Harmonikids Session for Troubled Youth in West Texas
25 February, 2019
Gary Allegretto, Founding Director of Harmonikids, provides a Harmonikids session in West Texas.
On Feb. 22, 2019 I provided a Hohner sponsored Harmonikids session to The High Frontier, a sprawling ranch facility for youth experiencing academic, family, emotional, and/or behavioral problems outside of Fort Davis, Texas. In my fourth visit, 70 new participants were thoroughly entertained while being taught fascinating Western history revolving around the harmonica. They were then gifted harmonicas and taught to accurately play four songs. It was a rousing success. The fully engaged teens really enjoyed themselves and were very proud of their newly discovered musical ability. The Harmonikids session provided the therapeutic joy of learning music while elevating self esteem and confidence at a crucial time in the lives of these challenged adolescents. Perhaps the best way to illustrate the many benefits the youth gained from the experience is to share the letters of thanks I received from the facility's directors and therapist.
Harmonikids Founding Director
"The staff and students of High Frontier Treatment Center and School really enjoyed and learned from your Harmonica program. Not only did we appreciate your talented performance, but also your ability to inspire and teach the students history, skills, respect, and fun with the harmonica as an important instrument in American culture. Furthermore, the knowledge you shared of the important role of adversity and diversity in music and American culture was a valuable insight to our students, and your lessons regarding effort and stick-to-itiveness proved keenly in kind with our treatment and education model. We deeply appreciate your willingness to give to our community of struggling teens working hard to get their lives back on track, and to our non-profit program which could not easily afford such as great program if we had to pay for it."
~ Tom Homrighaus, High Frontier Director, MA-LPC-S, LCCA
"It never ceases to amaze me about how your music transcends cultural boundaries and touches our students. As you were starting your program Friday, I looked across our audience and saw some of those older students wearing their disinterest fairly candidly. Halfway through the program, they’re leaning over and whispering to the guy sitting next to them, suddenly excited about learning how to play their harmonica! I was walking across the campus Friday night, and some youngsters were playing harmonica! One of the girls in my Group said she’s learning one of the songs to play for her Grandmother (who apparently has a great fondness for harmonica music!). Blessings on all you do!"
~Dale Parker, MA, LPC, LCCA
"Just wanted to drop you a line and thank you again for coming out to visit us, and for the fine introduction to the harmonica. The kids around here are still talking about it. These are troubled kids, and the harmonica is a gateway to music and to positivity. Like I predicted, one or two kids in each group has yet to put theirs down, so you succeeded in injecting music into every dorm on our campus. It’s obvious that you’ve been doing this for a while, and we especially appreciated your humor and your kind encouragement. These kids generally have a history of being class clowns, but they have their share of performance anxiety as well; you got them all to relax and have fun, and made them feel successful. Please thank the fine folks at Hohner, too, for the gift of all those harmonicas. I know I speak for all of our kids when I say we really appreciate them."
~ Wayne Wentworth, M.Ed-LPC, Team Therapist, The High Frontier