Correct entries. Visual impairments don’t hold back talented student performers – Dekalb School District

Ray Charles. Stevie Wonder. Andrea Bacelli. Jose Feliciano. Nobuyuki Tsuji. Ronnie Millsap.

Depending on your preferred genre of music, these are just a few of the titans of the entertainment industry who perform brilliantly despite their low vision.

While we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, maybe one day a new hometown heroine will soon add her name to that illustrious list. Again, no one should ever bet against this survivor, based on the incredible journey of Alexandra Gilfoy, a remarkable 14-year-old girl who overcame adversity throughout her life.

Alexandra, who was born 16 weeks premature, bravely found a way to shine despite being blind and diagnosed with what is medically called stage 5 retinopathy of prematurity. Her exceptional talent began to manifest itself, despite numerous operations and even paralysis of one of the vocal cords during one of the procedures.

“She just started singing and eventually it made her voice stronger,” said Diane Guilfoy, Alexandra’s mother. “She had surgery to fix some vocal problems and she immediately took to the music and just started singing. She listened to songs and picked them up easily – she sang and memorized them.”

Alexandra, a 7th grade student at Svaboda High School, sings in the school choir and plays the piano in the student orchestra. Last month, she played piano and sang as the school band performed Maren Morris’ “The Bones” during a Red Ribbon Week pep rally.

Her musical journey began at the age of six, playing the piano after her parents discovered she could sing and had a rhythm for music thanks to her drumming skills. At first she was enrolled Children’s music, a music-movement program for children. Alexandra soon impressed her teachers, which led to her parents enrolling her in piano lessons.

Since Alexandra is blind and therefore unable to read music, her teacher implemented a creative process of conveying lessons through WunderKeys Piano methodical books. This approach quickly worked wonders!

“She called her fingers and taught them how to play with them Panda pointer and Middleton MouseDiana said.

Today, Alexandra feels comfortable being around her talented friends in the Freedom Middle choir and band. However, her performances are also noticed outside the school.

She actively participates in competitions for children and adults with special needs. At the end of this month, Alexander will perform at Foundation of songs for children, a two-day event involving more than 100 children and young people with illnesses and disabilities. The event will feature the entire catalog of pop singer and songwriter Taylor Swift.

Alexandra said she hopes to inspire others to pursue their wildest dreams, regardless of their challenges.

It’s a message that resonates with everyone.

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