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missypie
01-29-2007, 10:36 AM
We have a friend at church whose 13 year old daughter (I'll call her Callie) has Down syndrome. The mom sings in the adult choir and also sings professionally.

Callie sang in children's choir until she aged out of it last year. Her mom has now put Callie in the youth choir. The church youth choir is good - quite a few advanced singers. They all read music well, use four to eight part harmony, etc, sing their songs from memory. When Callie sings with them, she can always be heard. My daughter keeps track of her...make sure she stands and sits at the right time, etc., but can't keep Callie on key. The director is marvelous with Callie.

But parents, help me understand why Callie's mom has put her in a performing group, with which she cannot keep up. Whenever the group performs, Callie's off pitch singing will always be heard. There are other church youth groups that Callie could be a part of. I try to put myself in the mom's shoes, and I don't think I'd want my daughter to be in front of the church, obviously being the one always off pitch. I know it's "only church youth choir" , but the group is going to sound off pitch for the next 6 years.

Please don't flame me, but instead, help me understand the mom's point of view.

sPaRkLeSpAz
01-29-2007, 10:46 AM
I can see things from both sides.. My sister doesn't have down syndrome, but she's mentally disabled, has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and a few other disabilities. She's not in choir;; but she likes being the center of attention, and when Becky sings she belts it all out =]. I think that Callie's mom is letting her sing because that's what Callie wants to do. Just because Callie has down syndrome her mother and Callie herself doesn't need to miss out on things. I think that it's good that she's a part of thing and feels included. :goodvibes . At church it doesn't really matter what other people think- it matters what God thinks;; God is probably honored to hear Callie sing every Sunday.

=]

RACHELSMOM1
01-29-2007, 10:48 AM
As a mom to a precious angel named Rachel, who has down syndrome,let me tell you how I feel.The girl is doing something she wants to do, and the church should be applauded for including her.She has already overcome so many obstacles in her life,and I admire this child for having the courage to sing in front of the church.She has a right to worship this way,and I am sure she is not the only child without perfect pitch.

Cheshire Figment
01-29-2007, 10:56 AM
I would definitely agree with the previous posters. More than likely the congregation knows she is a disabled child and the church, as any social services agency, is acting responsibly by including her in an activity she likes. It is not harming anybody.

The only thing I would consider which may not be known publicly, is that there may be an agreement between the church and your friend that if the choir is going to be doing a public performance or in a competition that her daughter will not be permitted to participate for those performances. This way the church is treating its members fairly, Callie by allowing her to sing in the church, and the rest of the youth choir by not being damaged in a public or competitive performance.

missypie
01-29-2007, 10:58 AM
As a mom to a precious angel named Rachel, who has down syndrome,let me tell you how I feel.The girl is doing something she wants to do, and the church should be applauded for including her.She has already overcome so many obstacles in her life,and I admire this child for having the courage to sing in front of the church.She has a right to worship this way,and I am sure she is not the only child without perfect pitch.

I hear what you're saying, and I know that it matters that it's Church. But even though it's church, if one of my teenaged kids was tone deaf and I could hear his off pitching singing above the choir, I think that after a while I'd gently discuss how singing might not be his thing and that maybe the handbell ensemble would be a better choice.

missypie
01-29-2007, 11:00 AM
I would definitely agree with the previous posters. More than likely the congregation knows she is a disabled child and the church, as any social services agency, is acting responsibly by including her in an activity she likes. It is not harming anybody.

The only thing I would consider which may not be known publicly, is that there may be an agreement between the church and your friend that if the choir is going to be doing a public performance or in a competition that her daughter will not be permitted to participate for those performances. This way the church is treating its members fairly, Callie by allowing her to sing in the church, and the rest of the youth choir by not being damaged in a public or competitive performance.

Good thought. As un-Christian as this might sound, that did cross my mind when I heard that the group was going to audition to sing the National Anthem at a baseball game.

bopper
01-29-2007, 11:01 AM
Also, it depends on the church's rules for being in the choir. If it is open to all, why shouldn't she be in the choir if she likes to sing?

missypie
01-29-2007, 11:06 AM
Also, it depends on the church's rules for being in the choir. If it is open to all, why shouldn't she be in the choir if she likes to sing?

It is certainly open to all. But it is not a group that learns praise choruses by rote. They sing anthems comparable to what adult choirs sing. To be comfortable in the group, you need to read music (and words, of course.) I think that Callie is begining to read...perhaps at the first grade level.

I guess if Callie is not frustrated by having music put in front of her that she can't read, it isn't a distressing experience for her.

RACHELSMOM1
01-29-2007, 11:13 AM
I hear what you're saying, and I know that it matters that it's Church. But even though it's church, if one of my teenaged kids was tone deaf and I could hear his off pitching singing above the choir, I think that after a while I'd gently discuss how singing might not be his thing and that maybe the handbell ensemble would be a better choice.

For a child with down syndrome,handbells would be more difficult(two skills at once-one mental and one tactile)and I believe the church is probably very accepting of this child and her voice-I hope the first poster understands that this is an accomplishment for this child in so many ways.

missypie
01-29-2007, 11:17 AM
For a child with down syndrome,handbells would be more difficult(two skills at once-one mental and one tactile)and I believe the church is probably very accepting of this child and her voice-I hope the first poster understands that this is an accomplishment for this child in so many ways.

I was using handbells as an example of what I would tell my non-Down syndrome child if he couldn't carry a tune.

Mo-Yo
01-29-2007, 12:19 PM
OKAY...agnostic/secular humanist/recovering Catholic chiming in here.

If the God who I hope exists exists, I would hope that he finds the same joy in hearing that little girl sing that she finds in singing.

And a true miracle would be that those who hear her voice, hear her heart, as well.

Michigan
01-29-2007, 12:30 PM
OKAY...agnostic/secular humanist/recovering Catholic chiming in here.

If the God who I hope exists exists, I would hope that he finds the same joy in hearing that little girl sing that she finds in singing.

And a true miracle would be that those who hear her voice, hear her heart, as well.

:grouphug: I think that just about says it all!:thumbsup2

jennydep
01-29-2007, 01:04 PM
The mom sings in the adult choir and also sings professionally.... Her mom has now put Callie in the youth choir.

My first question is this: Is this what Callie wants or is it what her mom wants? I have a 9 year old daughter with Ds. When she sings in the kids' choir at church or at the school musical, you can hear her off-key, slightly-behind voice all over the auditorium. She brings smiles to the faces of everyone watching her put her whole heart into her song. I will be honest that if she were in Callie's situation, I would suggest to her that she sing at church but do something else to help out during a performance such as the National Anthem at a ballgame. I know people can be very cruel and, although I can't shelter her forever, I would want to reduce the chance of ridicule.

Jenny

Scutapipig
01-29-2007, 01:07 PM
I had a response typed...I chose to delete it because I'm afraid my honest response would offend the OP.

What I can say, is I believe that Mo-Yo said it best.

