The road ends, but the journey continues...

Giving Voice: Gaelynn Lea, Violinist

Friday, July 26th was the 29th anniversary of the signing of the ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was also the day I first learned of a remarkable musician on the PBS Newshour – Gaelynn Lea, Violinist.

Notable quotes from her interview:

“Adaptive music is not as common (as adaptive sports) but I hope that it becomes more common.”

on playing the violin:

“I realize that you probably don’t know unless you have a disability that you spend every day modifying everything. I’m not concerned with doing it the way everyone does it, because I can’t really do anything the way other people do it. So, for me, finding a way to play violin was just a matter of time.”

The final set of lyrics to her newest release, “I Wait” written in defense of the Affordable Care Act, protecting those with preexisting conditions:

“We need a seat now at the table, so please invite us.
Don’t pretend to care.”


  1. Janis

    What an amazing woman! Thank you so much for sharing her inspiring story.

    • laura bruno lilly

      You’re welcome, Janis.

  2. Brigid Gallagher

    Goodness, what an inspiration! She plays so very beautifully, and is quite a role model for others with disabilities. This is such a moving post Laura. Thank you.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, she is so completely her own self – genuine.

  3. Catherine de Seton

    just wow…

  4. Ally Bean

    Thanks for sharing this. I saw this video elsewhere and was/am amazed. Such a gift to be able to play music like this for all to enjoy.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for commenting Ally – it is amazing.

  5. Andy

    Beautiful music, that’s what’s important.

    • laura bruno lilly

      And it’s healing to perform and healing to hear…

  6. Lisa

    Wonderful and thanks for sharing!

    • laura bruno lilly

      You’re welcome, Lisa Lady!

  7. Marty

    How true, all of it. Thank you for sharing her post. It’s very inspiring and a true-life lesson on how legislation has helped so many.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks Marty for stopping by! Glad to pass on the ‘positives’!

  8. Jill Weatherholt

    Thanks for introducing me to this incredible woman, Laura. I love that God blessed her with this amazing talent to teach us we can do anything with the right support and determination.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Pretty cool, you’re right about that.

  9. Jane Chesebrough

    Thank-you, Laura. I never heard of her but enjoyed her violin playing and singing very much.

    • laura bruno lilly

      You’re welcome, Jane.

  10. Deborah Brasket

    Wow! So beautiful and inspiring. What an amazing woman and musician. It’s humbling to see what can be accomplished against such great odds and hardships.

    • laura bruno lilly

      You are so right, Deborah.

  11. Mary J Puckett

    Adaptive music is a great idea!

  12. Mariss Stevens

    This is salutary. Thanks for reminding me of how lucky I am

    • laura bruno lilly

      Salutary is a good word, choice, Mariss.
      I purposely didn’t add ‘She’s an inspiration’ to the text as it almost diminishes her as an individual…and yet…

  13. Robert G Cloud

    Beautiful music. In spite of her health, she is gifted and blessed.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, she is truly a musician, not a person with disabilities that plays music.

  14. L. Marie

    Gaelynn is an amazing musician. What a joy to listen to her and to learn of her story, and especially of her persistence and ingenuity! I wonder if her parents kept telling her, “You can do anything! Go for it!”

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh, no doubt about it – she had/has a supportive family for sure!

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