picks) for String Instruments
The 10 children from ALYN Hospital’s SHACHAR school practiced and rehearsed both alone and alongside the children from the community in preparation for their end-of-year performance, which was to take place this past June. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the strict regulations regarding gatherings, the performance had to be taken to the “virtual stage.” The music teacher, music therapist and PELE staff went to the homes of the SHACHAR children with a small film crew to record each child playing in his or her home, and also recorded the children from the community playing and singing at ALYN Hospital.
The children felt honored to have the music video commemorating their hard work throughout the year shown during a virtual end-of-year celebration on Zoom. Their teachers and the PELE staff – but most significantly, the children and their parents – were especially proud of their achievements. Watch the amazing video above
One of PELE's goals for 2021 is to not only adapt musical instruments, as they have been doing until now, but also to create accessible musical instruments for children with disabilities so that they can participate in the Inclusive Orchestra and play to their hearts' content!
Some instruments being considered are:
- Accessible xylophone that can be controlled with a switch connected to mallets and allow the child to strike the bars.
- Accessible harp with plectra held by a "robot" that is controlled by the child with a sensitive switch.
- Apps on a tablet that would allow for controlling the musical instruments.