“The thing about living with any disability is that you adapt; you do what works for you.” — Stella Young.
Last year my Dad and I went to the DIY Musicians Conference in Chicago. It was cool to hob nob with aspiring and established musicians. And I got my first box of Roses in the Alley business cards. Cool, I’m official!
The problem is I’m not a musician, so why exactly was I there?? You should’ve seen the looks I got when asked what I played.
Still it was cool. I got to go my town and hang out with some of my closest friends, and my Dad. Something big has to happen though, right? I’m joining forces with Pop in the greatest city in the world, something must impact us!! It wasn’t until the last day that something did impact us in a big way, from a very small person (in size only).
That’s when Gaelynn Lea spoke and then performed….
Gaelynn is a singer, violinist, public speaker, and advocate for the disabled. She was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, a disease that leaves your bones and limbs less developed.
When this tiny lady came out onto the stage in her wheelchair and not fully developed limbs, it begged me to wonder how the heck is she going to play the violin?? Then when she speaks, her voice is certainly high-pitched and with a bit of a speech impediment. Now I wonder what her singing could sound like.
Then she whips out her violin and leans it on her shoulder like a cello. Securing it from the bottom with one tiny, disfigured foot, she proceeds to put out some of the most hauntingly beautiful chords I have ever heard.
And that imperfect, high-pitched voice? Yep, it rounded out her whole style, perfectly! There were few dry eyes in the room.
I’m not saying that she is attempting to be an inspiration for all of us. I truly believe this young lady just had music in her and had to find a way to get it out. With the help of a music teacher that saw something in her, she found a way to ADAPT and make it happen. And thank God she did!!
Check out her Tiny Desk contest winning submission! You won’t be upset with the four minutes you’ve spent….
Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun by Gaelynn Lea.