Singing About Mr. Gumpy...
This is a project that I would like to create for the Perkins School for the Blind Early Learning Center. I am taking the story, 'Mr. Gumpy’s Outing' by John Burningham, and turning it into a musical. In this story, Mr. Gumpy gives two children and a variety of animals a ride in his boat and they have a small adventure. Each of the ELC students will take the part of one of the characters in the story.
The population served through this program will be 12 children aged 3-6 years with visual impairments and blindness, as well as a variety of physical and/or cognitive impairments. Community members, including the students’ families, and approximately 100 other Perkins School for the Blind students, teachers and staff will benefit from the experience of attending the event.
This musical drama will be more about the process than the product. Though it is always rewarding to enjoy the product at the end of the road, these students will learn more from their experiences of creating, learning and sharing the material, eventually leading to the musical at the end. Exploring environments with hands is how a visually impaired individual learns about his or her world. With this in mind, the musical material will be designed to support this exploration, whether it will be through the touching of textures that become costumes, visiting animals that are represented in the play on a series of field trips, or by using hands to paint or glue textures to structures, which will eventually become the set.
I will write the music and direct this program along with the Speech and Language Pathologist. The ELC staff will work with the students to learn the concepts presented within the musical and will help the students make costumes and a simple set. The end result will no longer be a risk but a sharing of well-honed abilities and a deepening of necessary skills for daily living and education.
What Your Funds Will Support
As mentioned earlier, because the students learn by touching and exploring with their hands and other senses, I would like to provide opportunities for them to experience what each of the animals in the story feels like in real life. To that end I want to bring an animal program to the school where they can pat a dog, hold a chicken, a pig or a rabbit, and ride a pony. By doing so they will learn the difference in size, shape, sound, feel and smell of the different animals and develop an understanding of what they are pretending to be in the story. I also want to give them an experience of what it feels like to ride in a boat and to explore the different properties of water through a therapeutic water program in our area. The funds will also help to purchase supplies for props and fabric for costumes.
So What's In It For You?
A very good feeling that you helped create a wonderful, creative learning experience for several visually impaired children, their families and their community. And check out our rewards. They're pretty awesome, too!
- (30 days)