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Musical Conversation Between 2 Souls

Special Needs Music Lesson

By Jim GavenPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Jim Gaven and Doug Van Deusen communicate through music in a guitar lesson.

Have you ever met someone for the first time, and just knew they were special? I've been lucky enough in my life to have experienced this feeling several times, but nothing is quite like the day I met Doug. We were at a recreation event for and with those who have developmental disabilities in the county he and I both lived in (at the time). A couple months prior, I started as the Music Coordinator, the Music Man, tasked with creating and implementing a comprehensive music program spanning several different developmental disabilities and a wide range of ages for the individuals supported at this particular non-profit agency. He was wearing a cowboy hat dancing up a storm, letting loose, and cutting up a rug. It was as if nothing else mattered. He was in the zone! I absolutely loved his energy, so I felt compelled to go over and introduce myself. We hit it off cracking jokes and I knew I was in the presence of someone self-less and caring.

Doug is a wonderful person. He's charismatic, incredibly funny, and has a knack for all things music. An avid Johnny Cash listener, he recently started learning how to play the guitar. Even though he's nearing 50 years old and living with Down Syndrome, he didn't let his dream of figuring his way around a musical instrument stop him from starting. To me, that exemplifies the word inspiration. Doug is so easy to get along with, has held a job for a quarter century, and loves shooting pool and spending time with his mom. Somewhere, somehow, I found my way into his schedule of things he likes to do, activities, if you will.

With all that said, this video is a behind the scenes look into what our guitar lessons look like and how they've impacted him. Hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoy spending time with him once a month for our regular guitar lesson.

As I do with most meaningful things, moments, and experiences in life, I couldn't help but write a song about him. It's called, 'Friends For Life', and the lyrics are below. I knew when I met Doug, we'd be friends for life...

'Friends For Life'

Music and Lyrics by Jim Gaven

1st Verse:

Walk the line, or Ring of Fire, whatever your heart desires, Johnny Cash, yeah The Man in Black, is (the one you love) who you love, and he loves you back

Doug, you are a special kind of guy, I knew when I met you, we’d be, friends for life

I wrote a song called, A Boy Named Doug, and I played, it for you, so you could cut a rug, now we’re rockin’ out, to my best of, album, maybe one day, you can make one of your own

Doug, you are a special kind of guy, I knew when I met you, we’d be, friends for life

2nd Verse:

I’ll see him, at the market downtown, doing his thing, man, everyone knows when Doug’s around, cuz he’ll be bagging all your food, for ya, with a smile, and he’ll show you, how to love, right

Doug, you are a special kind of guy, I knew when I met you, we’d be, friends for life

3rd Verse:

Doug, I know, you’re a family man, with your mom by your side, Bruce, Jake, and Jim

And, I’m sure there’s so many others that we haven’t met, you make it easy cuz I could never forget you

Doug, you are a special kind of guy, We knew when we met you, we’d have a friend for life


About the Creator

Jim Gaven

My mission is to write inspirational stories that make you feel good about yourself, put a smile on your face, and think of things in a different way.

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