If the God who I hope exists exists, I would hope that he finds the same joy in hearing that little girl sing that she finds in singing.

And a true miracle would be that those who hear her voice, hear her heart, as well.

mickeymom1
01-29-2007, 01:36 PM
i am also a mom of a ds7 with down syndrome. i agree with the previous posts that while she may sing off key, she is also setting a great example to be courageous and do what you enjoy no matter your ability.

i was in a slightly similar situation with my son's school a few years ago. about a week before his kindergarten christmas concert, they told me he may not be able to be in it (because he wasn't participating 100% during rehearsals). i was completely shocked and appalled!! it was a kindergarten concert, singing jingle bells, etc.!!! they were afraid that he may bring attention to himself or not act appropriate. to make a long story short, he was in the concert and stood there better than some of the other kids (who are not disabled) who were picking their noses or crying!! he was given the chance to participate and he was successful. as a parent of a disabled child, that is all i really ask is that he be given the chance. do i wish sometimes that he could just "blend in", heck yes. but that is not a reality and neither is keeping him isolated so "attention" won't be brought to his disability.

who knows, maybe with a little extra guidance callie will improve. maybe they can work with her so she doesn't sing so loud over the other singers. one shouldn't assume that because she is disabled that she can't learn or try to be taught some basic proper techniques.

finally, kuddos to your daughter for helping callie in the choir.

missypie
01-29-2007, 01:38 PM
My first question is this: Is this what Callie wants or is it what her mom wants? I have a 9 year old daughter with Ds. When she sings in the kids' choir at church or at the school musical, you can hear her off-key, slightly-behind voice all over the auditorium. She brings smiles to the faces of everyone watching her put her whole heart into her song. I will be honest that if she were in Callie's situation, I would suggest to her that she sing at church but do something else to help out during a performance such as the National Anthem at a ballgame. I know people can be very cruel and, although I can't shelter her forever, I would want to reduce the chance of ridicule.

Jenny

But when your daughter is 13 or 16 and the group is getting through something like Beethoven's "Hallelujah" from the Mount of Olives, will you still think it is sweet when she is there, not being able to keep up at all, or would you think it a better experience to involve her in an activity in which she will be more successful?

terri01p
01-29-2007, 01:40 PM
A church choir to me is for singing praises unto the LORD, let the child have fun and let her be a reminder to people in the church what real life is all about, who really cares if the choir sings perfectly, I would think most people would be blessed by this singing ( off key or not ) and isn't that what the church is all about ? It says in the bible " make a joyful noise unto the LORD " . The bible doesn't say "sing unto me all you that sing good ". Geez you should sit by my husband during church...it takes singing to a whole new level. :scared1:
I would love for my dd to have strength enough to belt out a song and I know my church would love an embrace that also. Just pray and ask GOD to give you a good spirt about it, and I bet you'll find yourself loving the songs being sung ( off key or not ) .

Scutapipig
01-29-2007, 02:10 PM
Missypie, it sounds as though you are more hung-up on perfection and appearances than you are in seeing the joy and the acceptance that a church (if following scripture and Christ's example) bring to those who attend.

If I read between the lines correctly, it sounds as though you are more concerned with the possibility of your daughter and the choir not being able to progress to a competition level than you are with extending courtesy, kindness, and compassion to one individual. I applaud your daughter for helping Callie out, but I hope its done out of desire and friendship and not out of obligation.

For what its worth, my son is 11 years old and not only is part of the children's choir, but he also is given speaking parts in plays and given solos to sing in the choir. He does very well, although a bit off key (actually, QUITE a bit off key), but I'll take off key praise to the Lord over anyone who feels he does not have a right or the opportunity to participate in praising the One who created him in His image.

Now, I'm also a realist. If there are try-outs for a choir and people are cut based on their lack of abilities, then those circumstances are different and I would accept the decision that he probably wouldn't make it and work with him to learn that life lesson. However, a volunteer choir is not a place to make assumptions and/or waves.

daisyduck123
01-29-2007, 02:32 PM
I haven't read any of the replies but....maybe "mom" has such a "tin ear" that she can't even hear that her DD is so off key...or maybe thinks her DD sounds fantastic.

missypie
01-29-2007, 02:42 PM
I haven't read any of the replies but....maybe "mom" has such a "tin ear" that she can't even hear that her DD is so off key...or maybe thinks her DD sounds fantastic.

Callie's mom is a professional singer. I know that if it were me and my non-Down syndrome teenager was singing loudly off key, I'd feel bad and encourage him or her to find another area of service to the church. What I don't know is if I HAD a Down syndrome child that old, and could easily hear her being off key, would I be thrilled that she was up there singing, or would I still feel bad and encourage her to find another area of service to the church.

MandM-Mom
01-29-2007, 06:27 PM
I have been to church before and heard people singing in the choir who are off key and we didn't think about asking them to step down.

I am a mom of DD 6 months with DS and if she wants to sing in the choir and the choir will have her she will sing, and sing proudly. In our church any singing is praised, you should here me, now thats bad, and no one has asked me to stop yet. The OP obviously speaks with no real knowledge of a child with a disability or from a parent of a child with a disabilitity. Until she faces the obstacles both socially and medically that families with children with disabilities face maybe she should rethink how harsh she sounds.

WildGrits
01-30-2007, 04:11 AM
I think you really need to look inside an see why this bothers you.

I commend your church. They are truly teaching tolerance.

meandtheguys2
01-30-2007, 06:12 AM
I think you really need to look inside an see why this bothers you.

I commend your church. They are truly teaching tolerance.

::yes:: Awesome church. Worship isn't just for those that are perfect. And, boy am I thankful for that!!!!!!

OP, if you all want a show choir, perhaps you ought to start one.

eta: I mean this in a positive sense. Not a sarcastic one!

OneLittleSpark
01-30-2007, 06:38 AM
I used to care what people thought of me, but over the years I've had a few life lessons which have taught me a couple of things. Now I think you should be who are are, do what you want and not give a proverbial what other people think, regardless of abilities or disabilities. After all, the only way to learn is to go out there and do.

I think your church is doing a great job, and I do agree that God loves all His children for all their specialness. I hope this helps a bit, and well done for having the desire to learn and the courage to ask such a potentially flammable question :thumbsup2

SueM in MN
01-30-2007, 07:37 AM
I agree wholeheartedly with those who said whether the praise is off-key or not is not the issue. The important thing is that the child with DS wants to be involved in the choir and is doing the best she can do. It might not be up to some people's 'standards', but she is there with a willing heart and a willing voice.

I'm sure that the child's mother is very aware that her child is singing off-key if she is a professional singer. As the parent of a child with a disability, she is well aware that her child will probably never do anything perfectly, but the child is happy to try and that is important. The parents are probably happy that their child is just able to participate at all, because even talking was something that parents of children with disabilities don't take for granted. When the parent and child get to the point that the choir is not the right thing for them, they will choose to stop.

As for the comments about the child not being able to read music and 'not being able to keep up later', maybe that will happen, maybe it won't. I was in a very good choir in high school and never did learn to read music - We did Handel's Messiah and it didn't keep me from performing. There are many professional musicians who can't read music (even famous performers/song writers, like Paul Mccartney).

addicted_to_WDW
01-30-2007, 07:39 AM
I don't think that the OP is bothered by this, she just wants to know the thought process of the parents involved.

Honestly, good for Callie for participating, but I really don't think she should be involved in competitions or many public (out of the church) performances. It's great that she's included and it shows the other choir members tolerance and love, however it isn't fair to the kids who want the choir to be competitive and/or professional outside of the church.

It's kind of like when someone with a disability is on a baseball team. Most teams let the kid play but if the game is on the line the kid will sit on the bench in favor of the better athletes. The less talented non-disabled kids will sit on the bench too. It's just reality.

SueM in MN
01-30-2007, 07:42 AM
This is something I originally posted a little over a year ago on this board.
I think it fits well here, because it is about a performing group. None of the parents or the participants have any illusions about our ability to perform because we know what we have all gone thru to get to this point.
When we perform, we have the audience in tears and get a standing ovation. The parents of the 'perfect kids' who can dance with grace and precision can see how much our kids are working and how difficult it is for them to even be up on the stage.
And they are happy for us and with us for the chance to perform, perfect or not.

Here's the story:
Youngest DD and I were on our way home from the one place in the world where we fit in completely. Everyone in that little "world" understands what we are going thru because they have been there, or somewhere nearby.

The "world" we were in is tiny; one big room about 30 by 40 feet, one small (but wheelchair accessible) restroom and another room that we sometimes use if someone has brought treats for a birthday. When that happens, several of the participants just lick the treats, some are fed in messy mouthfuls shoved into their mouths by mom or helper, some can't eat anything by mouth and devour the treats with their eyes. Some don't look like they notice we have moved from the large room, until one girl cries (more like screaming) until we have finished singing Happy Birthday and several of them get startled and arms and legs jerk. My DD will never eat anything when we are away from home; afraid she'll make a mess and suspicious of plastic cutlery - she has broken one too many plastic fork when she couldn't control how hard she bit down. Her treat has to be wrapped up in a napkin and placed into her bag; where I may be able to remove it later without her noticing (or maybe not and I'll find it in a few days, a sticky mess of frosting crusted napkin.)

In this world, my DD is not one of the most disabled, she is actually one of the least disabled. Welcome to the world of the Uniquely Abled Dance Class. My DD is the one with glasses in the back row on the far right of the picture. The one who is obstinantly looking out of the picture. This picture was taken a few years ago; the one they used before was better (at least of my DD). The photographer's helper that year was a cute teen guy. The helper when this picture was taken was a middle aged woman; not the same effect at all.

And Uniquely Abled we are. Some participants can walk a few steps, some can talk, some can understand everything that is said to them, some can drive their own wheelchairs, but no one in the room can do all those things (except us helpers, parents or other family members who are watching). Some participants are wheeled around the room, as insubstantial and apparently as unfeeling as ghosts. Sometimes a piece of music or movement breaks thru to one of those participants and they smile or make a sound. In our world that is a cause for group rejoycing because we know how precious that connection with the world is for the parent of that child.

Some of us envy other parents because of things their kids can do that our child can't:
I envy J and N because they can talk. (J and N are in the first row, the 2nd and 3rd from the left).
Mothers of typical children wouldn't understand that because, by typical child standards, J and N can hardly talk at all. They speak in quiet, breathy voices with pauses between words as they struggle to find a word or force it out. My DD is one who can understand, but not talk. She's sometimes very noisy, but doesn't have the ability to say any words that people in the "normal" world can understand. She talks in signs, gestures and what Ursula in the Little Mermaid calls "body language".
J and N's moms have told me that they envy me because my DD is fully grown, but is tiny (5 feet tall and 86 pounds), a perfect size for transfers. J and N live in a world of using Hoyer lifts to move from place to place because they are too heavy to be lifted and can't support their own weight. I'm lucky because, not only is DD tiny and light, but she is also able to stand and walk if I hold her up (clumsy and lurching, but walking and easier than using a lift).
I envy LR because she does a good job of controlling her computerized talking device (even though she has to do it with scanning and controlling a switch with her head). (LR is in the front row, right over the word "the").
LR's mom envies me because my DD can drive her wheelchair with her hands, instead of a head array like LR has to use because she can't use her hands.

I feel lucky and don't know how some of the parents survive their life; I don't know how I would.
Some of the kids hardly react to anything and there is seldom a connection between them and the outside world. That would be hard for me, but they seem to cope. Maybe they are watching me and wondering how I cope with DD, who connects with me a bit too much sometimes. My DD sometimes bosses me around - everyone in the class knows the drill. She is obsessed with my purse. Sometimes, I have to wear it. Sometimes it is supposed to be on the floor in a specific place. If I leave it by my coat, she's OK for a while, then gets an absolutely paniced look on her face until I put it where she wants it to be (it's my purse, if anyone is paniced about where it is, it should be me). The back of her wheelchair would be the logical place for the purse to be, but heaven forbid I put it there, that is not part of my DD's "rules of conduct" to have it there.

I also feel lucky that my family doesn't have a "before and after" like some of the parents do. Some of them put a "normal" child to bed one night and then something catastrophic moved them from the world of "parent of 'normal' child" to the world of "parent of special needs child". We didn't have any sudden uprooting like that; just a slow realization that our child was not following on the path we thought she was. I don't know that I could handle the fast uprooting.

We feel lucky and thankful - today 2 kids are missing from class, but not for any bad reasons. One is on vacation and one is in respite care because her parents went on a trip and she had no way to get to class.
In a "typical" dance class, kids might miss class because they forgot the date or had car trouble. In our world, missing the class is more likely something more ominous; one boy had pneumonia earlier this year, my DD missed classes a few times because she had seizures the night before and was too tired, a year ago one of the girls got bacteremia from an infected baclophen pump and nearly died. Today, our world is lucky because no one is sick.

We feel lucky and thankful because in a world where parents without special needs children often don't stay together, most of the parents in our class are. And some kids have entended family members who come somtimes to observe the class. I feel lucky because I have a DH who loves me and adores our DDs (and they him). I have an older DD who is a real blessing. I feel blessed because she has found a young man who she loves and he loves her back. And both of them love my younger DD.

We feel lucky and thankful that a wonderful woman named Nancy started this class - and provides it for us all free of charge. All because she had a friend who went blind and was sad that he would not be able to take dance classes any more. Nancy couldn't see a reason why not and started dance classes for people with visual disabilities and hearing disabilities and Developmental Disabilites and our class, where all the participants use wheelchairs.

