June’s Disability Topic of the Month by Toni-Marie

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4th June 2021
Musician and guitar

TMB! Lipstick! Perfume! And An Opinion!

Topic of the Month: Music

Hello Readers! My name is Toni-Marie. I will tell you just a little bit about my disability as I feel it is relevant. I have cerebral palsy quadriplegia and scoliosis of the spine. I have been disabled since birth.

To say that I am completely and utterly passionate about music is an understatement! It is a medium that offers me complete escapism and a chance to drift off to a different space and time!

I have always loved singing just for myself. Although my nerves have definitely stopped me from being completely comfortable when singing in front of an audience. It did play a very big part in my life at boarding school. We even got the chance to sing at the Royal Albert Hall in London!

Choir group

When I think of people with disabilities in the music industry, I can perhaps name about five people off the top of my head. All of whom have had and continue to have solid careers. 

Recently much has been made about the underrepresentation of people with disabilities in the music industry, and to a larger extent I have to agree. In my opinion those with disabilities find it extremely difficult to find a job that suits their particular support needs and lifestyle. One  that will allow them the freedom and the opportunity to create more choice for themselves.

There is support out there in the form of the Musicians Union – which is the UK Trade Union for all musicians. They offer advice, support and legal advice based on the needs of the individual. Disabled members can be part of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee which creates the opportunity for every musician to be treated fairy regardless of their personal circumstances. You can contact the Musicians Union on 0207 582 5566.

Musician

Music can be enjoyed by everyone. When thinking about disability and access to music it is about inclusion for all. Someone who is deaf for example – can still find ways and means to both express themselves and enjoy music. It just requires people to want to learn how best to support the individual to achieve their goal.

I simply couldn’t imagine my life without music! It has the power to change how I feel, evoking so many different emotions and memories. And like I said at the very beginning of this blog, it has the ability to transport me to different space and time!

Singing

Spotify is the most used app on my iPhone! And one of my most played songs is Robbie Williams: ‘I love my life!’. I have been to at least forty live gigs! Seventeen of which were to see Bon Jovi! Not forgetting my first ever concert, which was to see the amazing Whitney Houston! As ever, the success of such events for those with disabilities is down to some good planning and preparation. 

I guess you could say that music is up there with the things that make me feel so alive!

 

Always see your ability in disability!

Thanks for reading!

Toni-Marie

Toni-Marie

 


1 Comment

  • Maxine Barker says:

    Always on the button! Honest,informative, and very passionate about all aspects of her life, and other wheelchair users highs and lows, you can always see a way around issues, that others sometimes find hard,you really do inspire many people on a daily basis Toni, and I am so very proud to be a your mum.,

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