The Opportunity to Succeed: Inclusion in Music Education

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Inclusion and Music Education

"The Opportunity to Succeed” is a DVD for current and future band directors featuring several “documentary style” case studies that will inform and inspire our audience about the challenges, strategies, and life long benefits of an inclusionary learning environment for both special needs and typically developing students.

“The Opportunity to Succeed” was inspired by and includes an account of Patrick Henry Hughes and his full inclusion into the University of Louisville Marching Band. Patrick Hughes is a gifted musician who was born without eyesight and does not have the ability to fully extend his arms or legs. Patrick's dream was to be a part of the University of Louisville’s Pep Band but found that a prerequisite to perform with the pep unit was being a member of the marching band. This seemingly insurmountable requirement was overcome by Patrick’s determination and the collaborative efforts of Patrick’s father and The University of Louisville’s Marching Band Director, Dr. Greg Byrne.

Patrick's success as a fully active member of the marching band received
much national attention and helped raise ability awareness as his story was featured on ESPN, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and in national publications such as Sports Illustrated. Patrick Henry continues to write and perform music as well as reach out to inspire a wider world with his message of perseverance and dedication.  

Dr. Greg Byrne has gone on to make the study and practice of inclusion 
of the special-needs musician a major focus of his academic career.  Dr. Byrne travels the country speaking about and researching stories of inclusion. Dr. Byrne has recorded many of these stories as a documentary video. He has profiled successful programs at the middle school, high school, and collegiate level and we are proud to include his work in “The  Opportunity to Succeed”.

"When band directors open their minds and programs to include musicians with special needs amazing things happen...reaching out to one person has the potential to benefit so many.” Dr. Greg Byrne “The Opportunity to Succeed” uncovers a constant in each of the successful “real world” examples profiled on the DVD. Band directors, teachers, administrators and parents, found ways to implement three key components of inclusion; accommodation, differentiation, and innovation.  

“The Opportunity to Succeed” explores each of these keys as they came into play in each scenario.  “The Opportunity to Succeed”also explores the legal side of  special needs educational legislation and defines the line where the requirement of law and the willingness of the institution is drawn. “The Opportunity to Succeed”compares the duties and responsibilities demanded of educators from elementary, middle, high, and collegiate institutions. “The Opportunity to Succeed” DVD features a downloadable, printable, PDF in which the producers have collected and compared the salient features of past and current disability education legislation and present it in an easily digestible form. In this PDF we explore the merits and responsibilities found in acts such as: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The EAHCA Act of 1975, The IDEA Act of 1990, The ADA Act of 1990, and the American’s with Disabilities Amendments Act that became effective on January 1, 2009.


band, director, marching, inclusion, handicap, handicapped, blind, wheel, chair, university, high, school, music, patrick henry hughes
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