Brandon Kazen-Maddox creates music for deaf children

followingyourbliss image

followingyourbliss image by Lawrence Morgan

This is music for deaf children

Brandon Kazen-Maddox has known sign language since he was a kid. His grandparents are deaf, so from a very young age he has interpreted life for them so that they, too, can live a more normal existence.

However, he also has been into gymnastics and tumbling since the age of 4. He moved to San Francisco 3 1/2 years ago, and now he has done an amazing thing - incorporating dance, sound and sign language for the words into a single event.

He performed recently at Cesar Chavez school, a school in San Francisco which incorporates hard of hearing and deaf young people into a special program.

The result is stunning.

Look at the following:

This video features a background of San Francisco. But the real focus here is on him, his abilities to dance and tumble, and to sign the words of the song at the same time.

He has created a second video, as well, very different in style but, to my mind, utterly fantastic.

If you don't know deaf people, you can't imagine what is sometimes the small world that they live in. This approach changes all of that in a most positive way. I hope later on to have an interview with him on this web site.

And while you are thinking about it, when did you and your children last meet a hard of hearing or deaf young person and befriend him?

Tagged: tumbling, heard of hearing, Brandon Kazen-Maddox, deaf, signs words of songs, dancing


Marada Dee 5 years ago

Wow, the first video brought tears to my eyes. Really beautiful. Thanks for sharing this! I don't know any hard of hearing or deaf people even though I worked in special education for a while, but tried to learn sign language as a teen ager. Failed miserably. As a mom I learned some baby sign, and it was a phenomenal experience. My baby who could not talk yet could communicate with me! She mostly signed "milk", and would also tell me if she wanted a certain food or not. It made it so she wasn't frustrated, and she felt understood, and I could tell what she wanted without going through a litany of stuff to try every time she cried. This must be what it is like for deaf children in the hearing world. You are intelligent and want to communicate, and the common language just is not there. That is so wonderful that this very gifted dancer is making music kinesthetic and mixing in sign language. Stopping to think about it, it seems so obvious to do, but most great things seem obvious in retrospect!

Marada Dee 5 years ago

Also I just tried out the D Box in the movie theater where you feel the sound of the movie in the seat and it moves around. It is a little hokey, but it would work great with signing added. I think the idea of kinesthetics helping to augment storytelling and song is really powerful. I bet there will be a lot more of this in the future.

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