Harmonikids Special Needs and Disadvantaged Youth at Boys and Girls Club in Washington
06 June, 2017
On April 13, 2017 I provided a Hohner sponsored Harmonikids session to a classroom of 50 of special needs and disadvantaged kids to a Boys and Girls Club in Kennewick, Washington. In spite of their many diverse backgrounds and personal obstacles, all students were fully focused and engaged throughout the 90 minute session. They giggled with joy and astonishment as I entertained them. Then each was thrilled as I gently taught them to accurately play four songs on their new Hohner harmonicas.
As director Josh Peterson relates in his thank you letter below, the Harmonikids session made a positive difference in the lives of these youth - joyfully boosting their confidence and self esteem while learning music on "the first musical instrument they’ve been able to call their own."
~ Gary Allegretto, Founding Director of Harmonikids (www.harmonikids.org)
"Thank you very much for coming to our Boys & Girls Club on Thursday, April 13, 2017 to teach our members about the harmonica. All our members and even our staff members loved your presentation! It was fun, educational, and highly engaging.
As music and the arts funding becomes less prominent in public schools, it is more important now than ever to have professional musicians such as yourself share your skills with younger generations. Our Club is also full of members with diverse backgrounds – many receive free and reduced lunches at school, some have never been properly exposed to music and the arts, and some are special needs members. However, presentations like yours create an equal opportunity for all youth to learn about music, specifically the harmonica in your case. It was extremely exciting to watch all our members be so engaged in your presentation, and for many of them, the harmonica they received at the end was the first musical instrument they’ve been able to call their own.
Thank you again for sharing your time and talents with our Club. You have made a difference in the lives of our youth."
~ Josh Peterson, Music & Arts Center Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties