At VBA we encourage all types of learning to ensure children are understanding to their maximum potential. We recognize that every person learns differently, has a unique voice, and brings value to the world around them in their own way.
So while we recognize there are times when children struggle to maximize their potential, our philosophy encourages children to be themselves and shoot for the stars!
Take heavy metal musician James Durbin, for example. Diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism at age 10, shortly after his father died of a heroin overdose, Durbin used a hand-me-down guitar to realize music was his safe haven. He used this knowledge to build a love for music, appearing in children’s and community theater groups.
James was encouraged by friends and family to pursue his talent, and he appeared on American Idol. During the AI audition, he told the panel “When I sing, it all just goes away. I don’t have a care in the world.”
James didn’t win American Idol, though he did catch the attention of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Live with Regis and Kelly Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. He appeared on all four shows, jump-starting his career as a professional musician. in the industry.
Durbin admits, “It seemed like everything was holding me down. I was labeled unable, and disabled, and unsocial. I was medicated. Then I discovered music…I discovered something that really helped me to find my way, and find a way to be comfortable with who I am and with what I have.”
James, now 31, today has four albums out and is pursuing his love of music. He works hard to be who he is, and who he’s meant to be.