Ray De Grussa
Ray wanted to learn about music for many years, but struggled to find the right opportunity due to his physical, communication and literacy impairments. However, in September 2009 Ray began studying elements of Sheffield University’s Music and Creative Media course, with the support of Drake Music. Ray learned how to use The Grid 2 software, which enabled him to operate his laptop using switches, voice control and other methods, instead of a keyboard and mouse. The Grid 2 helped Ray learn to compose music and also to access the Internet, word-processing software, a media player and music notation software. Ray’s perseverance saw him not only master how to use The Grid 2, but also to learn music composition skills, and by the end of his 18-month course, he was composing a piece of music in a couple of weeks. Ray has now composed five pieces of music for different instruments and enjoyed playing one of these live at Totley Music Festival in 2011.
“This learning opportunity has made so much difference to the way I now view myself and interact with people; it has been so much more than about learning music,” said Ray, who is currently investigating other opportunities to teach and perform music.