History of Braillebeats Fine Arts Program Dates Back To 2003

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Founded in 2003, and specially designed to address the unique needs of students who are blind or visually impaired, Braille Beats Fine Arts Program provides experiences and develops skills in the Fine Arts. While focused on music, art and movement, the program in equally attentive to advancing independent skills.

The core of the program is the Residential Intensive held each summer at the Lion's Bear Lake Camp in Lapeer, Michigan. The program is open to visually impaired students across the nation. Beginning in 2010, a post-secondary component has been added to support college and career level students.

Music classes include: music theory and history, physics of sound. music notation (including Braille music), keyboarding, ear and rhythm training, learning good practice habits, concert prep, scale olympics, solo and ensemble performance and vocal music. Exposure to different types of musical instruments, music styles and career options is also included through interaction with a variety of special guests and presenters. Students have opportunities for recording, including multi-track recording.

Each year the Art Program focuses on a "theme" based on a geographic area, time period, art style, design element, or physical attribute of our surroundings. Students experience a variety of art media and techniques by completing a range of theme-related projects with a focus on creative exploration and expression. Highlights are interaction with nature, end of the week Celebration Art Exhibit. Students are encouraged to submit their artwork for competition.

The movement component of the program focuses on the development of self - discipline and flexibility.

Independence Skills are emphasized in all aspects of the program and include areas such as mobility, personal care, organization, social skills, assistive technology, career exploration and self determination. A focus when learning mobility / travel is environmental awareness, perception, spatial orientation, and echolocation.

Who: Open to students with visual impairments who have an interest in the fine arts, 9 years of age through young adults. Because of the wide range in age and skills, the students are divided into groups. Some individualized instruction is available to each student in addition to the group classes. The post-secondary group consists of young adults with an interest in expanding their skills in the fine arts.

What: Residential, experiential Fine Arts and Independence Skills immersion program. A Celebration Event (art exhibit and music performance), open to family and guests, is held on the final day of the program.

When: 2014 Summer Program dates are June 14-22.

Where: Lion's Bear Lake Camp in Lapeer Mi about 60 miles north of Detroit Michigan

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