A music teacher from New Zealand is helping to bring a smile to people with special needs, one chord at a time.

Robert Mullen — who has worked with people with special needs for nearly two decades — has always been fascinated by music and its ability to “unlock hidden treasures within people.” After taking a two-year break to learn how to play the guitar and other instruments, Mullen is incorporating music into his program that helps those with special needs.

“When it comes to teaching and mentoring,” Mullen, 41, tells PEOPLE, “my approach is to see what is inside someone and use whatever means or technique to be able to bring it out and help them shine.”

Mullen regularly posts videos of his music sessions to Facebook, and one heartwarming video featuring a student named Alex who has Down syndrome has garnered much attention over social media, as first covered by CBS News.

“Alex is a real joy to work with. He is 27 years old and has Down syndrome. However his ability is far greater than his disability,” Mullen says. “He has a passion for music and performing. Mentoring Alex is a blessing and so rewarding seeing both the smile on his face and the progress he is making in developing and fine-tuning his talents.

Enjoy the entire article at: