Graham Norwood is a musician who is legally blind. He began playing piano at age 7 but soon moved to the guitar which is his instrument of choice ever since. Graham performs two shows a month, with some additional shows with some classic country singers. He currently has three EPs being released.
“If you can play the part or sing the song there’s no real barriers of prejudice… music is this level playing field where blind people can succeed without prejudice.”
Graham believes that his visual impairment has made him a better musician because he is a “more auditory person”. He says that his disability is just an obstacle that builds character. “People with disabilities tend to be good problem solvers. They have to work around what other people take for granted which is the heart of what diversability means for me. Every one of us is endowed with certain strengths (and weaknesses too!) that manifest in different ways. I think that a person's disability is often -- though by no means always -- a factor or influence on what their strength may be,” says Graham.
“It [music] is a pretty open landscape. If you have the ability, people will judge you for your musical skills instead of your disability. I would definitely encourage people to develop their skills instead of worrying about other people’s perspectives.”
For Graham, music is a common ground that he feels everyone can appreciate no matter their ability. He states that music is very accessible to everyone and brings people together.
“Music to me is very much the universal language. You don't need to speak the same language as someone to like the same music.”
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