Colorado Springs Youth Symphony performs for the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It’s not Carnegie Hall but it’s a performance of a lifetime just the same.

On Friday afternoon the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony put on a special show for the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind.

It’s a day the students look forward to every year, on both sides.

“Music is important because it incorporates all of the subjects. It’s math, it’s reading, its our history,” said Julie Novak, Music Specialist at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind. “I believe that music is critical in schools, music is what make a whole child.”

It’s hard to argue when you see it in action.

But how do you present music to the deaf and blind? Simple. Tap into one of the other senses – touch.

“I pass out balloons that kind of serve as a vibrational tool so the students get feedback vibrationally with the music,” said Novak.

Students also get to feel the instruments while they are being played.

“It’s very moving to watch the interaction between the students here at the Deaf and Blind School and our musicians, because it’s really impacting our kids to share their music in this very unusual way,” said Gary Nicholason, the Conductor of the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony. “It really demonstrates the power of music to communicate and build bridges between people.”

“Her face lit up when she could feel the low notes and the difference of the high notes. It was just really cool to see them experience that in a different way,” said Alison Garscadden, a cello player for the Youth Symphony.

Some of the students were also given a chance to try out conducting.

“I was following the violin and I was trying to match what they were doing and conducted just fine, I loved it. I absolutely loved it!” said Santiago Paiva, a 7th grade student at the Deaf and Blind School.

“It’s so fun to watch them get up there because they are surrounded by the sound in a way they normally don’t get to experience,” said Nicholason.

“When I could feel even that big drum, I could feel that, I put my hands on the side of it and it felt like I was in the band. You could feel everything,” said Paiva. “I would say the songs are just A+.”

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