2012 Ohio State School for the Blind Band Camp Video Blog – Part 3

What better way to welcome the 2012 college football season than with an inspiring group of young people joined together by music, and the love of their hometown collegiate traditions.

In the third and final segment of the Ohio State School for the Blind band camp video blog, the students finish their preparation for the upcoming school year, and present their show for parents and supporters. As part of this tradition, you will see the band perform “Script Braille Ohio”, their homage to the Ohio State University Marching Band, in addition to some behind the scenes footage of days 3-5 of the band’s preparation.

I have received overwhelming support and appreciation for compiling this video blog, and I would like to return my own gratitude to the students, parents, directors and supporters of this amazing school and band program. As I prepare for future travels, I plan to share my experiences with the OSSB Marching Band, in the hope of presenting this program as a model to others. The message is clear; music is a language that binds all humans, and programs such as this are truly at the forefront of music education in today’s society.

I hope you enjoy this video, and be sure to check out parts 1 and 2:

Part 1

Part 2



2012 Ohio State School for the Blind Band Camp Video Blog – Part 2

“I don’t make music for eyes, I make music for ears” – Adele

Such words ring especially true when considering the disability of those who have lost their vision. However, such an impairment has not prevented the students at the Ohio State School for the Blind from creating a powerful experience for the eyes and ears of everyone involved, using music as their language.

Part two of the 2012 Ohio State School for the Blind Band Camp Video Blog focuses on the band’s trip to Ohio State University for their second day of working and performing with the Ohio State University Marching Band. During this video, you’ll see some of the ¬†students performing alongside the OSU Marching Band, as well as a glimpse at the OSSB performance of “Danger Zone” that punctuated a very powerful evening.¬†A truly amazing point is that these students learned all of the music and marching drill for this song the day before (Monday), and were called upon to perform the next day in front of the OSU Marching Band.

The magnitude of this sort of experience for the kids was undeniable. This video reveals the fact that music provides such a strong source of inspiration, teamwork, and pride for these children.

Be sure to check out part 1 of this video blog here:

Also, Stay tuned for part 3 of the 2012 OSSB Band Camp Video Blog, where we take a look at the rest of the week’s events!

2012 Ohio State School for the Blind Band Camp Video Blog Part 1

Hello everyone,

This past week, I was in Columbus, OH teaching percussion for the Ohio State School for the Blind Marching Band Camp. This was my fourth year working with this band, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have the opportunity to work with these students. For this reason, I have decided to put together a video blog of the week’s events, so that those people interested in how this band operates can get a glimpse into the hard work these students, assistants, and instructors put forth.

When mentioning this teaching opportunity to people, I am often faced with a few questions. First of all, some, not all of the students are 100% blind. The visual impairment of the students covers a wide spectrum, from fairly well sighted to fully non-sighted. Secondly, many people wonder how these students are able to march on the field despite being visually impaired. This is where one of the most important jobs, the marching assistant, comes into play. Each student has a marching assistant who volunteers his or her time to learn all of the marching formations, and to guide the student through these formations. The marching assistant stands to the side or rear of the student, and guides them along with his/her hand on the shoulders of the student. There are many cues that the marching assistants must use in order to communicate the objectives to the student. Most of the marching assistants commit to every performance that the OSSB Marching Band participates in throughout the school year, and without these selfless volunteers, this program would not be possible.

In 2010, the OSSB Marching Band participated in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. This was an extremely unique accomplishment, as this school was the only of its kind to ever to do so.

Much of the music is taught by ear, or using braille music. The marching style is based largely on the Ohio State University Marching Band, which culminates in the OSSB’s rendition of “Le Regiment”, in which the band forms “Script Ohio” in Braille on the field, with the Sousaphone player dotting the “I”, in homage to the Ohio State University Marching Band. This is truly an awe inspiring event.

Check out part 2 here:

I hope you enjoy these videos, and if you have any questions about this experience, please comment or visit http://www.ossb.oh.gov for more information.