Talk therapy and journal writing aren’t for everybody, but music has a way of getting the creative juices flowing… and unlocking hidden potential along the way.
Robert Mullen has helped unlock that potential in countless ways during his nearly 20-year career as a music teacher for students with special needs. But one student in particular is getting his talent recognized around the world ever since a video of one of their jam sessions went viral.
Alex, a 27-year-old man with Down syndrome, started taking guitar lessons several months ago, and it was clear within just a couple sessions that he’s one of those students whose “ability is far greater than their disability,” Robert says.
So he took things up a few notches and started exploring his other musical abilities, including song writing and singing. As it turns out, Alex can do both. Anyone who’s ever tried to master the guitar or piano knows it takes months, years even, just to feel comfortable with that one instrument. But Alex can multitask with an ease that would make most beginning music students turn green with envy.
The viral video in question was taken in October, and shows teacher and student collaborating on “Chasing Cars,” a 2006 by Snow Patrol. Alex, who’s probably an old hand at the guitar by now, plays a harmonica while Robert strums the guitar, then their voices join together…
If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?
Forget what we’re told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that’s bursting into life
Now here’s where things get interesting. Alex goes off script and puts that old creativity to work, rapping his own lyrics for the next 30 seconds…
Then he just picks up his harmonica and plays through the rest of the song, completely unaware that he’s just blown everyone’s minds!
It goes without saying, Robert’s incredibly proud of his protégé.
I have always been fascinated with the power music has and its ability to be able to unlock hidden treasures within people … I’m working with more people with learning disabilities or low self-esteem. Using music and creativity to help them both express themselves and grow within their personal development.
Watch Alex’s creative spirit take hold in the video below, and share with all the music lovers in your life.
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