We feel lucky and thankful that we have others we can talk to who understand what we are saying. After class, we talk about things that wouldn't make ANY sense to most people; talking in a sort of verbal shorthand about power wheelchair settings and computers that talk for our kids and more usual things like glasses and bras for our teen girls (but from a different viewpoint) - how many parents are trying to deal with the problem of keeping glasses in place when the child moves their head on the headrest, or how many times you can bend wire rim glasses back into shape after they have been run over by a power wheelchair. I'm pretty confident that most mothers of teens have not discussed how to keep a bra on their teenage DD because her athetoid movements make her "slither" out of it.

I am lucky and thankful that I happened upon the DIS boards in 1999, which led to the disABILITIES board starting and being able to share joys and sorrows and WDW hints with other people on this board. The people in the dance class world are mostly unaware of the DIS world that I am part of, although one of the moms gave me one of the most poignant suggestions I had for this board - her DS can't sit up without his wheelchair which has trunk pieces that "hug" him into his wheelchair and a head rest that cradles his head. He is one who hardly ever reacts to anything - a newborn in a tiny 23 year's body. When they went to WDW, one of the CMs at one of the photo shops that superimpose your picture against a different backround in the computer devised a way to digitally remove the wheelchair from the picture. With that piece of magic, the woman got to see her son for the first time without his wheelchair.
True magic to her.
And we all understood and were happy for her.

So, I wish you all feel as happy and blessed today as I do, as we discuss little things that just might be huge for the person who we are discussing with.
______________

Andy B
01-30-2007, 08:05 AM
I don't think that the OP is bothered by this, she just wants to know the thought process of the parents involved.
I have to wonder why the OP is asking this, if she wants to know the Mothers thought process it seems best to speak to the Mother as she knows her and obviously has issues. From some of the comments in the following posts I am getting a feel of another Mother who is wanting nothing to get in the way of her daughters participation.
Honestly, good for Callie for participating, but I really don't think she should be involved in competitions or many public (out of the church) performances. It's great that she's included and it shows the other choir members tolerance and love, however it isn't fair to the kids who want the choir to be competitive and/or professional outside of the church. I am I the only one who feels it is not the job of a Church to be that competative.

WildGrits
01-30-2007, 08:17 AM
How eloquently put SueM in MN.

That reminded me of when my youngest was very young. Before she was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism. We where having a particularly rough week. I was really feeling sorry for myself.

I turned on the TV to a St Jude's commercial. Such a horrible feeling of shame spread over me that to this day, seven years later I can still feel it when I think about that day.

Yep, My Gracie will never be like the average kids, but I will also never have to know the pain of sitting month after month in a hospital uncertain of my childs future.

My shame was taking for granted the blessings the lord gave me. I haven't made that mistake since.

OneLittleSpark
01-30-2007, 08:19 AM
Sue, I can't find the appropriate words, so I'm just going to say thank you, thank you so much.

Scutapipig
01-30-2007, 08:21 AM
I am I the only one who feels it is not the job of a Church to be that competative.

Nope. You are not alone. The OP stated it was a volunteer choir. Combine a VOLUNTEER choir within a CHURCH and I fail to see the issue with this child singing.

SueM in MN...beautiful! Thank you for sharing that!

missypie
01-30-2007, 09:18 AM
The OP obviously speaks with no real knowledge of a child with a disability or from a parent of a child with a disabilitity. Until she faces the obstacles both socially and medically that families with children with disabilities face maybe she should rethink how harsh she sounds.

Actually, DS16 has Asperger's syndrome, is very ADD and has a speech impediment.

missypie
01-30-2007, 09:28 AM
I don't think that the OP is bothered by this, she just wants to know the thought process of the parents involved.




Yes. I really wanted to know the thought process. Of course I can't ask my friend directly-she would react the way y'all have.

Here's another story to illustrate how those of us not in the situation can't always understand the other side, no matter how we try: My dad spent a few years as a social worker in a public high school for severely mentally disabled teens. Many could not sit up unassisted. Their IEPs contained goals like "feed self with spoon." Over the years, half the parents took their kids out of this school because they wanted their child to "have a normal high school experience" and "be able to go to prom."

I always thought that if I was the parent, I would want my child to be in an enviroment where the staff was focussed on MY child's needs 100% of the time during the time a public education was available, rather than being "accomodated" in a regular school. However, obviously, scores of parents disagreed, although I could never understand their thinking.

Andy B
01-30-2007, 09:41 AM
Yes. I really wanted to know the thought process. Of course I can't ask my friend directly-she would react the way y'all have. Friend or acquaintance? If you have real reason to discuss with her she may not 'blow up' or perhaps the reaction you have engendered has given you thoughts as to what you have raised.

Here's another story to illustrate how those of us not in the situation can't always understand the other side, no matter how we try: My dad spent a few years as a social worker in a public high school for severely mentally disabled teens. Many could not sit up unassisted. Their IEPs contained goals like "feed self with spoon." Over the years, half the parents took their kids out of this school because they wanted their child to "have a normal high school experience" and "be able to go to prom."

I always thought that if I was the parent, I would want my child to be in an enviroment where the staff was focussed on MY child's needs 100% of the time during the time a public education was available, rather than being "accomodated" in a regular school. However, obviously, scores of parents disagreed, although I could never understand their thinking.

Many parents have this choice and it is difficult for them, by shielding or segregating children you may seem to give them the best care in isolation but when they have to form part of society perhaps at the end of education they may have a bigger adjustment. Also by segregating from the mainstream you prevent the mainstream leaning by first hand experience and may lead to more intollerant attitudes.

missypie
01-30-2007, 09:48 AM
Friend or acquaintance? If you have real reason to discuss with her she may not 'blow up' or perhaps the reaction you have engendered has given you thoughts as to what you have raised.

Many parents have this choice and it is difficult for them, by shielding or segregating children you may seem to give them the best care in isolation but when they have to form part of society perhaps at the end of education they may have a bigger adjustment. Also by segregating from the mainstream you prevent the mainstream leaning by first hand experience and may lead to more intollerant attitudes.

Right. I guess I would be inclined to be more selfish. The "free and appropriate public eduation" lasts from ages 3-21...if my child couldn't feed herself and the educators thought she could learn, I'd want every single opportunity for her to learn. But I'm not them...have never been in their shoes. (Although I realize that any of us could be - over half of the kids in the school were not born that way but rather, had experienced traumatic brain injuries.)

Scutapipig
01-30-2007, 10:07 AM
Never mind. I had a long post trying to kindly explain to try to help you understand, but I honestly don't feel as though you truly do want to understand. For every answer posted, you seem to come up with another argument or way to skew the answers in your favor.

In my opinion, I believe that Callie is not the issue, but rather intolerance of acceptance in a place where tolerance, love, kindness, compassion, and complete acceptance not only SHOULD be tolerated, but is expected.

Scutapipig
01-30-2007, 10:11 AM
Here's another story to illustrate how those of us not in the situation can't always understand the other side, no matter how we try: My dad spent a few years as a social worker in a public high school for severely mentally disabled teens. Many could not sit up unassisted. Their IEPs contained goals like "feed self with spoon." Over the years, half the parents took their kids out of this school because they wanted their child to "have a normal high school experience" and "be able to go to prom."

