Guest blogger Lauren talks EARTH Echoes choir

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When we invited Lauren to be a guest blogger for Woodville, Lauren was a valued volunteer. Lauren agreed to share her story of why she volunteers and what the people who attend our disAbility Services program had taught her.

The twist in this tale is that Lauren now works at Woodville Alliance! Building on her academic training, Lauren is undertaking her disability vocational training at Woodville.

This is the story of why Lauren started to volunteer at Woodville…

Lauren brings her knowledge gained whilst studying music to her volunteering role with Woodville’s Earth Echoes choir. But she feels she has been the student in this relationship.

“I started Volunteering with Woodville Alliance disAbility Services after my twin brother started going to Woodville two years ago. At the Christmas parties I watched the Earth Echoes perform with Montclair. I could see so much potential and I wanted to teach these young adults what I have learnt whilst achieving a Bachelor’s Degree in Contemporary Music.

I started teaching them to become performers, on how to draw their audience in, bring emotion to all those around them, to help create their message and showcase what they could do. I started out small knowing they need to learn more skills to bring about their goals and teaching through music was the way to go as that is what they enjoyed and made it easier for them to learn. Montclair agreed.

While teaching them, they themselves have also taught me:

  • Patience — even though I have my brother, who has an intellectual disability, you would think I have patience and buckets of it however I do still get frustrated at him many more times than I’ll actually admit. However the Echoes choir has brought on more patience in me as you have to try to keep their attention on you and be firm so they can learn but not yell at them like you would with a sibling when they refuse to do a task.
  • Courage — It’s hard to go up there on stage and showcase your talent in front of others, I know. However it must be a little more difficult for them because of the challenges they face and I look up to them because of it.

Although I am a teacher of music to them they have also been great friends and every Tuesday they try their best for me when new ideas are created. Thank you Earth Echoes I honestly feel you are the teachers in this relationship.”

Lauren Neilson

Lauren is on Facebook as Lyrical Melodies

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