Teaching Music to People with Special Needs

Mr. B teaches music to people with special needs. “We’ll do performances and even the parents of the students will say, ‘I didn’t know my child could do that.'”

Video Transcript

Mr. B: I don’t care about how I appear, because I really care about what I’m doing — about the work that I’m doing. So it’s more important for me to showcase our students’ abilities.

Back up. Smack. That’s it.

Let your ego dissipate, and then you’re free to focus on the student and what their needs are, and what you may potentially be able to draw from them.

My students consistently bust my expectations for what I think they can do all the time.

Nice job. Nice job Kenny, that was great strumming there.

I’m not always Mr. B. I can be irritable, I can have my own challenges.

Jetta Cruse: I’d heard about Brendan in the community as being a virtuoso. You can put anything in his hands, he’s going to figure out how to play it, but then he’s going to take it to that next level. And he just eats, breathes, and sleeps the artistry of music. And he is just this tender and kind-hearted connecting person.

Mr. B: We’ll do performances and even the parents of the students will say, “I didn’t know my child could do that.” Throughout my life I’ve been more involved and less involved, and I find when I’m more involved, I’m a much happier and fulfilled person.

I also have a disability as well, so it’s kind of like — I don’t know, I don’t want to talk about that only because it’s like, that’s part of why I do it. It’s the idea that it’s not really about what’s different about you, it’s really about what’s the same. We all have the same needs and wants to express ourselves. It took me a really long time to learn how to read, or catch up with other students my own age. And I think the moment I started playing guitar and playing music, something just lit up in my mind and everything became different.

There’s something about serving people — whether you’re doing it for a religious reason or you’re doing it for your own personal reasons — it’s really the highest honor you can have. I mean, there’s nothing I can think of that is more worth my time.

Alright, say, “Bye, internet.”

Student: Bye, internet.

Streaming people: Bye.

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