Comparing apples to oranges since this example only works if the choir is an audition choir. You stated it was not an audition choir, but a volunteer choir, which makes it open to all.

Hannathy
01-30-2007, 11:06 AM
I have been reading and thinking about this post since yesterday. Yes the girl has the right to sing in the church choir but I also can see where it would really be a kindness to her if her Mom simply said you know maybe you shouldn't sing so loud and try to blend in with the choir- which is what would be told to anyone in a choir who was not together with the group. Singing in a choir is an assembly production it is not 20 people singing solos.They work on harmonizing etc, I think she should at least try. How is that being mean, I think it is nicer than letting her stand out till the day someone else says something to her who may not be so kind. And it will happen. Then she is hurt and feels betrayed because no one she trusted told her. Everyone in this world has limitations and we all have to learn to deal with them. The other thing is the other choir members are kids too. I don't think it is wrong for them to want to sound the best they can for an audition, were you always gracious as a teen? IMO instead of insisting she has the right to stand up and do whatever she wants I think she has the right to learn and work Together with the choir cooperatively. Everyone has to give a bit.

My DD's dance instructor has a brother with Downs who loves to dance. However she doesn't just let him go and do his own thing, instead she works with him and his limitations, tells him when it isn't correct and he learns the routine and practices. She takes him to competitions and last yr he won a silver. He still loves dance so I think a compromise could be worked out between her taking over the songs and singing in the choir.

missypie
01-30-2007, 11:25 AM
I have been reading and thinking about this post since yesterday. Yes the girl has the right to sing in the church choir but I also can see where it would really be a kindness to her if her Mom simply said you know maybe you shouldn't sing so loud and try to blend in with the choir- which is what would be told to anyone in a choir who was not together with the group. Singing in a choir is an assembly production it is not 20 people singing solos.They work on harmonizing etc, I think she should at least try. How is that being mean, I think it is nicer than letting her stand out till the day someone else says something to her who may not be so kind. And it will happen. Then she is hurt and feels betrayed because no one she trusted told her. Everyone in this world has limitations and we all have to learn to deal with them. The other thing is the other choir members are kids too. I don't think it is wrong for them to want to sound the best they can for an audition, were you always gracious as a teen? IMO instead of insisting she has the right to stand up and do whatever she wants I think she has the right to learn and work Together with the choir cooperatively. Everyone has to give a bit.

My DD's dance instructor has a brother with Downs who loves to dance. However she doesn't just let him go and do his own thing, instead she works with him and his limitations, tells him when it isn't correct and he learns the routine and practices. She takes him to competitions and last yr he won a silver. He still loves dance so I think a compromise could be worked out between her taking over the songs and singing in the choir.

I think your thinking is close to mine (if you don't mind the comparison.) One kind person PM'd me and said that she never wanted to put her son with Down syndrome in an "unflattering" position. I guess that's what really bothers me - not about Callie, but her mom. Teen girls are so self conscious...I'd never want to put my daughter with Down syndrome in a postion that other teen girls would be uncomfortable in.

XYSRUS
01-30-2007, 12:31 PM
I think your thinking is close to mine (if you don't mind the comparison.) One kind person PM'd me and said that she never wanted to put her son with Down syndrome in an "unflattering" position. I guess that's what really bothers me - not about Callie, but her mom. Teen girls are so self conscious...I'd never want to put my daughter with Down syndrome in a postion that other teen girls would be uncomfortable in.

Who says she's in an "uncomfortable position"? You? You don't have a daughter with Downs. I personally think you are too involved with something that's none of your beeswax. It's a church choir, for pete's sake. Let the girl sing!:sad2:

KPeveler
01-30-2007, 01:28 PM
if a "normal" (i know, i hate that word too) girl wanted to sing in the church choir (which as i understand it is open to all) and was terrible, you would put up with it. it would be damaging to her self-esteem to kick her out of a volunteer choir cause she cant sing. Its like telling her God doesnt want to hear her cause she is bad (its church for goodness sake!).

so why is it ok to tell a girl with down syndrome that she cant sing, and kick her out?

addicted_to_WDW
01-30-2007, 01:36 PM
if a "normal" (i know, i hate that word too) girl wanted to sing in the church choir (which as i understand it is open to all) and was terrible, you would put up with it.

I bet the director wouldn't exactly put up with it. The girl would be worked with and almost definitely told to sing more quietly as to blend with the rest of the choir.

Scutapipig
01-30-2007, 01:37 PM
Teen girls are so self conscious...I'd never want to put my daughter with Down syndrome in a postion that other teen girls would be uncomfortable in.

Ok. This pretty much sums up how you really feel. It's not really about Callie, is it? It really is about appearances and how "others" would be uncomfortable, i.e. you.

phillybeth
01-30-2007, 01:56 PM
My 60 YO uncle with DS still believes in Santa Claus. And we, his family, encourage him. Some might think this is terrible, a 60 YO man believing that a fat man in a red suit gives him presents.
But those people never saw his face light up on Christmas morning. Remember when your kids were young, that completely innocent joy in gifts given with no obligation? He still has that, and he is 60. If anyone tried to tell him the truth- tried to take that joy away from him- not only would it break his heart it would destroy the family as well.

This mother sees her daughter's joy in raising her voice to God. No shame, no embarrassment, no thoughts of "am I good enough" or "people might laugh at me". How dare you even think about taking that away.

missypie
01-30-2007, 03:24 PM
Ok. This pretty much sums up how you really feel. It's not really about Callie, is it? It really is about appearances and how "others" would be uncomfortable, i.e. you.

I must not have expressed my thoughts clearly. It's the idea that if a teen without Down syndrome would not be comfortable in the situation, I would not make a teen with Down syndrome be in that situation.

After my grandma had a stroke, she ended up in a nursing home for a brief period of time. We went to visit her at Christmas time and the staff had put a Christmas bow-like comes on a package-in her hair! We took it out out of respect for her dignity-we knew that if she hadn't had a stroke she CERTAINLY wouldn't have been going around with a Christmas bow in her hair!

missypie
01-30-2007, 03:28 PM
This mother sees her daughter's joy in raising her voice to God. No shame, no embarrassment, no thoughts of "am I good enough" or "people might laugh at me".

I think you've answered my intial query better than anyone here. Thank you.

(By the way, NO ONE has even hinted at removing Callie from the choir. The church is marvelous to Callie. We had a Christmas Eve service led by the Youth Choir. Our Christmas Eve services tend to be of the "quiet and contemplative" variety. Callie and her dad lit the advent candles, then sat with the ministers for most of the service, then she joined the group for the last few songs. It worked out very nicely.)

Cheshire Figment
01-30-2007, 03:53 PM
I must not have expressed my thoughts clearly. It's the idea that if a teen without Down syndrome would not be comfortable in the situation, I would not make a teen with Down syndrome be in that situation.

