Launching our “Feel The Music” Competition

We had a great party on Friday evening. There was lots of press about it:  D-PAN (http://www.d-pan.com) launched their first DVD. We also launched our “Feel the Music Competition (http://www.feelthemusiccompetition.com). Well, that’s the easy thing to write about. But, I can only try to describe how moved our University of Michigan group was during this event. Half of the people in the room were deaf and hard of hearing. So many deaf came over and told me how much they appreciate that the University of Michigan is doing this, and how important this competition really is. The University of Michigan team walked out of this event committed to do the best we possibly can to come up with innovations and solutions.

I thought I would share the speech I gave that evening, to communicate what this is about:

“Dear friends of D-PAN – I am happy to be part of this concert and the launch of D-PAN’s first DVD.

Music is about community, music is about culture, and music is about how we feel. These are all truly important aspects about our being. It is therefore crucial to think of music in other ways than just sound – sound is therefore merely a vehicle to deliver these crucial elements.

It is therefore obvious that we should try hard to find ways to communicate music. I learned that from Joel Martin whom I consider my friend and who has a passion for music I have not seen often in others. I see the same in Sean Forbes whom I also have gotten to know and who is an inspiration for me and hundreds of our students who have listened to his talk at UM and continue listening to him on the web.

We are launching the Feel-the-Music Competition based on that collaboration and commitment to find ways to communicate music to all of us. We will be successful if all of us – hearing or deaf – go to a concert together and carry the device that is being invented as part of this competition we are launching right now.

We have a bunch of professors who are taking personal responsibility – like Greg Wakefield, who knows more about sound-generating devices that I will ever dream about. Jason Corey is a Professor in the Music School and is currently setting up our first University-wide Feel the Music concert. Our student organization, MPowered, is also represented here – they will be the “wheel on the bus”.

I thank you, Joel Martin and Scott Guy from D-PAN for involving us. We are passionate about “Feel the Music” because you taught us to be. And, I cannot even imagine what ideas and technologies that will be proposed. I will commit, however, that we will do our very best to achieve the goal at hand: To communicate music to make it accessible to all of us.”

Check out
http://weekendamerica.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/09/20/music_for_deaf/ for more details.

Comments (2)
  • Richard

    January 18, 2009

    thanks for the information i will apply that.

  • Music Industry Gal

    June 6, 2009

    Great speech, I need to give a similar one next weekend and this gave me some ideas. Don’t worry I won’t copy it 🙂

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