We are able to make music together! Workshops with musicians with severe disabilities

Luca Tiszai


Social isolation, inequality and poverty are frequently understood as secondary consequences of different disabilities. People with severe disabilities usually experience various direct and indirect forms of social exclusion that also affect their family-members. Their participation is extremely challenging since it seems difficult to involve them in any kind of social activity. The present article describes the methodology of disability-awareness workshops in which musicians with severe disabilities play together with other workshop participants. The aim of these workshops is to involve participants without disabilities in fruitful mutual cooperation with adults with severe disabilities. It is essential to prepare people when they first meet individuals with severe disabilities. During the workshops participants are prepared for the encounter as it is crucial to overcome the embarrassment that many experience when meeting people with disabilities. The Consonante Method allows individuals with limited intellectual and motor skills as well as people without previous musical training to experience the joy of active participation in a music performance. Shared music can be a platform for socialization through a joyful activity. The community building power of music allows participants to experience joy, community, equality and mutuality. These well-prepared encounters promote mutual understanding and thus can serve as a positive model for inclusion. 

Keywords: social inclusion, methodology, workshop, people with severe disabilities, music

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