Harmonikids Session for Tulsa Boys Home
20 September, 2019
On Saturday August 14, 2019 I provided a Hohner-sponsored session to 70 young men at the Tulsa Boys Home (TBH) in Tulsa, OK. This was my third session working with youth at this wonderful facility. Since 1913 TBH has helped boys with challenges such as "poverty, abuse, neglect and drug addiction lead happy, productive and successful lives”. Harmonikids provides youth such as these a healthy and positive form of creative expression while raising self esteem and confidence at a crucial time in their lives. The lessons often become an inspiration for them to grow, change, forgive the world – and themselves. The harmonicas become a strong but gentle tool to make a valuable difference in their lives. A thank you note from TBH supervisor Ken Callen below gives insight to how powerful Harmonikids results can be in joyfully engaging youth, enabling them “to let down their guard and enjoy being kids“ and giving those “who struggle with ADHD/ADD and other learning disorders the opportunity to express themselves creatively.”
A very special thanks to Harmonikids’ long-time friend, donor, and supporter David Berntson in Tulsa who helped with scheduling of the session. As always, heartfelt thanks to Hohner for their ongoing sponsorship and support of Harmonikds programs.
~ Gary Allegretto, Founding Director of Harmonikids, www.harmonikids.org
"At first glance you wouldn’t think that teaching teen-age boys to play the harmonica would go over well. Prior to the assembly the boys seemed a bit resistant. However once you started the program the boys became at ease. The uniqueness of the program structure created an environment where the boys and staff were engaged. From the history of the harmonica to teaching the notes and how to actually play it, one by one the boys were able to let down their guard and enjoy being kids. We’ve all read the studies that music stimulates the brain and fosters learning, but it was amazing seeing it action. Our boys were engaged, focused, attentive and energized by the lesson and playing actual songs, making music. A program such as this would be helpful throughout the entire school year as it would offer those boys who struggle with ADHD/ADD and other learning disorders the opportunity to express themselves creatively. From the smiles and laughter you can tell that the boys and staff really enjoyed the program. Thank you so much for coming to our campus and sharing your musical gift. We look forward to seeing you again."
~ Ken Callen, Supervisor, Tulsa Boys Home