There’s a phenomena that happens in the world of Broadway musicals when actors stop their dialogue and burst into song. It’s an organic moment for everyone involved…the actors who allow the tune and the lyrics to tell their story and the audience that is unconsciously transported to a new time and place. This moment occurs when words are not enough.
Interestingly, a day at the Wright house is filled with these moments, too. Whether it’s the silly songs we sing to Beau and Bitty while getting dressed in the morning or the lullabies we rock them to sleep with at night, there is music constantly bouncing within the walls of our home. Perhaps this is the reason Beau sang long before he ever spoke a word. Music is one of Beau’s many gifts. Music has allowed him to share what is in his heart and soul, even when he cannot find the words.
I believe this is true for many people living with intellectual disabilities. With the arts, there is no right or wrong answer. It is simply created, shared and appreciated. For people with intellectual disabilities, the arts can be an important outlet for self-expression while helping build self-confidence and self-esteem.
With music at the heart of our family, it was an easy decision to continue growing our mission by creating an opportunity for people with ALL abilities to express themselves through music. This new endeavor is called The Ability Choir. The choir is open to people of ALL abilities, and when we met for our first rehearsal last weekend, it was a true melting pot of talent. It was obvious from our first minutes together, that this was going to be a very special experience. In addition to our special children, we were joined by moms & dads, teens and tots and even a few grandmothers. Our abilities ranged from children that had never sung a note to teens that have starred in dozens of shows and everything in between. At this rehearsal, I witnessed moments of compassion, patience and mutual appreciation as people “buddied” up to help one another find their way through choreography and remember lyrics. I’m fairly certain that for some of our choir members, this may have been their first experience working with someone living with a disability. I am equally certain that this experience changed them forever.
As our rehearsal came to a close, we gave ourselves a standing ovation and lots of hugs. And as we drove away, I overheard Beau singing to Emma Grace in the back of the car…afterall, this was one of those happy moments when words just weren’t enough.