Collaboration and technology make dream a reality for NISD 5th grader

Student plays violin for first time with picture of student with violin
October 23, 2019

When Northside legends collaborate, they can make dreams comes true. Just ask Villarreal ES fifth-grader Kevin Vazquez.

Vazquez has loved music his entire life but was born without a left hand which has limited his ability to play certain musical instruments.

Thanks to a special device and the passion of music teacher Mary-Ellen Fimbel, campus Librarian Sandra Welzenbach and her husband, and the creative and techno-prowess of Grants Coordinator Kyle Baker, Vazquez is now able to join other violin students in his campus strings program.

The device is strips of thermal plastic produced by a 3D-printer connected to other materials that hold a bow and wrap around the nub of Vazquez’s arm.

It gives him the ability, for the first time, to maneuver the bow against a violin’s strings.

The effort took more than 150 combined volunteer hours, and the final result was overwhelming to all those who witnessed as the 11-year-old played his first notes using the brand new device, including his mother.

Click here to learn how a device created by a 3D printer is helping this student make beautiful music for the first time.