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Rachel Flowers' story

In 1998, I began chronicling the progress of a little girl who showed some rather amazing promise as a pianist and reader of braille music. Her mom and I had become acquainted on the braille music email group. The last update, until this week, was posted in 1999. The family's life had become very busy, and we eventually lost touch for a while. I would hear from them off and on, but I never updated the page.

The little girl is now 14 years old and was recently featured briefly on 60 Minutes. Disturbed about some aspects of the feature, I caught up with her mom again and got some updates, including recent videos. They are now posted on the original page below the original content. There are links to the various sections of the page to allow people who are familiar with her story to skip to more current updates. Rachel Flowers' story is posted at http://www.growingstrong.org/bvi/rachel.html.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
read2781
Nov. 29th, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
I had wondered how she was progressing in her studies. Thanks for posting this.
lisasali
Nov. 29th, 2008 04:35 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed reading this. After the 60 Minutes episode, I looked for her on Youtube and found the videos you posted. I forget the exact words, but the fact that Rachel couldn't play music with feeling was alluded to, or rather that she couldn't match say, a happy feeling to a happy piece. When I heard the videos, I thought "This can't be right; there's plenty of feeling here!"
I also read your comments and can relate to the loss musically of what could have been. I play predominantly piano and flute, with, of course, the flute being easier from a blindness perspective since only one note is played at a time. I learned braille music starting in the second grade, but despite hours of daily practice, found memorizing the music very slow. Also, I have, for lack of a better word, a poor sense of theory. I can play a song, and it sounds passable, but I know it's not right; that I could make better use of chords. Although I have taken music theory and private instruction, I can't get the knowledge from the textbook to my fingers, and it isn't for lack of trying. I remember as a teenager saying to someone that, among other things, my definition of Heaven would be the ability to play all the music I hear in my head, and to play it well.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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