Updates from Ruth Montgomery in Budapest

Read our updates and photographs from Ruth's SpecialKidz-sponsored trip to Budapest (Hungary) for our Tuned To Each Other project.

1st October 2015

On Thursday 1st October which was the World Music Day, all the deaf, blind and hearing students came together again. After a lot of rehearsals and polishing up pieces in the afternoon, we stopped to get ready at 5pm to have a drink and snack.

The President of Hungary’s wife arrived at 12 minutes past 6 and the room was already full with some people going upstairs to the balcony. There were three professional cameras in the room filming the event, photographers and an Hungarian Sign Language interpreter.

It started off about how music can bring everyone together, regardless of their disabilities and background. It started with the summer camp where they had fun playing music, doing art, going horse riding, swimming, sailing etc. They made t-shirts with a picture of a tree branch with different colour leaves symbolising friendship and different backgrounds.

After speeches, Erdi Tamas – a former pupil of the blind school – gave a spellbinding performance of Bartok dances on the grand piano. Ruth then stepped up to perform ‘Chanson de Matin’ by Elgar. She enjoyed every bit of performing on stage, sharing her love for the music and being able to sing. It was really a lovely room to play.

The students produced wonderful music as a whole group, as well as in pairs or threes. The deaf clarinet player played her piece together with a young blind pianist – it was amazing how they were fully independent (without conductor or help) and playing together in time. They were definitely in ‘tune’ to each other! At the very end our last piece Ruth jumped on stage to play Ode to Joy by Beethoven with the audience joining in and singing .

Ruth leaves Budapest with very good memories. She received a beautiful vase made by one of the blind students and gorgeous flowers; and also received a thank you letter in braille and a booklet from the deaf school with a personal message inside. She was flattered and surprised when there was a photo of herself near the back pages along with many other famous deaf people for not letting their deafness hold them back- such as Graham Bell, Thomas Edison etc..!!! She will be working on her website at the weekend and will put up some concert videos so that one can see & hear the concert! Ruth wants to thank again, from the bottom of her heart, Decibels and Specialkidz for giving her such a memorable experience – it has taught her so much, and she loved meeting and working with everyone in Budapest.

 

29th September 2015

Ruth had a wonderful afternoon at the deaf school and worked with deaf teenagers on composing music with chord structures and major keys. They used sign language to communicate and that went very smoothly. They produced some amazing works and we played what they had written.
The music teacher at the school was most interested in the ‘visual way’ to show chord combinations and how it can be easily structured to make a very pretty melody. In the end, Ruth sat down with him and taught him how it is done.

Later, Ruth worked with 3 blind musicians and played many Hungarian folk tunes and thought it was so good working as a team – deaf, blind and hearing.

Ruth reported that the Greek film makers had arrived and it was their intention to interview Paul Townson who is the Chair about Decibels and how they had come to support her !! She is looking forward to rehearsals tomorrow as it will be a big group!

 

30th September 2015

In the afternoon the teenagers all got together to rehearse. There were 5 blind 5 deaf and 5 hearing. It was amazing to watch them play as a team – Ruth was so impressed! She also joined in playing the national anthem.

The presentations will be in Hungarian tomorrow and they will mention about Decibels supporting Ruth in being able to come to Budapest. It is a going to be a very high profile event with security because of the President being in attendance and they are all expected to be very smart. Ruth rehearsed her solo with the accompanist and that went so well too.

Ruth stated that it was a privilege to look around the blind school and that the equipment was so different from what it is for deaf people. There was a blind English teacher who was so happy to speak to Ruth and they got on really well .She learnt a lot about the education system and access.

Ruth enjoyed sightseeing this morning in Budapest and went on the hop on and hop off bus around Budapest. It was great!

 

Ruth’s Blog

You can read more about Ruth’s journey on her blog