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Eiteljorg employee makes a difference just by playing the banjo

by Jordan Stout, Eiteljorg visitor experience assistant | Jun 10, 2013


This banjo - usually housed in a storage drawer - helped a 9-year-old boy with disabilities celebrate one of his best birthdays ever.

A little boy came to the Eiteljorg Saturday afternoon. Turned out I knew his favorite songs on the banjo, "Baby Beluga" and "Old Dan Tucker." When I played for him he danced until he burst into tears from laughter. Then when I asked him if he wanted to play he didn't take the pause needed to say yes before picking it up and starting to figure out how. At this latest - his mother froze, looking shocked. I hadn't noticed until then that the boy had limited use of his arms and wrists. His mother never imagined he could do something like play an instrument, but there he was playing away and laughing. So I quickly ran to grab others and an hour later I still couldn't have pried my ukulele away from him if I dared.

Turned out, Saturday was his birthday. He had just turned nine. He said it was one of his best. He was unhappy to leave the museum but his mother said he and their family had a wonderful experience.

Happy birthday little dude! Come back to the museum anytime and we'll jam to any song you want.
The Eiteljorg later received a wonderful email from the boy's mother - grateful about her son's experience and his time with Jordan:

"...Our family met one of your employees named Jordan Stout. Mr Stout not only wowed us with his musical talents on the banjo and uke but he was patient, informative and kind with my kids, one of which has a disability called Williams Syndrome. My husband and I both agree, meeting Mr Stout and being entertained and educated by him, was definitely the highlight for our family's trip to your museum..."

Jordan Stout (pictured above) is a visitor experience assistant at the Eiteljorg. He has a deep love for playing music, especially ukulele and banjo. He enjoys the opportunity to play whenever possible for families who visit the Museum's RB Annis Experience located on the Canal level.

Each Saturday from noon to 2 p.m., children and adults can take free guitar lessons at the Eiteljorg. If you don't own an instrument, no problem. We have 19 guitars and ukekeles from which to choose in our Guitars! corral. And don't forget to check out Guitars! Roundups to Rockers, where more than 100 instruments are on exhibit, including this 2013 Cutaway Tenor Ukulele (loan courtesy of Mya-Moe Ukeleles).

3 Comments

  1. 3 Ed Valdettaro 10 Jun
    One visitor at a time....one experience at a time....  With a visit to the museum, one can see the layers of regard and pride from the person who greets you, to the builders of each exhibit,  to the folks like Jordan Stout. When visitors express such gratitude, it shows you are on the right track!   Well done!
  2. 2 Lenore 10 Jun
    This Jordan guy sounds like he needs a raise. 
  3. 1 Sharon Mills 11 Jun
    Wonderful story.  I agree with everything Ed V. said.  

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