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Aubrey

Title – Aubrey

By – Deborah Lichfield

In my third year of teaching general music, I was given a class of cerebral palsy children to teach. They were all kindergarten age. They were all in wheel chairs, except one. I think there were about 6 children all together.

It was quite a challenge to come up with things they would enjoy and could feel success in accomplishing.

One activity we did first thing was to warm up their voices. We would act like we were chewing food and humming at the same time. While they were doing that, they would move their arms up and down to the high and low of their voices. This was something all of them could do, except one… Aubrey. Her handicap was more severe than the others. She could only make a couple of sounds to denote yes and no. She would sit and sometimes the teachers who brought the children would make her arms move while we were doing this activity and sometimes not.

One day, six months into the school year, we started up our warm up as usual and as I looked around the room, and there was Aubrey, on her own, moving her arms up and down with the others. I pointed it out to the teachers and we were all very excited. That moment had a deep impact on my life as a teacher and a musician. And 19 years later it still inspires me.

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Deborah Lichfield

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