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Neighbors of DuPage

Music program for people with disabilities receives state award

Jan 23, 2017 09:18AM ● By Ben Scott

Ram Tibudan practices on touchpad instruments with instructor Greg Pavesich at the Wonders Multi-Sensory Room.

On January 19, the South East Association for Special Parks And Recreation (SEASPAR) was recognized at the annual conference of the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) and Illinois Association of Park Districts in Chicago. SEASPAR was presented with the Program Award for its Adapted Music Lessons at the Board Meeting of the IPRA’s Therapeutic Recreation Section.

SEASPAR’s Adapted Music Lessons utilize specialized sensory instruments to enable participants with limited mobility to make music. The program is conducted in the SEASPAR’s Wonders Multi-Sensory Room at the Lisle Park District.

The first student in the program, 33-year-old Paul Bures of La Grange Park, is non ambulatory with extremely limited mobility, and uses his chin to play touchpad instruments and a microphone to sing. He now participates in the lessons year-round, and they have developed his interest in music, improved his gross motor skills, and increased his vocal strength.

At SEASPAR’s annual Holiday Spectacular talent showcase in 2015, Paul gave his first solo performance before an audience of 250 people. He performed the song “Fruitcake” by The Superions. When The Superions were shown video of Paul’s performance, they responded, “This is amazing! Paul did an incredible job performing our song ‘Fruitcake.’ Thank you all so much for sharing this. We are honored!” Paul also performed at the 2016 event.

Another program participant, 12-year-old Ram Tibudan of Woodridge, has limited mobility due to cerebral palsy. Ram plays a glockenspiel on the touchpad instruments while being assisted hand over hand. Ram’s twin brother (typically developed) plays along with his glockenspiel, and his two cousins bring their flute and guitar to lessons, creating a family band.

Ram gave a solo performance at SEASPAR’s Holiday Spectacular in 2016, playing “Believe in Yourself” by *NSYNC with the assistance of the program instructor, Recreation Coordinator Greg Pavesich.

“When we were first introduced to the adapted music program, we were not sure how Ram would be able to handle it,” said Ram’s mother, Shalini. “Mr. Greg made changes to meet Ram's accessibility needs. He made it fun. Ram and the family look forward to seeing Mr. Greg every week. He wishes he could go every day.”

For more information about SEASPAR’s recreational programs and services for individuals with disabilities, visit SEASPAR.org or call 630-960-7600.