“From a Stutter to a Star!”

Our “Music in Your Life” series continues…

Carly Simon began stuttering severely when she was eight years old. A psychiatrist tried unsuccessfully to cure her stuttering. Instead, Simon realized when she would sing, the stuttering stopped. So, she began writing songs and learning to play the piano and guitar to help with her self- confidence. In her early teens, she teamed up with her older sister, Lucy, to form the singing duo, The Simon Sisters. Carly would embark on a solo career after Lucy got married and wanted to start a family. Carly Simon’s work has included such great songs as “You’re So Vain,” “Nobody Does It Better.” “Anticipation,” and more, earning her Grammy awards and induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and The Grammy Hall of Fame.

With her 1988 hit “Let the River Run,” from the film Working Girl, she became the first artist to win a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award for a song composed and written, as well as performed, entirely by a single artist.

Boys and Girls Club Guitar Club

November 1st was the start of our guitar club at the Boys and Girls Club in Berkeley Springs. A lot of preparation went into making sure this program would be a success from the get-go. Before we could get this club off the ground, we needed to approach the Boys and Girls Club about starting the program, find funding for the project, and search for a talented instructor.

Jason

We approached Chris Risinger, director of the B & G Club – Berkeley Springs branch – with our vision for the program. After some planning and logistics, we were ready to find funding and an instructor. A local guitar player and youth group leader in Berkeley Springs, Jason Hiles, expressed interest in teaching the lessons. With Jason on board, finding money was the next step. We applied for and received a grant from a generous donor through the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation. This grant completely covered the costs to run the program for its first year, including the guitars and all the accessories: gig bags, tuners, straps and books. Our thanks go out to the family foundation who so generously funded this program.

Pictured above are the absolutely beautiful Cort brand guitars we purchased for the kids. They sound as good as they look! If the kids who signed up for the program stick with it, these guitars are theirs to keep after the school year is over. We are very excited to see how these kids improve over the course of the year, not only with their guitar playing skills, but also with their overall self-esteem and school performance. Stay tuned!