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Last week I got to test my musical merits in a drum circle and listen in on a lunchtime blues jam as I learned about Sundiata Kata’s job at the San Diego Center for Children for this month’s installment of People at Work.
While I was back for my second visit on Thursday, I pulled Dave Hall, another teacher, aside to chat about Kata’s work. I learned the kids at the center aren’t the only people Kata has reached with his music therapy.
Hall is 57 and began work at the center eight years ago. He grew up playing clarinet and saxophone, studied music in college, even toured Europe in the 1970s with a U.S. Army band.
But he got in some trouble and lost track of his former life — including music — for 25 years. When his “path changed back to better again,” Hall came to the center as a child development counselor.
Kata learned Hall had once been musical and tapped him to help with the programs. Now Hall instructs the drum circle and some other music classes. On Thursday, he jumped on the drum kit and played the famous drum rolls in the Beatles’ “Come Together.”
I asked him what it meant to have music back in his life.
“It’s tough to even say,” he said. “My life has gone full circle. These are lost dreams reawakened.”
Hall attributes that revival to Kata’s persistence.
“He rescued me and brought music back into my life,” he said.