Blues in The Schools (BITS)
Blues in the Schools is a program that teaches our youth about the history of the music we love. Youngsters who participate in this program are provided with loaned instruments, music lessons by professional musicians, and the opportunity to perform at a variety of events.
Recently, the BITS director, Sherree Hughes, posted an article explaining how a member of Cheap Trick had seen some improvement in the abilities of his autistic son that came as the result of being involved in making music. That article prompted a response from another parent who has seen her own child bloom as a result of being involved with BITS. That mother's comments are excerpted here (the child's name is hidden for privacy):
"Great article and just further validation for
what we have already seen first hand on a regular
basis since E- attended that first practice and at
the beginning, wouldn't look up from his phone and
answer Sherree's question via typing out the answer
until he got handed the tam and sent up to join the
band, and they were 100% inviting and accepting and
including and by the end, he was so excited about it
all that he brought a huge harmonica that he has
because he *had* to show it to C & try to connect
with him, and they hit it off.
The withdrawn, skeptical, hesitant, expecting-rejection, silent kid I met that first day is almost unrecognizable to me today after just a couple months of performing and being part of making music and friends- I'm so glad that music allowed me to spend time with & get to love the smart, hilarious, generous, overwhelmingly kind and considerate, talented E- that is my son's first ever real best friend.
It's impossible to miss the impact that music has had on E-- and on all of the kids with their varying degrees of individual issues, because it's been the same for Clarke-- and anyone who can't see the value of music in E's life and in the life of all of the kids is being purposefully obtuse and blind, because they don't *want* to see it for whatever strange reason."
To see what the kids are up to, follow them on Facebook: