Being a member of a choir when you can’t vocalise at all seems incongruous but for Emily, this is exactly what she does. Her love of music and her ability to measure emotions through music transcend her disabilities. When the choir sings, she is singing in her mind and this is why she loves being a member of the Transformers so much. She enjoys the discipline of being in the choir and lets the voices of everyone else be her form of musical expression. This really gives her a sense of belonging. When she listens to Transformers recordings or watches their DVD’s she is transported back to the time of the performance and she relives the experience with the ultimate sense of satisfaction.
Music has always been a part of Emily’s life. As a baby and toddler, her therapy exercises were always done to music so that she would be more cooperative. Even today, it’s easy to get Emily do something if the instructions are sung to her or if an unpleasant task is completed to music.
Emily definitely has an ear for good music. As a small child, she would start the actions to songs after only a couple of notes and without words. When music is sad, she cries inconsolably but when it is happy, she spreads the joy of the music to everyone. The emotion of music is most obvious with her love of ballet. Being a person who cannot speak, she loves the mime of ballet and at live ballet performances becomes mesmerised. When you look at her, she seems to be transfixed by the ballet and to have moved into the performance itself. Many people who observe her at the Lyric Theatre comment that their enjoyment of the ballet has been enhanced by her obvious enjoyment. As her Nana says, “I don’t watch the ballet. I just watch Emily.” If the performance is bad, she is loudly critical, much to everyone’s obvious amusement.
Being physically challenged, recreation is limited for Emily unless someone helps her. The exception to this is listening to CD’s and watching videos. She has a huge collection of musicals and ballets and her heroes are Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, and the former Australian Ballet principals, Steven Heathcote and David McAllistter. Every night, she chooses a different CD to listen to as she goes off to sleep. Her favourite is the Transformers CD !!