STANDARDS

CCSS: 4.G.A.1, MP2, MP6, MP7
TEKS: 4.6A, 4.6C

 


Concert Communicator

Interpreters make concerts more inclusive for the Deaf community

Courtesy of Lindsay Rothschild-Cross (Lindsay Rothschild Cross); Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Firefly (Mumford & Sons); Jaroslav Ozana/CTK Photo/Alamy Live News (Amber Galloway Gallego); Gary Miller/FilmMagic (David Shaw)

A giant stadium is full of people. Tens of thousands of fans cheer. Then, bright lights turn on and a rock band begins to play. Musicians sing and play their instruments. Sound booms from gigantic speakers. But the band members aren’t the only ones rocking out onstage. Sign language interpreter Lindsay Rothschild Cross is too.

By day, Rothschild Cross teaches high school in Lumberton, Texas. But on some nights, she transforms into a spirited performer and interpreter for the Deaf community. She uses sign language to translate the words of songs. She dances to show how the music makes people feel. This makes concerts a more inclusive experience for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

A giant stadium is full of people. Tens of thousands of fans cheer. Then bright lights go on. A rock band begins to play. Musicians sing. They play their instruments. Sound booms from gigantic speakers. The band members rock out onstage. They are not alone. Lindsay Rothschild Cross is there too. She is a sign language interpreter.

By day, Rothschild Cross teaches high school. She lives in Lumberton, Texas. On some nights, she becomes a spirited performer. She is an interpreter for the Deaf community. She uses sign language to translate the words of songs. She dances to show how the music makes people feel. This makes concerts a more inclusive experience for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Courtesy of Lindsay Rothschild-Cross

Vibrations in the air, called sound waves, carry sounds to your ears. Your brain interprets the sound. Your body can feel the vibrations too—like the “brum-brum” of a drum or the “unce” from a speaker. Though deaf people can’t hear the music, they sense the vibrations in their body and in the same part of the brain used for hearing.

Preparing for a concert begins weeks before the show. First, Rothschild Cross listens to the words of each song very carefully. Then she practices translating the songs into sign language. The hardest part? Making sure that her signs match the music perfectly. Plus, some songs have feelings that are hard to express with movement.

On concert nights, there can be up to 20 songs to interpret. Rothschild Cross listens and translates each one. She matches her body language to the feeling of the music. This could mean jumping up and down or standing still.

Many musical acts today hire sign language interpreters to translate their songs into sign.

Rothschild Cross hopes her work will help advocate for the Deaf community. “Deaf people can enjoy concerts too,” says Rothschild Cross.

Vibrations in the air are called sound waves. They carry sounds to your ears. Your brain interprets the sound. Your body can feel the vibrations too. You feel like the “brum-brum” of a drum. Or you feel the “unce” from a speaker. Deaf people can’t hear the music. But they can sense the vibrations in their body. It happens in the same part of the brain used for hearing.

Preparing for a concert begins weeks before a show. First, Rothschild Cross listens to the words of each song. She does this very carefully. Then she practices. She translates the songs into sign language. The hardest part? Making sure that her signs match the music perfectly. Plus, some songs have feelings that are hard to express with movement.

Some concerts have up to 20 songs. Rothschild Cross listens. Then she translates each one. She matches her body language to the feeling of the music. This could mean jumping up and down or standing still.

Many musical acts today hire sign language interpreters. They want to translate their songs into signs.

Rothschild Cross hopes her work will help advocate for the Deaf community. “Deaf people can enjoy concerts too,” says Rothschild Cross.

Circle the letters that you would use to write your name in ASL. Imagine that the fingers extend into rays that meet at a point. Then observe the types of angles that you see.

Circle the letters that you would use to write your name in ASL. Imagine that the fingers extend into rays that meet at a point. Then observe the types of angles that you see.

1. Do any letters in the ASL alphabet include right angles?

2. Do any letters in the ASL alphabet include obtuse or acute angles? Explain. 

3. Pick a letter that is used in your name. Does its sign have an angle? If so, identify it.

1. Do any letters in the ASL alphabet include right angles?

2. Do any letters in the ASL alphabet include obtuse or acute angles? Explain. 

3. Pick a letter that is used in your name. Does its sign have an angle? If so, identify it.

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