BOULDER - We often hear about the "power of music." This coming weekend, a mother/son team, who have overcome a lot of challenges, hope music will be breaking barriers.
Benjamin Tarasewicz, 21, was diagnosed on the autism spectrum as a young boy. He was non-verbal, but the connection between him and his mother was strong.
Malva Tarasewica, a professional violinist, worked with her son a lot and often incorporated music into their time together. She worked tirelessly with helping him with social cues and relating to people.
Benjamin grew to became more comfortable with people. He carries enormous confidence when playing his violin and singing before an audience.
Benjamin is also quite the conversationalist. He has no problem talking in front of large crowds. In fact, he has delivered a TEDx talk called "Breaking Barriers of Autism: The Power of Kindness and Friendship."
In December 2015, he graduated from Fairview High School in Boulder. Ever since graduation, he has returned to the music classroom at Fairview to work with students for this Saturday's concert he and his mother have organized.
Benjamin's concert is called "Music Breaking Barriers."
Through the music he and his mother selected, Benjamin hopes to celebrate people with differences and also bridge the gap between those who have special needs and those who don't.
Music is the perfect way for them to do this. They know first-hand just how powerful, healing and loving music can be.
The last song of Saturday's concert Benjamin will sing will be a classical piece called "Hope" which Malva composed.
The concert will also be sensory-friendly. Quite often, concerts can be overwhelming for people who have sensory sensitivities, like those on the autism spectrum.
"There will be soft lighting, and the music will not be too loud," Malva said. "There will be a lot of space in front of the stage for those with autism to move around. We welcome the outward expressions of enjoyment like movement and vocalizations rather than standard concert etiquette."
People who don't have special needs are also more than welcome to attend.
"We can all enjoy this together, regardless of our differences," Malva said.
The concert starts at 2 p.m. Saturday at Manhattan Middle School, located at 290 Manhattan Dr. in Boulder.
The concert is free. It is being produced by Chase The Music, a nonprofit group that commissions music for children dealing with illness.
9NEWS first met Benjamin in 2013 when he was honored with the Temple Grandin Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of individuals with autism who are making a difference in today's world.
To learn more about Benjamin Tarasewicz, visit: http://www.benjaminbreakingbarriers.com/Autism_Book.php.
On that website, you can learn more about the book his mother Malva wrote that sheds light on what it is like to raise a child on the autism spectrum.
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