Saturday, July 25, 2009

Darling D meets the autist musicians

I decided to invite Darling D to come to the last session and meet my autist musicians.

At this time of year not many of them remain, so I had a group of three who aren’t usually together:

the boy who just says oui, the boy with the red hair and a boy who was new to my classes.

The new boy was enormously tall. He looked about 25 years old, and to my surprise, he produced a football from nowhere and started to play with it, kicking it towards the borrowed synthesizer and changing my surprise to horror.

I persuaded him to sit down. He was amiable enough but very confidant and well able to speak.

My heart sank when I saw the boy with the red hair shut down and withdraw completely into himself like a deflated balloon whenever the footballer addressed the slightest remark to him.

Footballer took possession of the synthesizer and demanded disco music.

I let him have 5 minutes worth and then the lesson took its normal form.

The boy with the red hair was able to forget the presence of the footballer for short periods and enjoy his story, especially when the footballer announced that he was cold, wrapped himself in a blanket and lay down on the carpet to doze.

Meanwhile, Darling D sat next to the boy who just says oui. They played percussion instruments together. He played one of Mysweet's Kool drums, carefully hitting each of the tongues of metal exactly in the centre to make the sound resonate. Then his hand crept out and gently clasped hers and drew it towards his head. “He wants a cheeky monkey!” I explained to her. She rubbed his head for a few moments before we got on with the task of teaching him to play the keyboard. We all made piano hands, with the fingers gently curved, and I placed each of his fingers on the keyboard. He does not have very much control of his fingers and they tend to stiffen as he exerts himself. But he wants to learn very much, and that could make all the difference. I have persuaded the director to buy us our own synthesizer for next year.

We finished with a little concert.

We sang Rap for the boy with red hair and we sang Yesterday for the boy who just says oui.

Darling D performed one of her songs for everyone.

The footballer continued to doze on the carpet.

As we drove home, I asked her what she thought of the experience.

There was a long silence.

“It was very…interesting…” she said with a smile.


Zhoen said...

I agree.

marja-leena said...

A Darling of a daughter to do this with you!

darling D said...

I just want to cuddle the boy who says oui, He's the sweetest boy ever :)

herhimnbryn said...

'The boy who says oui'. Could be a novel there.

Rosie said...

Z, it was interesting to see how they reacted to her. She took everything in her stride of course.
m-l, I think she was a little nervous until she met them...
dd, he is a sweetheart isn't he?
hhb, if I keep working here, I think I will have enough material soon.

Lucy said...


Meggie said...

How lovely you & DD are, both.

Rachel said...

That's just the loveliest story. :)

20th Century Woman said...

What wonderful work you do. I would love to have heard the concert.