They say that making music can help you discover yourself, and in the case of Anthony, one of our musicians, this certainly seems to have been the case.
Anthony was referred to Under the Stars when a social worker visited his home to do an assessment back in 2011. They were trying to find new activities to help Anthony gain confidence and improve his social skills. He’d always loved music (especially rock bands like ACDC and Bon Jovi), so they referred him to our brand new Friday rock band project.
Anthony couldn’t play any instruments back then, but with the help of tutors Moony and Chris, he soon started to have a go and learn simple musical concepts like rhythm, tempo and pitch.
When the new players got up to a certain standard they began jamming and writing songs together and learning how to perform. It wasn’t long before they started doing gigs and performing their original songs like ‘Do you wanna rock’, ‘Louise’ and ‘Under the Stars’.
Fast forward seven years and Anthony is a different musician. He loves continuing to improve his instrumental skills. He now plays guitar, bass, keyboards and, in his words ‘a bit of drums’. He has learnt how to DJ, and made his nightclub debut at the Leadmill in December 2018. He is a popular member of the Friday group with lots of friends and a key member of ‘The Stars Band’.
We asked Anthony how he felt about being a musician and being part of our music groups, he said:
“I love coming to Under the Stars. Friday is one of my favourite days. I’ve learnt how to set all the equipment up and I like helping out the tutors, there is always a lot to do. I like being a roadie for gigs and learning how to play instruments. The best days for me were playing on the Peace Gardens stage at the Tramlines Festival and at the Leadmill for ‘All our Bands’. With all the professional lights and everything, I felt like a rock star. My dream though, would be to go on a proper tour with the Stars band.”
Anthony’s mum attributes lots of other positive changes in Anthony’s life to attending the music workshops. She says “he is so much more confident now. He can be painfully shy so I would never have dreamed he could have performed on that big stage at the Leadmill. He was beaming and enjoying every minute. It was amazing. You could tell he’d stopped worrying as much about what his playing sounded like, he can just do it now. It’s brilliant”.
We hope we can help make Anthony’s dreams come true one day by setting up a Stars band tour. If you would like to help more people with learning disabilities find their confidence and develop their talent through music, head over to our support page to help us today.
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