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The magic of music

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / July 30, 2011

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Before his gig at the Newport Folk Festival, singer John Gorka paid a visit to the Perkins School for the Blind. His song “Branching Out,’’ which includes the lyric “When I grow up I want to be a tree,’’ is a part of the Lower School chorus’s repertoire. The kids sang it to Gorka, and in return he taught them a Mississippi John Hurt song, “My Creole Belle.’’ During the Q&A that followed, Gorka said, “I find I can say things in music that I cannot say in words.’’ It was a sentiment that the Perkins students appreciated.