Common Chords is filling up fast. “It was the dream of a retired band teacher in Chelsea who, in 1995, raised money to get handchimes and has been playing them at churches and conferences ever since,” said Marjorie Wright, director. Many kids with disabilities enjoy music and one special education teacher in Monroe County Schools networked with some parents and turned this vision into a reality. There is a place for every child regardless of skill level in Common Chords. “We focus on ability rather than disability and everybody is proud of what they can do,” said Wright.
Chimes are a wonderful tool. “They force kids to pay attention to what is going on and are used by people in fancy bell choirs but are not as expensive and do not go out of tune if you touch them wrong,” said Sue Carr. It is like therapy in the sense that you have to make sure you play your chimes at the right time.
“There are a variety of disabilities in the group so we are unique,” said Carr. The group likes to show off their talents. “We were hoping to play for the governor, but he was not in, but we have played at a number of churches in the area and for the Autism Society and our goal is to raise enough money to play in Washington,” said Carr.
Transportation can sometimes be an issue for those with disabilities, but accommodations can usually be made. “I see how important it is to play the chimes,” said Carr. Keep your eye out if you want to get involved. “We have longstanding members that have been with us from the very beginning but every once in awhile we have an opening,” said Wright.
Contact Marjorie Wright at 734-971-6677 or Sue Carr at 734-483-0559 for more information