Technology affects our lives in so many different ways, sometimes affecting it in ways we did not think was possible. Recently we heard a story of how Google Translate allowed paramedics to communicate with a Congolese woman in the ambulance who was about to give birth, and if you liked that, here’s another touching story of how an iPad app allowed a teen suffering from a muscle disease to remain in the school’s band doing what he loved to do, playing the drums.
As Ethan Och’s body weakened from a muscle disease, he knew that he would have to give up playing in his school’s band as he felt that he was lagging too far behind his bandmates to catchup with them, and so he told his teacher, Gina Christopherson, that he had to quit the band. “I was lagging behind,” says Ethan. “And they were going ahead and there was no way for me to catch up with them.”
Thankfully his teacher did not accept his resignation and instead found a way for him to stay in the band through the use of an iPad app that allowed him to keep playing the drums albeit digitally. According to Christopherson, “My first day digging through iTunes I downloaded 75 different apps.”
However while his teacher believed in Orch and found ways to work around his disability, not everyone felt the same. Christopherson admitted that it took a fair bit of convincing of the Minnesota State High School League to allow Ethan’s amplified music to be allowed in band competitions.