Playing the Guitar Without A Forearm

Playing the Guitar Without A Forearm

Today I performed for over 200 kids at a special needs school in Massapequa Park, Long Island. We did two performances and the kids and teachers absolutely loved it. One of the coordinators came up to me afterwards and said “I’ve been working here 27 years and this is one of the best assemblies we’ve ever had.”

After the performance a boy in a wheelchair named Rocco wanted to say “hello”. Rocco didn’t have part of his right arm but he still wanted to touch my guitar. I gently held the bone joint, right by where the average persons elbow would be, and I helped him strum my guitar. His face lit up. I also strummed a little with my own finger so the guitar could make a louder sound but he was so happy to be strumming the guitar with the distal (I looked it up and I believe that is the proper term for the end of his arm) part of his arm.

I think it’s so amazing that this boy got to feel normal for once. Like he could embrace his body exactly the way it was but be just like any other kid. This is why I love doing this work. I want the kids and the audience to feel like whole, connected people. One of my favorite parts of going to therapy or writing in my journal is that everyday we have to work on connecting the parts of ourselves that feel disconnected. The ultimate goal is to feel like a whole person and to feel a continuum of emotions. I also think it’s fun to think about the future and things one would like to accomplish in the future but that’s just me. Maybe Rocco will be on the stage playing the guitar one day.