Farley Mifsud, a 16-year-old student of CYMC (Comox Valley Youth Music Centre), was the lucky recipient of a one year loan of a Morgan guitar last year. The guitar was generously donated to CYMC a few years ago by a long-term supporter who believed that a high-quality instrument would enrich the learning and playing experience of young guitar students.
As soon as Farley received the guitar it had a profound, life-changing effect on him.
"I thought he played guitar a lot before, but as soon as he received the Morgan, he literally picked it up about ten times a day and played for hours," says his mother Katrina Mifsud.
The rich tone that his Morgan makes moves him emotionally, and he doesn't want to stop playing it, says Katrina. "Farley and his guitar have become inseparable. It has really inspired him to not only play more, and compose, but also tackle much more challenging pieces of music, so his ability grows every day."
The year he has spent playing this Morgan has had a ripple effect on the rest of his life. Farley has a diagnosis of autism. He has always been very introverted socially but he does, however, love to perform.
Many people who have seen Farley play, have been so inspired and moved by the deep connection they see he has with the instrument and the music they hear him play with it, that they have been brought to tears, says his mother. Especially those who know how far he has come. He now really connects with other musicians, adults and peers, and his big leap in development in music–his instructors are now describing him as a guitar prodigy–is helping him carve out a future career.
One friend was so moved by his performance that she wrote a poem about it. This has opened up a whole new world socially for Farley, and has led to deep, lasting friendships. "What more could I wish for as his mom. I would like to thank David Iannone from the bottom of my heart, for creating this beautiful instrument that has changed Farley's life and touched so many others," says Katrina.
Since receiving the guitar on loan from CYMC last year, Farley has saved every penny of any money he has earned so he can buy his own Morgan guitar, because soon, he has to return the guitar to CYMC, so they can pass it on to another student.
This week, he took a trip to Vancouver to meet David Iannone, who handcrafted this life changing instrument. Farley went to pick out a new Morgan guitar, to meet David and to see the place where he creates the sound that has changed his life.
While visiting the shop, he found a guitar that "spoke" to him and bought it with his own money. Since Farley brought his guitar home, he has been playing his new guitar nonstop.
He even told his mom that when he was playing in his room, the sound made him cry.