Teacher Collects Instruments for Special Needs Music Program

Jim Gaven is doing his best to raise money and collect donated instruments for Allies Inc., the nonprofit organization helping those with developmental and physical disabilities. After being hired as the Music Director last year, Gaven noticed the program wasn’t be funded nearly enough. He decided to take measures into his own hands.

People can now donate to Allies from crowdrise.com and even purchase a song Gaven wrote on SoundCloud and Bandcamp called “Just Like You and Me”. The money will go directly to Allies and Gaven uses it to purchase more instruments and equipment for the music department.

“Right now, we’re just getting by with low-budget things and whatever instruments have been donated in the past.” He describes how students are using water bottles filled with rice, dollar store headphones, and a microphone from Gaven’s iPad.

Gaven wants to get them into a real studio. “…I want our guys and gals to know what it would really be like to be in the studio. It would be great to have them use an actual microphone, studio headphones and to put music with their recording. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it would give them a more real experience.”

Gaven believes that a better music experience will lead to a better experience for the participants in all areas.

“There are some people that won’t give you much just talking to you, but if you were to sing a song, they know half the words, and sometimes I get really surprised with people in a good way, that there’s so much in there that comes out through music. I get to see a different side of them that most people don’t, because of music.”

Listen to “Just Like You and Me” below and let us know what you think about Gaven’s mission in the comments below.


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