As you stated earlier, you are unwilling to talk to "Callie's" mother. What makes you think that you know what is going on in Callie's mind? Is it possible that her mother did not think it was a good idea, but she wanted to do it.

I think you've answered my intial query better than anyone here. Thank you.
I think this last comment is a good place for you to leave this.

MarieS
01-30-2007, 05:29 PM
i am also a mom of a ds7 with down syndrome. i agree with the previous posts that while she may sing off key, she is also setting a great example to be courageous and do what you enjoy no matter your ability.

i was in a slightly similar situation with my son's school a few years ago. about a week before his kindergarten christmas concert, they told me he may not be able to be in it (because he wasn't participating 100% during rehearsals). i was completely shocked and appalled!! it was a kindergarten concert, singing jingle bells, etc.!!! they were afraid that he may bring attention to himself or not act appropriate. to make a long story short, he was in the concert and stood there better than some of the other kids (who are not disabled) who were picking their noses or crying!! he was given the chance to participate and he was successful. as a parent of a disabled child, that is all i really ask is that he be given the chance. do i wish sometimes that he could just "blend in", heck yes. but that is not a reality and neither is keeping him isolated so "attention" won't be brought to his disabilty

I had almost the exact same thing happen when my son was in kindergarten. DS has severe CP and uses a wheelchair. The music teacher said he would "ruin" the program. Thankfully his special ed teacher intervened and the principal agreed. I was so nervous that night! When the curtains opened there was my son looking handsome and waiting nicely. Saw a lot of other 5 and 6 year olds waving to to the audience and hopping up and down--but it was a kindergarten concert after all! LOL

barkley
01-31-2007, 12:36 AM
i am torn about this-i understand the need to be compassionate and understanding of 'callie', but i also believe the other members of a volunteer choir need equal compassion and understanding. by that i mean-is any accommodation callie requires creating an undue or unreasonable hardship/detriment of enjoyment on the rest of the volunteer choir?

the reason i ask is because of my experiences. i have a son with pronounced adhd who would love to do community theatre-but i am aware that his current level of attentiveness, as well as his reaction to exciting situations can result in disturbing others (noise, not as careful as he would need to be re blocking, choreography)-so i have never to this point allowed him to participate. i do community theatre-and a couple of years ago i did a show with a group that does one production per year wherein they allow all children who volunteer to be part of the production (no audtion-just show up the first night). there was a woman who brought her ds who is about the same age as my son and appeared (to me) to have adhd to a similar degree. the child was included in the production and while every effort was made to accommodate his needs it was taxing have to repeat segments of rehearsals numerous times because he could not pay attention. as the production dates approached it was apparant that the child (as my child would have been) was 'keyed up' with excitement such that he was singing off key to the extent it threw the other children off, and not paying attention to the minimal choreography he had been blocked into such that he would cause other children to falter, lose their place and in some cases stumble and fall.

the group to their credit worked intensly with him-but the circumstances of his disability were such that while he/his family may have taken tremendous joy in his on stage experience-the overall production suffered terribly, and for some of us who were enlisted (not volunteered-but assigned out of necessity) to 'take care of him' on stage and behind the scences-it became an incredibly stressful situation. yes it was a volunteer group, yes if people did'nt want to participate they could leave-but when a 'fun' activity is drasticly altered to become unpleasurable for 60 people to facilitate the enjoyment of 1-it seems not a reasonable accommodation.

i'm not saying this is the situation with 'callie'-i can't know what it's like, but i know for me-when i weigh the possibility of my ds participating in some activies, i don't just consider what i would want out of the experience for him-i consider what i would want for any child-and if i know my child's participation will greatly hamper that experience for others, i find some other venue that will work for him.

WildGrits
01-31-2007, 04:26 AM
I think there is a difference between community theater which is for entertaiment, and singing in a choir during Church services.

SueM in MN
01-31-2007, 06:03 AM
I think there is a difference between community theater which is for entertaiment, and singing in a choir during Church services.
I would agree. Church is a different situation because the main purpose of a church group is praise, not entertainment.
The ADA doesn't require require accomidation if doing so would substantially alter the situation for other people. It appears in the theater situation, it seems it did alter the situation (as in needing more rehearsals, repeating it more times).
We don't know much about the choir situation except that 'Callie' sings off-key.

barkley
01-31-2007, 08:15 AM
i agree church is different than community theatre-i was simply telling of my situation/experience/opinion. i think the particular group i worked with went well and with regularity goes above and beyond meeting ada standards (and has done so for decades before ada was ever a consideration) with in the majority of circumstances no significant negative alteration of the experience for others. this is not the situation however with the majority of church choirs and music groups in our area however-they are largly performing at a much more demanding level-and since they are exempt from ada laws they make no effort in accommodations nor do most even provide an opportunity for participation if an individual is not entirely capable to doing the material at the standard pace of the group, and at the performance level of the group (not saying i agree, but even with the volunteer church youth choirs in these parts-by around 5th grade the expectation is that you can be handed a peice of music, sight read it-and remain on pitch). in all honesty 'music ministries' seem far more focused on music than ministry.

Hannathy
01-31-2007, 09:38 AM
Thank You Barkley I think you explained this situation very well! Much Better than I have been able to do.

I would love to know what will happen when "Callie" ages out of the youth choir, Will she be welcomed with open arms to the adult choir where her Mom the professional singer sings? Will they accept with charm and grace as the teens are supposed to do her monopolizing the songs? Singing loud and off key and out of time for years? No aging out of the Adult choir. I know in my church the adult choir takes it seriously, paid musical director, serious practices and while there are no try outs if you can't sing you will nicely be put in the back and coached to not sing out, blend in, etc.

Andy B
01-31-2007, 10:14 AM
I looked back at the original post, 'Callie' was singing in the age choir before and the Director is fine with her, I think that indicates that this Church is acting in a Christian way and accepts her participation as many think they should. Her mother obviously wants her daughter to enjoy the participation in choir singing and currently it does not seem at odds with the feelings of the church.

I do feel that a Church is not the place for elitist activities but inclusive ones, perhaps I am out of touch. I seem to recall Jesus welcomed the parts of society that at the time were rejected by the established temples, it would be a shame if this has reverted back.

barkley
01-31-2007, 02:14 PM
my sincere hope is that it's callie's desire to be in the choir (not just because her mom wants her to be in it), and the choir director has the skill to reccognize if the level of music they are performing is not putting undue stress on her, and has the ability to discuss with the mom/powers that be any concerns they might have if they see the situation becoming too much for callie (or others in the choir).

