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Old 05-05-2009   #1
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One-armed music education major joins NAU drumline

One-armed music education major joins NAU drumline

by Sarah Pickering on February 26, 2009

Quote:
Kristi-Lynn Calvano, a freshman music education major, is a percussionist in the NAU music program and marching band. She also has a prosthetic arm.
Calvano, a native of Apple Valley, Calif., was born with part of her left arm missing. Four years later, she picked up a pair of drum sticks, and she has harbored a passion for percussion ever since.

In addition to drums, Calvano also plays bass and has recently started to play the acoustic guitar. Calvano is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, the national honorary band fraternity.

She said she will always have a future in musicand hopes to become a music teacher for junior high and high school students, especially those with disabilities.

“I think my prosthetic arm gives me more of an advantage,” Calvano said. “I have more motivation and more determination to be good.”

Calvano said she faces opposition from people who doubt her abilities.
“I often meet people who think I won’t be able to do a lot of things,” Calvano said. “It doesn’t get me down though, partly because I don’t let it, and partly because my prosthetic arm is pretty useful.”

As a music education major, Calvano wants to use her own experience with a handicap to teach disabled kids who want to play music.

“I want to use my experiences to show other disabled kids that they can succeed if they believe they can,” Calvano said.

Sam Bryson, a drum instructor and graduate student in music performance, said he is impressed with Calvano and her passion for learning.

“I first learned about Kristi when she wrote me an e-mail about the drumline auditions,” Bryson said. “I had incorporated some complicated stick flips into the routine, and she explained her situation. I was curious to see how she was going to accomplish the routine, but she was just as good as everyone else.”

Calvano and six others were chosen to join the NAU drumline.

“I was impressed with her abilities,” Bryson said. “She’s one of the stronger players on the line, and she always finds a way to make her playing even better.”

Amy Kline, a friend of Calvano, has known Calvano for seven years and said she often forgets Calvano has only one arm.

“Her attitude is so positive that you barely realize she is officially handicapped,” Kline said. “She’s extremely outgoing, outspoken and fun to be around.”

Through the duration of their friendship, Kline said she has never met a more determined person.

“Kristi learned how to play the drums without her prosthetic arm,” Kline said. “When she gets a piece of music, she practices it until it’s perfect. She’s definitely got an ‘I can do it’ attitude.”

Calvano said her outlook is one of the most important factors to her success.
“If I want it, I can find a way,” Calvano said. “A negative attitude is more a disability than my missing arm. It’s all about keeping a positive attitude.”
URL to article:

http://jackcentral.com/news/2009/02/...-nau-drumline/
One of my favorite musicians is Jeff Healey who died last year. There are many more like him and Kristi-Lynn Calvano above. Maybe it should be more publicized what people with disabilities accomplish so they might be more commonly accepted by people without significant physical challenges.
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Old 06-02-2009   #2
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Re: One-armed music education major joins NAU drumline

there was on ESPNmag full of athletes with physical disabilities
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