Legally blind musician and equestrian to share story at WWU

Deborah McAlexander
Deborah McAlexander

Deborah McAlexander was challenged to redirect the focus of her life when she became legally blind at the age of 24.

On April 6 she will speak at William Woods University, discussing her visual impairment and how it has positively impacted her life as a music professional, music teacher and equestrian. She will play the piano and present a video.

Her program at 7 p.m. in Dulany Auditorium is free and open to the public.

At that time she lost her sight, she was a violin performance scholarship student at the St. Louis Conservatory of Music. Her career goal was to become a professional symphony orchestra violinist. When retina specialists informed her she would be blind and deaf by the age of 30, her life plummeted into a downward tailspin of terror.

Through music, horses, and faith, she has learned how to transcend and transform tribulation into triumph and, in the process, has discovered the Key to a Victorious Life’s Ride.

After becoming legally blind, McAlexander launched a successful career as an accomplished musician, freelance performer, teacher, and motivational speaker. Her business, Bravo Performances LLC, is located in Jefferson City, Missouri.

McAlexander holds a bachelor of music degree in piano performance and master of music degree in piano performance from the University of Missouri.

Deborah McAlexander, who is legally blind, will play the piano and talk about her life, which includes horseback riding, during a visit to William Woods University April 6.
Deborah McAlexander, who is legally blind, will play the piano and talk about her life, which includes horseback riding, during a visit to William Woods University April 6.

In addition to her work as a professional pianist, McAlexander is a nationally recognized music educator who owns and operates an independent piano studio for students of all ages and all skill levels.

In 2012, she earned the status of a Music Teachers National Association Permanent Professional Certified Teacher of Music in Piano. According to MTNA records, McAlexander is the only legally blind music educator to have achieved this level of success.

McAlexander participates in an equestrian training program at Fairview Farms, New Bloomfield, Missouri. She says she looks forward to the challenges of horseshow competition and to the life lessons she learns from every horse she rides. According to McAlexander, equestrian training is filling her toolbox with tools for achieving success, not only in the show ring, but also in life.

A former member of the Missouri Horse Show Association Board of Directors, she has provided motivational speaking and piano performance presentations for several MHSA Awards Banquets.

In her inspirational entertainment presentation, Vision Beyond Eyesight – Life’s Ride: The Key to Victory, McAlexander  presents a believable case that the principles leading to success in the sport of equestrian performance apply to everyday settings in business and personal life.

cache_938788273Her presentation draws parallels between the unpredictable nature of horse show competition and the uncontrollable environments people deal with on a daily basis; at work, at home and in the community.

Set against the backdrop of her passionate partnerships with trustworthy horses, her presentation provides a framework to help people achieve victory in their lives by offering practical, humorous and often unconventional advice.

McAlexander touches on many subjects, including how to overcome adversity, manage fear, take risks, improve leadership and teamwork skills, deal with changing environments, survive battles and redirect your focus from a negative to a positive perspective.

Her equestrian analogies provide insight in how to function effectively in an unpredictable world of adversity, failure and negative situations.

For more information, contact Sarah Track, clinical instructor of equestrian studies, at sarah.track@williamwoods.edu or (573)592-4575.