Get to know Fund for Good winner Jeanie

Manawanui / 29 August 2023
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Introducing Jeanie, a musician and music teacher who, after losing her sight, has lost the ability to read print music.

Jeanie, when she was partially sighted, studied and gained a Bachelor of Music majoring in theory and arranging and following this, completed a Diploma of Teaching. Since then, music arranging played a large part in Jeanie’s life, she arranged many popular tunes for groups of string students and also led a youth band and a junior music mentoring program at her local church.

Losing her sight and the ability to read and write music 6 years ago was frustrating, limiting in what she could do for her students and meant Jeanie had to work from memory of pieces she already knew, making her feel inadequate in doing her job at the best of her ability.

This year, she has learnt to read braille and braille music, which has been great but there is a very limited selection of music available in braille and she is struggling to find and have books and teaching resources she regularly uses transcribed.

Jeanie has successfully applied for Fund for Good for The Good Feel Suite software from Dancing Dots. This is a tool designed from the ground up for blind people to access music notation software rather than some accessibility features added into regular software that is very limited.

The Good Feel Suite consists of 3 pieces of software. Sharp Eye which can scan a piece of printed music to be imported into the Lime notation software. Lime & Lime Aloud is a fully functioning music notation software that reads out every aspect to give a blind person the ability to access all elements of reading and writing a print score with no limitations. The third piece of software is Good Feel, which takes the lime score and turns it into braille.

The Good Feel software allows Jeanie to access all the digital music files she had previously created with other music notation software and convert them into braille. This has been like Christmas but heartbreaking at the same time as she has access to all these files but needs to add in missing details and tidy up, some with sighted assistance.

Fund for Good has helped Jeanie to access print music and get converted into Braille which has been a huge help! It is important to note, however, that this technology is not a magic wand that just takes away all the difficulties and complicated scores, teaching books and exam pieces still need some professional transcription services.

A big congratulations to Jeanie, one of our successful Fund for Good recipients. Fund for Good is an innovation programme helping to fund special projects and dreams of Manawanui customers which can’t be funded elsewhere. We are so pleased to be able to help Jeanie get back to doing what she loves.