Allen Williams, diagnosed with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and Twice-exceptional, is a musician and artist
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Born pre-mature and with a stomach rupture, he was smaller than as his older brother. He was always given the label of “little” which was normally placed before his name. Allen started to speak late in childhood... his older brother would speak for him when Allen pointed to what he wanted.
With chronic ear and eye infections, he often woke with his eyes stuck together and frequently went to an ENT to have his ears washed out.
At the age of five, Allen started getting pot tops out from under the kitchen sink and played them with spoons. His mother patiently allowed him to do so. Allen recalls how the pot tops had ringing sounds that were different depending on which size tops were hit.
For years he struggled in school trying to fit in and trying to find out why he seemed different. Allen felt that going to school was like going to war.
His parents divorced and remarried. Allen would move back and forth between parents and attend various schools. Because he frequently changed schools, he slipped between the cracks for being identified as gifted and learning disabled. His teachers blamed his learning delays on either moving to different schools or that he was lazy and unmotivated.
Fortunately, he had a teacher who stayed after school to help him with math in the fourth grade. When he got to middle school his fear of math and other subjects had gotten so bad that he had stomach pains several days a month.
Allen recalls how his teachers made him feel stupid and would call him names such as “jug head, or dummy”. One particular teacher would come over to his desk and knock on his head like a front door and ask if he was home. Allen now laughs at it because he knows that at the time the teacher was only trying to make him study and stick with the plan.
He tried excuses, but this was not permitted and he had to go to school sick.
Allen found peace in playing music in school as a student violinist in the 4th through the 6th grade.
Although unable to read music because of dyslexia, he remembered the songs after listening to what his fellow students played.
His music teachers were frustrated with him for not reading music. One summer, while Allen was visiting his father, they listened to music on his father's stereo system. Allen’s father explained about music and stereo. His dad explained that with stereo, different musical instruments could be heard from two different speakers at the same time. This was a highlight in Allen’s life, and would later develop his love for music.
It was also around this time that one of his older cousins introduced him to movie soundtracks. His cousin told him that real music was orchestral music like “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”. Since that was “real music”, Allen began listening to this new music. He broadened his music awareness by listening to artists such as Prince, Herbbie Hancock, Grover Washington, Kenny G, David Sanborn, James Brown, Mike Post, Mozart, Bach, J Giles Band, and many others.
Allen was given musical instruments from his parents and aunts including a drum, an electric wind organ, a Yamaha keyboard, and a four track recorder. Without the ability to read music, he learned to play saxophone.
Allen was later offered a scholarship to a college for music. Because of a stifling fear of math, he didn't take the scholarship, and instead enrolled in a local university and took a "theory of music" class. The class to Allen was "crazy". He tried to stay with it, but after a month, he dropped the class. Frustrated, Allen started making cassette tapes of his music and selling them to students at his school.
Once his music was out, some of his music reached music scouts in Atlanta. He was offered opportunities to sign as an artist, producer, or writer. Allen felt that it wasn't what was to be a part of his calling. Allen had noticed that talented musicians of faith had succumbed to the temptations that money can buy, and made music that was not of good moral character. Allen respectfully declined the offers and continued on his path of finding out who he was.
His friends thought that he was crazy and that he should have taken the opportunity. He later began playing saxophone at a local church and began to do Christian recordings. Totally content with this work at the church, he grew as a musician.
As his popularity grew, he noticed that people he played form lost focus of Christ and were focusing more on Allen and his gift. Frustrated, he sought spiritual guidance, seeking a way to help people, but not as an entertainer.
The Lord reminded him of his childhood and of all that he had suffered growing up. He reminded Allen that God gives gifts and talents for a reason and that he should never abuse them and would be accountable for whatever he does with these gifts. Allen read a scripture in the book of Proverbs 24:11 (New International) - " Rescue those being led away to death. Hold back those staggering towards slaughter".
Allen pieced together the idea of forming a music production company that would be family based / oriented. The intent would be to help non-profit organizations get their messages out and to help in bringing out important issues.
Allen’s heartfelt desire is to help people through his gifts and talents of music and creativity. His love for children and family drives him to produce products of moral character and accountability.
Allen is comfortable being considered an introvert and values his private life and relationships. He doesn’t perform concerts and rarely does interviews. He says that it is in the quiet and calm when his mind creates and brings things from the invisible into the visible and audible world.
Allen also likes drawing and does graphic designs in his spare time.