When you ask Daniel what he’s good at, he doesn’t hesitate. “I hear a beat, I take it in, I add to it, play it back, and make it something better.” Daniel has the heart and soul of a drummer. He discovered his love of music watching his mom sing in church. A used drum set kept him out of trouble and gave him something to turn to when he was bullied at school.
Daniel is eager to work and be part of his community but the jobs he is being offered are making him question his value. He has worked in a hospital, a fast food restaurant and a mall. At one job, he picks up cigarette butts outside, something he says he “doesn’t really like”. At another job he didn’t have a name tag or uniform, so people kept asking him if he was supposed to be there, if he belonged.
When Daniel sits behind a drum set, no one asks him if he’s supposed to be there. When he collaborates with local musicians, no one questions whether he belongs. At Melodic Connections, Daniel is a concert drummer, a drum circle leader, and a percussionist for classes at the Cincinnati Ballet – all as a paid, working musician. Recently he was part of a presentation on drumming and holistic health to nursing students and Xavier University, where his opinion and perspective were sought after, and valued.
“Working with Daniel has been a real treat for me. I am struck by Daniel’s unique rhythmic language and strong sense of time.” Dan Dorff, Jr.
By nurturing Daniel’s natural talents and connecting him to professional opportunities in the community, we are helping him find his value and live out his passion for music.