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    Harmonikids Hohner-Sponsored Session With Special Needs Youth

    19 December, 2023

    On December, 14, 2023  I provided a Hohner-sponsored Harmonikids session to 22 high school students with special needs at Delcastle Technical High School in Delaware. All of the students became joyfully engaged to watch me perform for them and then each found a path to make music when I passed out harmonicas and gently taught them songs. They were thrilled as they quickly learned songs including Jingle Bells in honor of the holiday season. The youth’s self esteem and confidence soared as they became successful. They sat fascinated while being entertained and then learning to play and asking questions. As Harmonikids programs have demonstrated for decades, learning to play music on a harmonica can lead special needs youth across daunting boundaries and elevate their self-image at a crucial time in their development. The inspirational educational and life benefits the youth received are described in the note of thanks received from teacher Thomas Gears below. 

    ~ Gary Allegretto, Founding Director of Harmonikids, www.harmonikids.org

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    Dear Mr. Gary Allegretto,

    First and foremost, thank you so much for visiting Delcastle and teaching your Harmonikids program to our special needs students. My students got so much out of your program. In addition to getting their very own harmonica, you have given them inspiration that they can do whatever they set their minds to, that is something that no one can ever take away.

    Today is our last day before the winter break and several of my students are still talking about you. One told me she is practicing every day. We are so very fortunate that you took the time to visit with us and present Harmonikids. You have an extraordinary talent, not only at playing the harmonica but also touching the hearts and connecting with young people through your music and instruction. 

    Again, many thanks and please feel free to drop by for a visit whenever you are in town. Please pass on our gratitude and sincere thanks to Hohner Harmonica for their generous support. They have made a difference with their support.

    ~ Thomas A. Gears, Instructor, STEP Math & Social Studies, DelCastle Technical High School