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  • Writer's pictureElise

I'm a laminate

Last week I became a laminate. I became chewable, scrunchable, throwable, stickable and able to take on most of lifes little uses. And I became a laminate with my favourite object - my saxophone.

Last week I had the opportunity to showcase my saxophone where I work. I am lucky enough to work at a SSP School in Sydney which works with children and adolescents with autism. I am lucky because this school is full of the most incredible students and staff, the most colourful individuals with the most diverse range of skills, talents and warmest hearts. A place where you are valued for your strengths and pushed to innovate new ways of doing things, taking on new perspectives and see the world from many different angles.

So last week I became a laminate and took my saxophone to each music lesson, run by the music therapists.

We introduced the instrument, looked at how to put it together, played a few tunes and sang along too. Each person then had the chance to feel the vibrations of the instrument and press the buttons whilst I blew, creating fun little phrases and comical expressive melodies. The saxophone was a hit!

'Real' instruments have a presence. The saxophone is so gold and so shiney that the first look is always exciting. Reflections and the way the light catches the curves and angles. Then there's the sound... it seems to vibrate in your core - some say instruments are linked to your chakras, and for me the saxophone seems to resonate in the soul. There is something very human about hearing a saxophone, especially when adding a blues semitone or breathy chromatic run down to the tonic. I can see in people's expressions the shared human enjoyment in these sultry tones - I see it when I play gigs, I see it when addressing patients with mental illness at my placement and I see it when working with people with disabilities. And in this case specifically, I see it when the kids close their eyes with enjoyment or when they pull saxophone blowing faces.

Overall, the experience brought about excitement and experimentation, and we tried our best to allow every child in the school a turn, from the 4 year olds to the 17 and 3/4 year olds, the educators, the teachers and the therapists all having a chance to engage with this glorious golden melody maker. I could tell some of the kids were very interested to have a proper go, who knows, this could be the start of something wonderful! Hooray for the saxophone!

As a final note, I'd like to point out that until laminate is made from natural products and not oil (i.e. plastic) and completely recyclable then a part of me is not happy to be heat sandwiched between two pieces of thin plastic. From an ecological point of view, laminating is just wrapping the world in more plastic. I hope the world is able to come up with non-plastic solutions to this problem soon and we can more forwards trying to rid the world of the plastic that is already stuck to the surface of this earth.



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