Bowden’s Broken Hill Blues

Bowden jamming with other participants in the programWhen 14-year-old Bowden first heard about a Jam Session being held in his town, he jumped at the opportunity to get involved.

Having struggled at school and socially all his life due to his Autism, music was the one thing that allowed Bowden to be free.

The event, which was thought up by local Linker Natasha Bearman, was part of annual Youth Week celebrations and aimed to bring local youth together to play music alongside local music scene icons.

When the day finally arrived, Bowden came prepared with his guitar at his side.
“We were just blown away,” Natasha said. “He played with Brett (a local music icon) like a seasoned musician and his face just lit up with an instrument in his hand.”

Natasha said it was then that something even more amazing started to happen.

“It was school holidays and the PCYC were holding their school holiday programs and the kids wanted to come and see what was happening, so the PCYC staff started bringing them down a few at a time.”

“Soon enough the entire school holiday program was in the room and Bowden came into his own, talking to them about each instrument, asking questions, answering questions and encouraging participation.”

“Bowden had the kids lined up to try the drums and giving each very patient instruction and encouragement.”

Natasha said Bowden and his mum have visited her several times since the day to see when the next jam session will be held, with Bowden saying he would love to volunteer at future music programs to teach the kids.

After discussions between the PCYC and Carewest and a generous donation from a local business which provided funds for equipment and instruments, the event is now able to become a regular fixture on the PCYC timetable and provide all kids in Broken Hill a musical outlet.