Rich with talent
At 17 years of age Richard first began to play the guitar. Countless hours of playing the video game Guitar Hero prepared him to pick up the real instrument after a stop at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre to visit the Vancouver Adapted Music Society’s (VAMS) studio with is located in the Centre. “I saw some guitars in there. I decided to pick one up and strum all the strings, and before I knew it I fell in love with the guitar,” Richard recalls.
Playing music became a way for Richard to express himself, “It helps me forget about all the problems and challenges I have in life and just focus on my abilities.” About a year ago the Richard Quan Blues Band came together, “We started jamming together at VAMS. One day we decided why don’t we do a concert and perform together. Our bass player is my guitar teacher, Elliot. Our drummer is Dave. Danny does vocals and guitar.”
Being on stage and performing with the band Richard gets to show off his guitar skills, how he adapts, and receives lots of cheers. “Being on stage with everyone is fun and when people come up to you at the end and tell you that you have talent and they enjoyed it, it feels good. It keeps pushing me to perform, improve and keep playing.”
As for his advice to others who are looking to get involved in music, “Find an instrument you like, and focus on your abilities rather than your disability and remember to enjoy yourself. Keep working on it and push yourself to succeed.”
Richard hopes that in the future he can become a well established musician and encourage other youth with disabilities to pursue their dreams. “Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”
Richard is 21 years old and is affected by Duchene Muscular Dystrophy. His favourite styles of music to play are rock and blues. He also likes playing video games. Eric Clapton and Joe Bonamassa are his favourite musicians.