Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc.

To provide vision rehabilitation, eye health services and education that promote independence,
to collaborate with and train professionals, and to conduct research in related fields.

It's Possible to See Without Sight™

601 Southwest Eighth Avenue, FL 33130 · Ph: 305.856.2288 · Fx: 305-285.6967 · info@miamilighthouse.org 

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Better Chance Music Program

For information about hiring our musicians to perform at events click here.

Letter from a grateful musician.

“Mainstream Employment in Music Production for Individuals Who Are Visually Impaired: Development of a Model Training Program,” by Virginia Jacko, Harold Cobo, Antonio Cobo, Rachelle Fleming, and J. Elton Moore, in the Practice Perspectives section of the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, September 2010.

First Of Its Kind Bilingual Audio Book Produced By Miami Lighthouse Was A Finalist For A Latin Grammy® Award

Miami Lighthouse for the Blind is the only agency in the nation that provides all-inclusive music, MIDI, audio instruction and youth development programs for the blind and visually impaired. Also, Miami Lighthouse provides the only comprehensive Braille music distance learning curriculum accessible to any musician worldwide.

Today, with the advent of digital recording, Pro Tools has become a popular professional multi-track music production program. In the past, Pro Tools was not available to those with sight deficiencies. Our copyrighted curriculum is a step-by-step guide for Pro Tools using Voice-Over commands. Advanced Technology Access with Voice-Over on Mac™ A Pro Tools Curriculum for the Visually Impaired is available to students in our Better Chance Music Program by clicking here and entering the password provided by the instructor.

The Better Chance Music Production Program provides innovative year-round music education targeting sighted and visually impaired young adults, utilizing music appreciation, instruction and exploration as the tools to foster work readiness skills, and enhance self-efficacy and positive peer relations. It paves the way for our students to enter mainstream careers in the music field and provides the opportunity for blind musicians to learn how to work and perform in a sighted world. Braille Music is taught through a copyrighted distance learning curriculum. In 2015, 212 clients were served with 8,208 hours of service.

The Henry & Inez Stone Music & Sound Studio offers program participants an opportunity to learn the latest techniques with skilled music professionals, in a state-of-the-art setting.

The primary technology used by program participants is MIDI (Multiple Instrument Digital Interface), which enables electronic instruments such as a musical keyboard synthesizer, acoustic guitar, sampler, sequencer and drum machine from any manufacturer to communicate with one another and with a common computer. This valuable instruction is critical in today’s music industry, fostering independence and creativity as students manipulate music to produce viable compositions. Additional industry relevant technologies of the program include:

  • Cakewalk (Sonar) which converts a standard PC into a multi-track recording studio. This software is specifically used by the blind to interface with JAWS for Windows, a talking software that enables blind users to improve their productivity level by streamlining keyboard functions, automating commands, and eliminating repetition.
  • Pro Tools is an integration of hardware/software widely used by professionals throughout the audio industries for recording and editing in music production, mastering audio tracks; film scoring, television and post production.
  • In addition to Cakewalk (Sonar) and Pro Tools, the program allsp utilizes Logic Audio, Propeller Head Reason, Sibelius, Roland, and M-Audio products. Instruction is offered on Apple and PC computers.

Our Better Chance Music Production Program and our instructors have received national and international recognition. It was awarded a grant by the Mockingbird Foundation, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization founded by the fans of the poplar band Phish supporting music education for children. Ten grantees were selected from among 1,303 initial applicants from throughout the United States. In addition to the Mockingbird Foundation, The Henry W. Bull Foundation, Carnival Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida, the Wildflower Foundation, the Helliwell Family Foundation and the William and Helen Thomas Charitable Trust have awarded grants in support of our Better Chance Music Program and Braille music curriculum.

Our Miami Lighthouse acclaimed Music Program gives students the skills and experience they need to succeed at post-secondary education. Natalia Sulca, a Music Program alumnae, graduated with honors from the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. She was a part of Miami Lighthouse for many years receiving vocational rehabilitation, including instruction in songwriting, music performance and production. Natalia is a talented singer and songwriter, and her compositions and performances have been featured on Miami Lighthouse CDs. In 2013 Natalia performed the opening song for Alexandro Sanz, winner of the Latin Grammy for Best Vocal Contemporary Album, at the 2013 Latin Grammy Awards ceremony. Her story shows what a blind child who participates in Miami Lighthouse programs can achieve.

