Hamer Hall, something to Bragg about
In October I saw the English musician Billy Bragg at the refurbished Hamer Hall. The wheelchair seating was fantastic. It is very rare that venues enable wheelchair users to sit in the front row. The number of lifts, wheelchair accessible toilets and the low counters made the venue very accommodating for wheelchair users. But it was the wheelchair accessible seating which impressed me the most. The show was a tribute to Woody Guthrie and was part of the Melbourne Festival. A great performance and the wheelchair friendly venue made it a special night.
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Posted by: Gary Barling, on 24/01/13
Music and the Deaf
Looking at the title you might ask, can Deaf children participate in musical activities if they are unable to hear? Can they benefit from music education in their schools? The answer is "Yes". This story highlights how one Deaf school in Melbourne has successfully started a music program for these students and how they have progressed by leaps and bounds.
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Posted by: Phoebe Tay, on 18/12/12
I met the band the Amplified Elephants and their artistic director James Hullick. James started the band six years ago from an arts program for people with an intellectual disability. I went and watched the band practice at the Footscray Community Arts Centre. There was laughter and jokes. It was wonderful. James says the band is popular because they have an honest and open relationship with their audience. They have a new CD that will be available in January. The Amplified Elephants will play shows in November at Federation Square. All the shows are free and wheelchair accessible.
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Posted by: Lawrie Horner, on 07/11/12
Music and community radio
I confess to preferring CDs over listening to music on gadgets, such as iTunes. Despite the disadvantages of CDs, I like having the physical product. I'm also a fan of community radio. I find it very refreshing compared to commercial radio. I have a lot of fun preparing and doing my radio show "Don't go into that barn". It's a show where I play music not often played on other radio stations. I use music stored on my computer to prepare the show but use CDs at the radio station. I think the show is good because it's different to other shows.
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Posted by: Gary Barling, on 07/08/12
The walls we build
I went to the rock concert The Wall that played in Melbourne this month. The concert was based on an album by the band Pink Floyd. It was performed by Roger Waters. He was a member of Pink Floyd and wrote most of The Wall. The concert was a spectacular stage show. A wall covered the width of the stage. It was 40-feet high. The show and songs are about problems in society. But it was still a positive show. It made you feel good. I left the show feeling I saw something special.
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Posted by: Gary Barling, on 23/02/12