Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bojan's hands...need ideas

Okay, I'll be brief.  I know you're all excited about that.  Bojan wants to join the band.  I think that's fantastic.  Warren & I were both in band in high school & I went on to play w/ the Marching Pirates in college.  Now, I know you all know that Bojan is missing his right leg & has a clubfoot on the other leg.  I've never really spoken of his hand issues b/c I never gave it much thought as he's adapted so well. But now it is indeed an issue that we have to figure out.  Here's what Bojan's hands look like:


These are both his hands.  So, the one on the left is his right hand.  


This is Bojan's left hand.  As you can see, shortened digits.  There is some webbing but not too bad.  The 2 fingers were fused but separated early in his life in Serbia.  No nails for most the fingers but that shouldn't effect anything in regards to instruments.  


Bojan's right hand.  Ring finger missing as you can see.  Now, this pretty much eliminates quite a few woodwind instruments as you need all fingers for them.  He originally wanted to play the flute or clarinet.  I  played flute & know he can't do that one.  Nor the clarinet.  I know percussion but honestly, I will have 10 kids, 4 "littles", 2 dogs, & enough noise already.  LOL.  Plus, I think the other kids would want to band them.  However, Bojan hasn't shown an interest in drums.  Let me know what you all think.  He's leaning toward trumpet which would be great.  

I know Bojan will practice.  He is also musically inclined unlike his sibs.  That's not to be mean. It's being honest.  Each one has their own talent but Bojan is clearly the only musically inclined one we have so I'd love to encourage this.  Max is into art as is Nik so we really encourage those two in their talents.  Alex loves sports so he does running club & we support that.  Alyona has not found her "niche" yet but she's getting there.  Yana wants to do track this coming year so I think that is fantastic.  Irina is athletic.  Anyhow, I do feel Bojan would excel at band.  Just need to make sure I find the right instrument given his hand deformities.  They all function fine.  But, some will not be able to reach the holes.  Hope that all made sense.  Need some input.  Thanks.

10 comments:

  1. What about asking the band teacher at school to let him try some different instruments and help him decided what would fit him the best? My other thought was what about a guitar? I would think that he could use his webbed hand to use a pick at the strings and the other hand to make the notes.

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  2. I know very little about playing instruments, but my first thought was how about the drums? Or the French horn... I think you push the valves with your left hand, so if Bojan has that dexterity in those fingers, it could work. Or maybe bass as I think you don't play too many chords, but that might be a challenge anyway.

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  3. He could play trombone- you don't need finger action for that- it is a slide. French horn uses just three fingers as well as trumpet- you put your right hand in the bell and finger with the left- and the fingers are held sort of flst- so do not need to be flexed, particularly- check out *french horn player* on google images. Trumppet players use the index, middle and ring fingers of the right hand, so I am not sure how flexible he can be using his little finger as a ring finger....But, trombone, he could do!
    I enjoy your blog- just delurking to answer this question since I am a music teacher- of cello.

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  4. Hubby just suggested trombone. He played it in HS and says it has no valves, you just move in and out with your arm and if your arm is too short, they make a valve that you control with your thumb.

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  5. Trumpet, trombone, stand-up base, drums or could even adapt to guitar (with a patient teacher). You're right, most wind instruments are out because they require all 10 digits but your little one is a scrapper! I'd let him try whatever he wants & see what happens.

    PS-I was a band geek AND chorus too! Love, love, love music! It does something to my soul. Cheering him on!

    Blessings~Ginger

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  6. I was going to suggest trombone also :)

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  7. Steph--Now that I see his hands, I definitely think Trombone is a great choice if he wants to play a brass instrument. He will not need to use his fingers individually except if he does advanced work later and uses the trigger valve. Trumpet and French Horn both require quite a bit of finger action--trumpet with the right hand (as noted in an earlier post)--which may prove to be a challenge. BUT, in following your kids on this blog, I have a feeling he'd find a way! Percussion is also a good option. If you feel comfortable doing so, take him to the school band director or a local music store and let him try them out. Take care! Stacy Paparone

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  8. One that you can bring everywhere, is very useful, and don't need fingers or feet, is the voice...

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  9. Sorry if I'm late responding to this. I'm a band teacher and found this on a search about trumpet issues. Tombone makes sense, but if he's set on the trumpet, there are also slide trumpets (soprano trombones to be precise) available. Jupiter makes a very decent and inexpensive model. You can find them online at the Woodwind and Brasswind site among others. It plays the same parts and range as normal trumpet. Your band director should be able to find or create a fingering (position) chart for him.

    Good luck!

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  10. Hi, what about the piano. I have a similar hand and learnt the piano and I can now stretch it more than a normal hand. Practice makes perfect and gave me confidence too. Don't look at what you can't do, look at what you can do. Good luck. x

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