church dynamics can get very 'political', and it's not unusual to have paid or volunteer youth/music leaders not do what they truly believe is best for an individual or the group by virtue of alienating a parent/family member from the activities they participate in or support through volunteer efforts. i've also known 'leaders' who were badly burned by pursueing someone's best interests by virtue of the parent/grandparent holding a place on a church board or as an elder-entire activities disolved :sad1:

i wonder-it's been said that this is a volunteer choir. does that mean that every person, despite being able to read music or the lyrics is accepted into the group? reason i ask is while there are lots of volunteer church choirs in our area, they do limit volunteers to those that meet the minimum standards-and to balance out the choir only so many of each vocal type (so you can be a phenominal first soprano but if they only have slots for altos you're out of luck). theres been times when individual churches have altered their music ministries because they have a massive amount of women but few men-so they convert to women's choirs, and they may take the men that are interested (if the music minister is willing) and do a smaller group with them and some women to fill it out-but they have to do what music their faith limits them to-and in some cases theres a clear distinction between full choral vs woman's choral music. if the group the op's daughter is in does have a minimum standard of ability for participation (i read this as callie not being able to read music/has to learn by ear, not being able to read the lyrics at rehearsals-has to learn them with assistance by rote outside the rehearsals), then so long as an accommodation is made for any child to waive that criteria (special needs or not) exists-i see no problem with 'callie' participating. if however, other non special needs children are excluded by virtue of not meeting the minimum standards, and are not provided the same opportunity to learn the material in an alternate way- 'callie' is not being accommodated-she is receiving preferental treatment.

fan_of_small_world
02-06-2007, 08:55 AM
barkley, I think you have made several very well-thought-out and well-wrtien posts. I have a DS with mild ADHD. Like yours, ours has sometimes expressed a desire to participate in an activity that DH and I felt was not appropriate at the time due to his inability to focus and his implusiveness. He is extremely sinsitive and we did not want him to be in a position of getting teased, and we did not feel it was appropriate to disrupt others. We striongly believe in presenting challenging activities and that learning comes through new eperiences. However, we also recognize that with each child you must know and respect certian limits. We are very blessed that with time and some wonderful resources he has made great progress, and we are ready to let him try some of these activities.

As for church activities, I can't speak for Callie's mom's decision to allow her to sing in the choir. I know thayt my DS might feel embarassed if he stood out, but I have absolutely no way of knowing how this child feels about her participation in singing her praises. And, if this is an "open to all" choir, then she should be welcome to sing with them. Many churches do have a variety of choirs, some open to all, some requiring auditions. As long as the church is being consistant in their actions, then there shouldn't be an issue.

roadtripper
02-06-2007, 11:05 AM
I had almost the exact same thing happen when my son was in kindergarten. DS has severe CP and uses a wheelchair. The music teacher said he would "ruin" the program. Thankfully his special ed teacher intervened and the principal agreed. I was so nervous that night! When the curtains opened there was my son looking handsome and waiting nicely.

I am ready to cry reading this--how sad for you, I'm so sorry they treated you that way. My DS, 10 also has severe CP and uses a wheelchair. In his school Christmas concert this year, as the class came to the stage, the music teacher announced: One little boy in the class seems to know all the words and music better than anyone else, so he will hold the microphone. It was my DS, (and he did!):) Music is (one of) his special gifts.

In our church choir a few years ago, there was one boy who sang at the top of his lungs-- totally off key. We all thought it was a riot, because he put so much into it, and he made everyone in the congregation smile. He had leukemia, and we lost him a few years ago. You can bet the whole parish would rather have his horrible singing than the absence of it.

missypie
02-06-2007, 11:41 AM
I've refrained from posting further on this thread at the suggestion ;) of the moderators, but I will add one thing: We had dinner Saturday night with the youth choir director and the subject of Callie came up. She asked us to pray about the situation all the time. She knows that above all, this is church, so Callie should sing. But she also knows that she has been charged with building a strong youth choir program, and she can see this having a negative effect on recruiting new kids. She says she thinks about it every day and goes to bed with a stomache ache about it almost every night. Maybe God will send a very special group of kids to the choir.

terri01p
02-13-2007, 01:34 AM
My goodness !

mom-2-3
05-20-2007, 10:25 AM
Our church has a "tiered" choir if you will, anybody who wants (no try outs, just rehearsals), praise team (tryouts), and solo/specials (the really good singers). So everyone has an opportunity to participate. Maybe something along this line would work. Granted I was talking about the adults, but it could be modified for the students as well. But I am concerned about the wondering as to how this would affect attracting other students, I'd think it would help in that some might be more willing to try, knowing how accepting the group is. I have a son 5 w/ Ds with speach that is just emerging and without getting into stereotyping him or others, there does seem to be a strong connection with people w/Ds and music/dancing. He can't sing the words, but he can follow the melody of many songs with an "aahhh" (sorry don't now how to describe it better). Also, something is that most people with Ds don't have modest bone in their body! and have a very "pure at heart" approach to life. They do what they want and doing it because they enjoy it, not because other people think it is cool or not. I really don't think Callie would be singing if she didn't enjoy it and want to.

dzorn
05-23-2007, 09:14 PM
WWJD?

A strong youth choir with unchristian attitude does not serve God. Callie should sing. Obvious if she cannot read the word and needs to have outside practice they just need to let her mother know since she is a professional singer and could I'm sure help her with the words. If Callie truly loves to sing I'm sure her mom would be more than willing to work with her. She may never be a perfect singer to anyone but God, but in the end that is all that matters.

It's all for His glory not for our benefit.


Denise in MI

dimimi
05-30-2007, 08:21 PM
Who says she's in an "uncomfortable position"? You? You don't have a daughter with Downs. I personally think you are too involved with something that's none of your beeswax. It's a church choir, for pete's sake. Let the girl sing!:sad2:

DITTO!!!!:banana: I still can't get over the fact that this is an open choir...everyone can join...if they can sing or not!...right?

Let the girl sing...or anyone else, no matter how they sing, look, how much they weight, how they look in their robe...etc. Remember, church choir, open to all!:goodvibes :goodvibes

Now...if the choir was an ability choir, with tryouts...then it's a different story. In this situation I'll be there a lot of "typical" kids who are in choirs who can't sing.

FSUDisneyGirl
06-22-2007, 03:43 PM
As a future music educator (have my first job teaching elementary music in the fall- yay!) one of my main goals for my students is not tolerance, but acceptance. it is one thing for kids to tolerate a student singing off-key standing next to them, but it is another thing entirely for a kid to say "callie, you are getting better! next time maybe sing a bit softer, and then our voices will blend together, okay?" public school, church choir, any situation- i think by accepting everyone, and working so each child learns as much as possible, everyone benefits. op, you might not realize it now- of course you want your own daughter to have the best performing experience possible. i would look for another choir, outside church, for her to maybe perform in also. i think this experience with callie is a great example of "character" education- and something the kids will remember for the rest of their lives.

sorry this is so long- just something i feel strongly about! in my advanced high school choir, we had a severely disabled girl- yes she was in a wheelchair, and yes her voice stood out and was not always on key. one of my favorite memories of high school choir was when that girl felt accepted enough to try out for a solo in front of the other 80 kids in her class. when she was done, the entire class erupted in applause! :yay: gives me chills just thinking about it. yes, we competed, and yes, we received great ratings with her in our choir. maybe your director can write to whomever runs the competitions- and let them know about your situation. just like a student in a wheelchair in a marching band, or a student with a physical disability in a color guard (i've seen both), good judges can see past one student and take in the whole picture. and if they can't, maybe that rating isn't so important, after all. i have a high level of musicianship, went to one of the best colleges of music in the country, and i would rather see a girl with DS singing her heart out than sitting out any day. :hug:

op, just another view, not meaning to attack you or anything. good luck with your situation.

