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After Appearing On Our Show, Fred Penner Jammed With A Group Of Special Needs Students
January 16, 2013
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How great is this? Fred Penner was in the red chair on January 4th. He talked about his experience of playing music for his sister, who had Down Syndrome.

"Anybody who knows the world of the Down Syndrome child, or any special needs child," Fred said in the interview, "they get into music on a level that is deeper than you could possibly imagine."

One person who caught the interview is Gail Superia. She has a 22-year-old son with autism, Jesse, who is a big fan of Fred's music, and music in general.

Gail was inspired by what Fred said, and decided to send him an email. She told him about her son and the centre he attends, Developing and Nurturing Independence (DANI), where teenagers and adults with special needs learn life skills and make music together.

At the end of her note, she told Fred that if he was ever in Toronto, he should stop by and meet the students. But she didn't think he'd respond, let alone drop by.

Well, Fred showed up at DANI yesterday. And he took the opportunity to jam with Jesse and the rest of the students.

Fred told CBC News Toronto that, although he rarely has the chance to make these kinds of visits, he's the one who reaps all the rewards from making music with special needs kids.

"When you see a joy coming through in a simple song, you know just opening that channel, it's fulfilling on a level I can barely describe," he said.


THE BIO: Fred Penner

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