Music Program Testimonials

"I liked studying science and math in school, but music makes me happy. I have some vision, but when I'm here at the Lighthouse, playing in the band with all my friends, that's what it's all about." - Music Program percussionist Adriel

"My godfather is a professional musician. He plays the trumpet, but I really like the trombone. I've learned so much here at the Lighthouse. I come to the Music Program religiously every Saturday to continue to evolve and learn, especially from music instructor Carlos Camacho. I am already getting some paid gigs." - Music Program trombonist Christopher

"I've been playing the drums since I was nine years old. I've never been sighted, but it's never stopped me from wanting to learn new things. Among those 'new things' is work with the synthesizer and learning to use the braille version of ProTools
to create my own recordings. I've been a Lighthouse band member for more than three years. I love to play and reminisce about gigs at New York's famed Apollo Theater and the Village Gate."
- Lighthouse Band member, percussionist and pianist Rick

"This Music Program is a wonderful thing. I've been coming here for two years, and I'm learning to work with computers in the braille music program. Finding the Lighthouse has made a big difference in my life." - Lighthouse Band member, percussionist Joel

Click here to view a letter from an instructor at Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School.

Music program students have recorded five CDs: See the Light, It’s Not Impossible, A Better Chance, Holiday Joy and Love and Fables and Favorites. All vocals and instrumentals on the CDs are original—written, performed and recorded by the students.

To order any of our CDs call the Miami Lighthouse Vision Solutions Center at 305.856.9100.

Parent Testimonial

My husband and I are very impressed with your organization. The services that you provide to the community are incredible. My son Hobie Benson enjoys going to your center to learn and serve in the community each opportunity he can. Your music program has enhanced Hobie’s music talents and he is grateful to be part of The Miami Lighthouse.

The staff at your center shows professionalism and commitment to the community and to the children involved in the summer program and also the program during the school year on the weekends.

Thank you for taking your position at the Lighthouse with such effort and consideration to others.

I would recommend this program to any friends with a score of Excellency.

Please reach out to me whenever you need anything for the center.

Jenny Benson, RN, BSN, CCRP
University of Miami Health System
Inpatient Unit-Research Services
1475 N.W. 12 Avenue, Suite 2076
Miami, Fl 33136
j.benson2@med.miami.edu
305-724-7760

Miami Lighthouse Music Instructors and Staff

John Nichols – Music Program Manager
Carlos Camacho – Brass, Wind, and Bass
Oman Pedreira – Strings
Julio Fumero – Piano and Keyboard
Gerardo Ubieda – Percussion
Jeff Zavak – Woodwinds and Brass

 

The Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired – Better Chance Music Production Program™ is funded in part by the Children’s Trust. The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.

 
 
   
   
   

 

 

Miami Lighthouse was recognized at the 2015 Florida Blue Foundation Sapphire Awards luncheon as an organization that has demonstrated excellence and innovation in community health.

 

Miami Lighthouse ranks among the elite 1% of U.S. nonprofits having earned nine consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, the nation’s premier independent nonprofit evaluator. Receiving such a distinction reflects our sound fiscal management, responsible use of donor dollars, and financial strength.

 

Miami Lighthouse has earned the Silver participation level through the GuideStar Exchange which is a testament to Miami Lighthouse’s commitment to data transparency.

 

 

                 

 

 

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2015 Beacon Award in Education at the 13th Annual Beacon Council Awards.

 

Miami Lighthouse was the recipient of the 2013 Switchboard Miami All Star Most Valuable Non-Profit Award.

 

Miami Lighthouse is a two-time Charity Partner (2013 and 2014) of the Marlins Foundation and a 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Legacy Partner. Our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program has received over $300,000 in charitable donations through these partnerships.

 

Miami Lighthouse named "Best of Miami" Charity 2017 by the New Times.

   
                     

Miami Lighthouse received United Homecare’s 2012 Thelma Gibson Community Service Award at the 18th Annual Claude Pepper Memorial Awards Ceremony.

 

Miami Lighthouse received a Silver medal at the 2016 Miami Today Gold Medal Awards Ceremony.

 

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the Community Outreach category.

 

Miami Lighthouse honored by being named the recipient of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce 2010 Non-Profit Business Diamond Award.

 

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2008 Concern Award from Health Foundation of South Florida.