LindsayDunn228
06-23-2007, 05:37 AM
sorry this is so long- just something i feel strongly about! in my advanced high school choir, we had a severely disabled girl- yes she was in a wheelchair, and yes her voice stood out and was not always on key.

Sorry to hijack the thread, but I have to ask. I was in advanced choir all through high school. We had to audition to remain in the choir each year. How on earth did someone off-key make it into advanced choir? Disabled or not, my choir director would not have stood for that. We performed in many competitions, and a loud off-key voice would not have been an asset.

I certainly would not have wanted to be accepted into the choir out of pity.

This is opinion brought to you by a paraplegic who has been injured since age 6, in case anyone wants to call me insensitive.

Andy B
06-23-2007, 09:16 AM
Sorry to hijack the thread, but I have to ask. I was in advanced choir all through high school. We had to audition to remain in the choir each year. How on earth did someone off-key make it into advanced choir? Disabled or not, my choir director would not have stood for that. We performed in many competitions, and a loud off-key voice would not have been an asset.

I certainly would not have wanted to be accepted into the choir out of pity.

This is opinion brought to you by a paraplegic who has been injured since age 6, in case anyone wants to call me insensitive.

The choir was said to be a youth choir with some advanced singers which by inference means some not advanced and therefore a mixed ability group. As this is a church choir it would seem to have a christian attitude and be in praise of god not for ambition or achievement. I think that is good and am glad there is space for that type of choir.

BillSears
06-23-2007, 09:32 AM
in my advanced high school choir, we had a severely disabled girl- yes she was in a wheelchair, and yes her voice stood out and was not always on key. one of my favorite memories of high school choir was when that girl felt accepted enough to try out for a solo in front of the other 80 kids in her class. when she was done, the entire class erupted in applause! :yay: gives me chills just thinking about it. yes, we competed, and yes, we received great ratings with her in our choir. maybe your director can write to whomever runs the competitions- and let them know about your situation. just like a student in a wheelchair in a marching band, or a student with a physical disability in a color guard (i've seen both), good judges can see past one student and take in the whole picture. and if they can't, maybe that rating isn't so important, after all. i have a high level of musicianship, went to one of the best colleges of music in the country, and i would rather see a girl with DS singing her heart out than sitting out any day. :hug:

Sorry to hijack the thread, but I have to ask. I was in advanced choir all through high school. We had to audition to remain in the choir each year. How on earth did someone off-key make it into advanced choir? Disabled or not, my choir director would not have stood for that. We performed in many competitions, and a loud off-key voice would not have been an asset.

I certainly would not have wanted to be accepted into the choir out of pity.

This is opinion brought to you by a paraplegic who has been injured since age 6, in case anyone wants to call me insensitive.

The choir was said to be a youth choir with some advanced singers which by inference means some not advanced and therefore a mixed ability group. As this is a church choir it would seem to have a christian attitude and be in praise of god not for ambition or achievement. I think that is good and am glad there is space for that type of choir.

Actually Lindsy was talking about the Advanced High School choir group. In her experiences you have to audition for these spots and placing someone in the choir who cannot sing at the level needed is pandering to their disability. I know that if I get into a choir I want it to be because I earned it not because I use a wheelchair. If I do a solo I want applause at the end because I was fantastic not because I'm inspirational. I want to be judged on my abilities not my disabilities and if my abilities aren't good enough then that's just the way it is. Not everyone sings well enough to be in the advanced choir. I find it offensive when I'm treated special because of my disability.

Andy B
06-23-2007, 09:38 AM
Actually Lindsy was talking about the Advanced High School choir group. In her experiences you have to audition for these spots and placing someone in the choir who cannot sing at the level needed is pandering to their disability. I know that if I get into a choir I want it to be because I earned it not because I use a wheelchair. If I do a solo I want applause at the end because I was fantastic not because I'm inspirational. I want to be judged on my abilities not my disabilities and if my abilities aren't good enough then that's just the way it is. Not everyone sings well enough to be in the advanced choir. I find it offensive when I'm treated special because of my disability.

I was commenting on the original post situation.

LindsayDunn228
06-24-2007, 05:27 AM
The choir was said to be a youth choir with some advanced singers which by inference means some not advanced and therefore a mixed ability group. As this is a church choir it would seem to have a christian attitude and be in praise of god not for ambition or achievement. I think that is good and am glad there is space for that type of choir.
Thank you for helping, Bill.

Andy B, did you even SEE the post I quoted? My reply had NOTHING to do with the original post concerning the church choir. Hence, why I began with "sorry to hijack the thread."

:rolleyes:

Andy B
06-24-2007, 05:35 AM
Thank you for helping, Bill.

Andy B, did you even SEE the post I quoted? My reply had NOTHING to do with the original post concerning the church choir. Hence, why I began with "sorry to hijack the thread."

:rolleyes:

You seemed to be commenting on a post by FSUDisneygirl and and not totally in isolation so I contributed. Sorry you seem to take such easy offense.

LindsayDunn228
06-24-2007, 06:16 AM
If I do a solo I want applause at the end because I was fantastic not because I'm inspirational. I want to be judged on my abilities not my disabilities and if my abilities aren't good enough then that's just the way it is. Not everyone sings well enough to be in the advanced choir. I find it offensive when I'm treated special because of my disability.

I knew a guy with CP. He used a wheelchair but could walk on crutches. He was telling me he walked across the stage when he graduated from college and got a 2.5 minute standing ovation. I was like :confused3 Ooooook? He really thought he was hot stuff. I was embarrassed for him.

Cheshire Figment
06-24-2007, 07:57 AM
OK Folks

This thread was on its way to dying a quiet death. I think FSUDisneyGirl's comments were very well thought out.

However, some of the comments following were discussing different subjects and getting a little acrimonious. I think it is time to look back and realize there is a difference between an all-volunteer church choir and a competitive choir.

The original topic was about a church choir. Some of the recent comments have been getting a bit hot and heated.

Maybe it is time for the thread to be closed, and if things don't calm down it will be.

SueM in MN
06-24-2007, 08:05 AM
I was trying to think of a good way to state what I was thinking and Cheshire Figment beat me to posting.

Besides what he wrote,
I think we all need to remember the saying (well, I can't remember it exactly, but here goes what I think it is), "Opinions are like noses, everyone has one"

And everyone's opinion is valid, when looked at from their viewpoint. Argueing about someone's viewpoint is not going to change their opinion, because from where they stand (or sit), it looks just fine.

Trying to explain your own viewpoint may help others to see where you are coming from and how that influences your opinion. Trying to make others see your viewpoint will only make this thread close.