The Opportunity to Succeed: Inclusion in Music Education

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About The Video

“The Opportunity to Succeed:  Inclusion in Music Education" is a 36+ minute DVD which features subtitles, for the hearing impaired.  The video includes testimonials from Educators and disabled musicians on the subject of "inclusion".

Included PDF documents can be accessed by inserting DVD into a computer.  These documents cover the Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and deal specifically with the laws regarding inclusion in education.  

The video is available both in 720P High Definition, or Letterboxed Standard Definition.


DVD Format

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The Opportunity to Succeed: Inclusion in Music Education ***
(2012) 36 min. DVD: $79.  (avail. from PPR. Closed captioned. ISBN: 978-0-615-52457-3.

This program profiles three high school and college musicians with physical disabilities, whom Dr. Greg Byrne—the primary speaker here—believes can benefit from (and enhance) traditional musical programs. The subjects include Patrick Henry Hughes, a blind pianist and trumpeter; Kayla Freeman, a xylophone player with arthrogryposis, and Devin Robinson, a percussionist with leukodystrophy (Patrick and Kayla, who have limited mobility, also use wheelchairs). All three, who hail from the South, met resistance when they first attempted to play music alongside their non-disabled peers. Band leaders told them they wouldn't be able to keep up, would drag others behind, or should remain out of sight. Kayla's instructor, Michelle Harless, confesses she didn't know what to do with Kayla at first (she also feared that Kayla might have a learning disability, which she does not). Harless recalls, "It was a big experiment for us." Patrick, now a graduate, participated in the University of Louisville marching band, catching the attention of ESPN, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and other broadcasting entities. Dr. Byrne, Patrick’s instructor, made accommodations to ensure full integration, such as providing him with a CD instead of sheet music. The Opportunity to Succeed is primarily aimed at school administrators and educators, although interested parents and students will likely appreciate this as well. Recommended. Aud: J, H, C, P. (K. Fennessy


The Opportunity to Succeed: Inclusion in Music Education: RECOMMENDED 
(2012) 36 min. DVD: $79.  (avail. from PPR. Closed captioned. ISBN: 978-0-615-52457-3.

Students who would like to play in school bands in high school and college should be able to take part in this activity, whether they are able or disabled. This film focuses on students, their parents, band directors, and a professor of music to show how this goal can be accomplished. Through the use of live-action film and stills, the experiences of three students with different disabilities are shown, with plenty of personal comments by the students themselves, their parents, and teachers.
The film examines common reasons for exclusion, the benefits of inclusion, and practical actions that can be taken to achieve a successful result for the students, the schools, families, and communities. The positive effects on peers, too, comes forth through narration and interviews with fellow band members and a peer aide. The film clearly shows the collaboration among many people that goes into making inclusion work.

The technical aspects of this film are good. The visuals and sound are of high quality. The script and editing make the subject interesting and provide a variety of views and scenes to keep it moving along. The three students who are highlighted provide interesting and different experiences. Their comments, as well as those of the parents and band directors featured, are testament to the good things that can happen when inclusion is achieved. The film ends on a high note with a song written and performed by one of these students.

Resources on the DVD accessible through a computer include information on the Americans with Disabilities Act and a Guide to Disability Rights Laws.

While the audience for this film seems fairly narrow – band directors – it would also be instructive for college students planning to go into music education at any level. Parents of disabled children who wish to participate in a band may also find it useful. 

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