Man With Autism Who Found Solace Through Music Is Nominated For Prestigious Songwriting Award

Man With Autism Who Found Solace Through Music Is Nominated For Prestigious Songwriting Award

Joe Bigalke, of Red Wing, Minnesota, has been nominated by the Nashville Songwriters Association for his song "Friend Above All."

He's headed to Nashville next month to find out if he's the winner of this prestigious songwriting award.

Ever since Bigalke was two years old, he's loved playing the piano, but once he turned 15, he began songwriting.

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Since then, he's written dozens of songs and has even heard his music on local radio.

Music is a passion for Bigalke and has helped him overcome the challenges of autism. He was diagnosed with high-functioning autism in 2018, and music has been an outlet for him.

“If I’m having trouble that day, I can just play the piano and express my emotions and let my fingers do the talking,” Bigalke told CBS Minnesota.

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Autism makes it hard for him to create social connections in group settings, but creating music and working with others has really helped him through his struggles. Everyone he has met along the way has encouraged him and it has been a very positive experience for him.

He has worked for a mentor who writes for Kelly Clarkson and was able to work with others in a big team project.

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Although he doesn't have much formal training, he plays by ear and never gives up. He enjoys songwriting and loves what he does.

His mother, Sally, says she is extremely proud of her son and looks forward to attending the award show in Nashville.

Hear more of Bigalke's inspiring story in the video below:

Ashley McCann

Growing up, Ashley always had a passion for writing. After receiving her Bachelor's in Journalism from Stony Brook University, she dove right into the professional world of content. When she isn't writing, she loves to read, travel, and explore the outdoors with her husband and two dogs.

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