On Sunday, June 2, my co-founder (CJ) and I had the pleasure of attending an Azure Family Concert at the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. Azure Family Concerts are one of the programs put on by the non-profit organization, Our Joyful Noise Baltimore. Similar to The Musical Autist, Azure Family Concerts are sensory friendly. At the concert, there was a trio that consisted of a beatboxer, a piano player, and a viola player. Just like The Musical Autist’s Sensory Friendly Concerts, there were noise reduction headphones, a quiet room, and scarves to help people move and dance. Joyful Noise Baltimore believes that autistic vocalization is to be accepted at these concerts. It was apparent that this organization celebrates neurodiversity because individuals of all ages were encouraged to dance, vocalize, and move freely.
The executive director of Joyful Noise Baltimore invited me to attend the concert and speak about what music means to me. After the trio played two songs, I spoke to the audience about why music is meaningful to myself and others on the autism spectrum. I also shared about the mission and vision of The Musical Autist. I took the opportunity to talk about how we celebrate neurodiversity and promote self advocacy through music. Speaking at the concert provided my co-founder and I with many opportunities to network with the volunteers and parents after the performance.
I enjoyed attending the concert because it gave The Musical Autist an opportunity to partner together with Joyful Noise Baltimore. We share similar values which is why we want to support one another in our mission. Azure Family Concerts are a fantastic example of how Sensory Friendly Concerts can be replicated in other communities. I think it’s very important for organizations like Joyful Noise Baltimore and The Musical Autist to advocate for accessibility in concert venues. Normally, a typical concert venue is not accessible for people on the autism spectrum. This organization did a fabulous job providing all the sensory accommodations that are needed in a sensory friendly concert.
I hope to attend more Azure Family Concerts and continue spreading the word about The Musical Autist to the Baltimore community. I think it’s very important for every organization that works with autistic individuals to realize the importance of being sensory friendly. Sensory Friendly Concerts, whether done by The Musical Autist or Azure Family, are just another way to promote equal access to the fine arts. I personally want to thank Joyful Noise Baltimore for allowing me to come and observe their wonderful event.
Join TMA for our next program offering: our summer 2019 session of Troupe!