It was June 30th on the Canada Day long weekend, the weather was hot, but indoors in an air-conditioned cafe, patrons had the opportunity to listen to some great music while enjoying their lattes.
Two Mind Forward bands were featured, as those in attendance listened to the groups play seven popular tunes, including Summer of ‘69 (Bryan Adams), You’re Still the One (Shania Twain), and The First Cut is the Deepest (Sheryl Crow).
“Make-a-Band” is a program run at Mind Forward, where those who wish to play an instrument are grouped and trained to be able to perform together as a band. There is no experience required, and the digital drum kit and keyboard are configured by the instructor, Ryan Switzer, from Massive Tank Studios in Oakville, to meet any accessibility needs.
For example, if the band member playing the drums has limited mobility of limbs and is unable to use the kick drum, Ryan configures the drum kit so the kick (normally played with the foot) can be played using a drumstick held in the hand instead. This enables those who wish to play but can’t do so by normal means, to be able to enjoy playing the instrument. Ryan also configures the keyboard in the same way, so those with difficulty with fine motor skills can play meaningful music as well.
As a result, you have a full band (singer, guitar, bass, drums, keyboard) that can play popular music the group enjoys, while also enjoying the social camaraderie of learning new skills and working as a team.
To find out more about what Ryan does, he can be reached through https://massivetankstudios.com/
To find out more about the non-profit hub and community cafe, Studio 89, check out https://studio89.org/
To register for the “Make-a-Band” program contact Shane, Day Program Team Leader, at Mind Forward.