Autumn brings ‘magic’ to Livonia Public Schools’ preschool
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Doctors said it was not likely that baby Autumn would ever walk or talk. Her adoptive parents, Jerry and Sharon Marsh, refused to believe it.

Now almost 28 years of age, Autumn Marsh is an incredible young woman who, yes, has disabilities that include visual impairment, but nothing stands in the way of her passion for playing the piano and entertaining children.

For the past number of years, Autumn has played the piano for preschoolers at the Jackson Early Childhood Center in Livonia Public Schools. At first, she visited as a student helper when she attended the Western Wayne Skill Center.

“Autumn created her own job for herself,” said WWSC Child Development teacher Nancy Yoas. “She plays music and sings with just about every classroom at the child care center.”

 Now, even after graduating from the Skill Center, she brings her soothing songs and beautiful smile to the 3- and 4-year-old classrooms at Jackson.

“I love children and I love playing piano,” said Autumn, who is now earning money as she brings her “Autumn’s Magical Music” to the Jackson Center.

She has become a part of the Jackson Center family.

“One time, a teacher told me that during free play, a 2-year-old child had a xylophone on her lap and was pretending to play it like a piano. She said to her teacher, ‘Look! I’m like Autumn!’” said Yoas, beaming with pride.

Yoas has witnessed Autumn’s progression, from her first visit,  to her current successful small business. She has learned how to play dozens of songs and even memorized literacy program Zoo Phonics songs to help the little ones with early reading skills.

“I have never had a student who has had such a positive impact on the whole child care center before,” said Yoas.

After Autumn graduated from the Skill Center, and left the Child Development class, it was not known if she would continue her visits.

That’s where the Jackson Center PTA stepped in, and partnered with a local non-profit called T.A.F.F.Y. – Taking Action for Friends, Family and Youth.

“When the Jackson Center PTA told us Autumn’s story, we knew that we needed to partner with them. We couldn’t let Autumn fall through the cracks of budget constraints,” said Robb Drzewicki, T.A.F.F.Y. board member. “We’re so proud to have had a chance to help her start her business.”

From the heart

Autumn’s parents said she has always loved to sing and play the piano. At age two, she was playing piano and by age six, she was receiving lessons. From there, she learned new songs by listening to videos on You Tube.

So, what is her favorite song?

“She likes everything,” said Sharon Marsh. “She has over 100 CDs.”

While playing at the Jackson Center, she allows the children to make song requests. Probably the most popular song request is “Little Bunny Foo Foo,” a song that Autumn truly enjoys as well.

Autumn also plays at the American House senior living facility, where she enjoys playing songs such as “New York, New York,” and “Moon River.”

While being interviewed recently by WXYZ Channel 7 reporter Alicia Smith, Autumn said her favorite song is “You Are My Sunshine.”

Many would agree that she is the sunshine.

Autumn was selected as Channel 7’s Person of the Week and the story will air at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13 and possibly throughout the weekend newscasts.

 

piano player

piano player

piano player

piano player

piano player