David has long worked with students with developmental disabilities, and part of that work includes teaching music. Here’s an article about him written by Randi Bjornstad, a reporter with Eugene’s daily newspaper, The Register-Guard.
The power of music:
People with developmental disabilities
get a chance to make music
By Randi Bjornstad, The Register-Guard
APPEARED IN PRINT: SUNDAY, NOV. 15, 2009, PAGE E1
As music class starts, Stacey Adair makes a beeline for the autoharp, Nick Child slips into a chair at the keyboard he brings from home, and Andy Clark grabs a mallet and gives the cymbals a “hello” crash.
Greta Bennett arrives with her aide, Cathy Burke-Maher, and the two share a pair of maracas. Everyone’s primed and ready as David Helfand, the group’s teacher, fellow musician and conductor, takes his place in the center of the tables he and his wife, Bernie, have pushed into a U-shape in the large classroom at the Hilyard Community Center.
“All right, let’s start with our original piece, ‘Asian Meditation,’ ” Helfand says. “Stacey, would you mind taking a keyboard for this one? There are just two notes that you’ll need to play, and they will be held down through the whole song.” …