Finding joy and inclusion in music

Finding joy and inclusion in music
Posted on Wed 20 Feb 2019

This article was originally published by Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation featuring one of their amazing ambassadors, Marissa Lelogeais.

 

Marissa Lelogeais is not a person defined by her disabilities. She’s legally blind and has cerebral palsy, but if you ask her she will say her life is music, and music is her life.

“Reggae would most definitely be number one. However I also LOVE Broadway shows, so musical theatre as well,” says Marissa.

 

The Merry Rockers

Marissa is the lead singer of an inclusive reggae band The Merry Rockers.

"Singing onstage and playing music with my friends gives me so much joy that I feel like I could burst. When I'm onstage, I feel empowered. While I may have CP, I can still play music and sing songs I wrote which I hope will make the people at the show smile...and dance!!"

To Marissa, the issue of inclusion is so important. As a singer with a disability, her fans don’t have disabilities, but they are all able to come together. She uses music as a tool to make people aware of how important inclusion is, and hopes to “change lives and slash stereotypes.”

“Music is the only area in my life where I experience life the way any other person would.”

 

 

The frustrations of disability

Marissa is acutely aware of her disabilities when she’s walking down the street.

“I'll be walking down the street and someone will look at me weirdly or someone will think I have a leg injury. I also walk with a red and white tipped cane due to my low vision. It frustrates me when I am trying to do something and my brain doesn't catch up to my body quickly enough.”

Marissa’s story brings to mind the need to not judge a book by its cover. She says that often the way people think about people living with disability is they should tolerate then rather than including them. What’s needed to solve this problem is compassion.

 

Start a discussion about your experiences of inclusion on our online community. Or contact us to speak to a client services consultant about starting a new program or activity to help find your joy.

Written by Head of Reserach at Cerebral Palsy Alliance Reserach Institute, Dr Iona Novak and published in Source Kids 12 December 2019, this article brings you the latest on how to maximise child development through neuroplasticity. 

The Pararoos play their first match on home soil since the 2000 Paralympic Games this month. And you're invited! 


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