BOSTON — Young people on the autism spectrum found a way to showcase their talents at the Boston Conservatory. Over 30 young musicians are currently under the performance arts conservatory’s program for children with autism; playing various musical instruments from trumpets, guitars and pianos, while some develop and showcase their talents in singing.
Rhoda Bernard, Chair of the Music Education Department and one of those who helped launch the program at the conservatory, told:
“I watch these kids walk in, and they’re chaotic; they’re anxious. Then the music starts. And everything changes. They’re focused. They’re happy.”
The children enrolled under the program have found acceptance they rarely find in communities. Boston Conservatory has given them the chance to do the things they love to do, and has become a medium for them to channel their energies in a manner that, at the same time, has given them the opportunity to showcase their exceptional talents.
Gianna Hitsos, one of the enrollees in the program, found her way to Boston Conservatory in 2008. She was diagnosed with autism at age two, but this has not hindered her in any way from developing her talent in singing. According to Gianna:
“My childhood was not a very happy one. Even kids from my own neighborhood treated me bad.”
But when she entered the performing arts conservatory, everything changed.
“Everyone was so nice. That was a total change. They didn’t see me as an autistic kid. Once they heard me sing, they were like: Whoa!’’
Gianna is now currently in college and is aiming to find her luck in Broadway.
The original article by Thomas Farragher on The Boston Globe website can be read here
Contributed by Althea Estrella Violeta