music academy for the blind
We are so excited to announce the launch of the Allegro Music School for the Blind. For the last two years Allegro has been conducting an unofficial pilot program as we instructed Eme Mitchell-Butler, as you can read about in this recent Warrenton Lifestyle article.
The school recently received a Make It Happen grant from the Fauquier Health Foundation which is allowing us to launch a full-fledged program. Grant money will be used to purchase braille equipment and software.
With the addition of the equipment and various software we will be able to expand our program to reach additional visually impaired and blind adults and children. According to Executive Director Sam Yoder “there are no other programs on the East Coast like the one we intend to build. We are modeling the program after the Academy of Music for the Blind in California.”
Allegro has been instruction various special needs students since opening in 2004. These students are main streamed and instructed like all other students. Our instructors create a plan based on goals and objectives with input from the student and parent. Our special needs students participate in all our programs equally.
Adding Braille music to our current program gives our blind students the chance to level the playing field. They will be able to communicate and collaborate with sighted musicians as they learn and create music.
Adding a blind music school goes beyond the enrichment of the student. It positively affects society at large as these students grow and become part of their communities.
“One of our goals for the program is to serve as a resource for other programs in our region such as the public school system and professionals who work with the blind and visually impaired,” Sam explains. “Some of the equipment will be portable enough so we can take it into other facilities. We’ll also have certified braille and braille music transcriptionists who will be able to assist others in the community.”
Allegro Community School of the Arts is a 501(c)(3), non-profit arts school located in Old Town Warrenton, VA. Please contact the school if you would like to support this groundbreaking opportunity. You can donate here or in the form of a corporate sponsorship.