Sounds of Music Group Project Update April 28th, 2022

We changed the theme of the website in order to streamline the user’s experience when navigating the site. We are still at work on a few of our webpages, and have one or two additional blog posts lined up, but the website is mostly complete.

However, we would like to acknowledge at this point that any work, whether it is of art or otherwise, is never finished, merely abandoned. This popular adage, often attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, holds true for our website as well. With proper funding and adequate time, we would expand our website, our toolkits, and our blog further.

We are proud of what we accomplished this semester thus far. 

Raquel has been finalizing the Accessibility Toolkit, creating an accessible PDF version of it for distribution, and preparing to present our project. 

Caitlin has been making final website edits, and Felicity has been expanding the Latency Toolkit and editing it for ease of use. She has offered a blog post with suggested reading on topics relating to music and emotion, the meaning of music, and the language of music, that might interest people attracted to the idea of music participation in our Sounds of Music program.   

As our pilot program approaches, we remain excited about this project. We are confident that our work in introducing a virtual, synchronous music enrichment experience can be recreated in most public or private settings, and that others can learn from both our failures and our successes in our own attempts. We also hope that our Accessibility Toolkit can be useful to those who have disabilities and experience difficulties accessing content on the web, as well as their caregivers and families.

As we approach the dress rehearsal and launch day, we will be supporting Raquel in her efforts to practice and perfect the presentation. We will be crafting a narrative that will explain the problem of social isolation, especially amongst senior citizens, the homebound, and the disabled. We will offer the Sounds of Music not as a solution, but as an outreach and a start to solving the conundrum we face as we enter a post-pandemic world. 

Zoom has become more than a tool for virtual meetings; it has become a forum for discourse, discussion, learning, family connections, and more. It connects us to one another, and brings us into each other’s homes. As we enter the ‘new normal,’ we will continue to use Zoom as a platform for our pilot program. Zoom has the capacity to forge new friendships, reinforce existing ones, and create connections between people in different parts of the NYC metropolitan area and beyond.  

We hope that the Digital Humanities will be a useful means of connecting those who would otherwise remain isolated and lonely. We wish to reach an audience that is often overlooked by DH as a field, and bring elderly folks who have limited computer literacy into the technological fold. 

We have a meeting scheduled on Monday to complete our plans for our pilot program and to practice our presentation.