Claire Bahensky performs her one-handed saxophone with steering from UNK music professor David Nabb throughout a latest journey to Kearney. (Picture by Erika Pritchard, UNK Communications)
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The College of Nebraska at Kearney helps a Lincoln woman develop her love for music by means of its One-Handed Woodwinds Program.
Claire Bahensky’s face lights up when she performs her new saxophone, one thing that her household feared may not occur.
The ten-year-old found her love for music earlier this yr when college students at St. Joseph Catholic College had been getting ready to transition from plastic recorders to extra advanced devices.
She took a liking to the saxophone, however her mother and father knew that her new curiosity could finish in disappointment.
Claire suffered a brachial plexus damage at start, which triggered important nerve harm in her left arm.
Regardless of three surgical procedures and numerous hours of bodily remedy, she solely has somewhat little bit of operate in her left hand.
However as a substitute of telling their daughter, “No, you’ll be able to’t try this,” Brenda and Nate Bahensky started exploring different choices.
A buddy of the household recommended that they converse with David Nabb, a UNK music professor who advocates for musicians with disabilities.
Nabb was 37 years previous when he suffered a stroke that paralyzed the left aspect of his physique.
After his restoration, Nabb returned to his job with a one-of-a-kind saxophone designed and constructed by Jeff Stelling, proprietor of Stelling Brass & Winds in Kearney.
It took roughly 1,600 hours to create the distinctive instrument, which contains a toggle-key system that enables it to be performed with one hand.
The invention has acquired worldwide accolades, together with awards from the One-Handed Musical Instrument Belief, the Nationwide Affiliation of Music Retailers and the Kennedy Middle.
Stelling and Nabb have made adaptive devices accessible to different folks with disabilities by means of the UNK One-Handed Woodwinds Program.
Stelling has constructed a complete of six saxophones and tailored many different devices, every one designed for the musician’s particular wants.
“It’s one thing I by no means thought of till it occurred to David,” Stelling mentioned. “There’s an enormous want for adaptive devices for folks as a result of music is such an inherent a part of folks’s lives. It’s nice to have the ability to give that to them.”
After further modifications to make sure the instrument correctly match a fifth grader, the Bahenskys picked up the saxophone in late October.
The household mentioned it was an emotional second to see Claire get this chance.
“We’ve seen loads of doorways which were closed to her over the past 10 years due to her damage, loads of issues that she simply can’t do, so it’s good to see a door that’s open to her,” Brenda mentioned. “I’ve watched her work very exhausting for issues that come very simple to different folks. Now she will get an opportunity to be the identical as all people else.
Tags: brachial plexus damage, Brenda Bahensky, Claire Bahensky, David Nabb, disabilities, household, fifth grader, Jeff Stelling, Kennedy Middle, lincoln, Lincoln woman, musician, musicians, musicians with disabilities, Nate Bahensky, Nationwide Affiliation of Music Retailers, Nebraska, october, One-Handed Musical Instrument Belief, One-Handed Woodwinds Program, bodily remedy, St. Joseph Catholic College, college of nebraska at kearney, UNK music program