A touch of magic

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22nd December 2015
Shaftesbury Avenue sign

Shirley_Salzedo resizedWritten by Shirley Salzedo.

Hello again my friends. As a disabled person, I like to find a touch of magic in the simplest of things and in my latest blog, it gives me great pleasure to share my experiences of music and theatre and the many ways that these bring magic to my life.

I work part time as a pianist from my home in Southall and for two schools. I was recently asked to attend work as a ballet pianist, at my best friend Stephanie’s ballet school. While I was there, I played many songs, including some music from Cinderella. To see the magic in the children’s eyes as they danced to my music meant everything to me. Music is an extremely important part of my life and I refused to give up my career as a musician. My friends were all very supportive of me when I became disabled and had to start using a wheelchair. We all had a perfect day and that for me was another touch of magic to a cold winter’s day.

My best friend and work partner Stephanie often frequents the theatre with me and I always enjoy it, as we often combine our outings with a nice meal out. Sometimes we take her three children and husband along too. I must say that my experiences of the theatre have been largely positive and I particularly enjoy seeing Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s shows, as I have found staff to be very accommodating of my requirements, doing everything they can to make my visit an enjoyable one. I had a personal steward who took care of me from beginning to end, showing me to my seat and even being so kind as to bring refreshments and programmes to my seat.

Last summer, I visited the Royal Opera House, where Stephanie and I saw the Royal Ballet School show. It was amazing and the young dancers who performed were quite brilliant. A teacher called Hope who I used to play the piano for now teaches at the Royal Ballet School. I have written her a piano piece entitled ‘Hope’, to reflect exactly that, hopes for the world. This was such a special experience and yet again, added another touch of magic to my life.

Each summer, I also enjoy a break with Revitalise at Sandpipers in Southport with my carer Maureen. I have friends who I have met through my love of music who live nearby and who often visit me while I am enjoying my holiday. Last July, I went with my oldest school friend and carer Maureen on a trip to the Atkinson Centre in Southport. We enjoyed listening to a live band playing at a Tea Dance and it was really lovely to watch people dance along to the music. I’ve been lucky enough to attend a jazz concert there too, where I listened to one of my favourite pieces of music – Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue being played live!
This Christmas I look forward to seeing Matilda and Peter Pan with my friend Stephanie, her family and my carer. Christmas is such a magical time of the year for me. Why not visit a show this Christmas yourself my friends?  You too could shine like the stars of the stage!

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