Published in the highly-acclaimed Human Horizons Series, the pre-eminent list for people with disabilities, the elderly and the afflicted, and those who care for them, written by the leading experts.
The value of music in working with people who have learning disabilities is becoming more widely recognised. More than a recreational activity, it can help them to participate and communicate with each other, and it also encourages the development of motor and language skills. Learning becomes an unconscious part of enjoyment.
This warm and enthusiastic book explains how even a non-musician can organise a music programme for a child at home or for a group of students in a school or day centre. Those who have never learnt to play an instrument are coaxed into picking out notes and chords on the piano or guitar, or using one of the mechanical instruments available to those who really cannot play; non-singers are encouraged to air their voices before their uncritical audience; and those who baulk at any aspect of creating live music are shown how to make the best use of records and tapes.
Miriam Wood describes how to make simple instruments, how to write songs and work out musical dramas, how to encourage students to beat a drum, play a xylophone or shake bells. She includes ideas for parents working at home with one child, for teachers with large or small groups, and for ideas to include those who have physical as well as learning disabilities. There are suggestions for movement exercises, folk dancing and wheelchair dancing, and advise on more formal techniques such as Makaton sign system and Educational Rhythmics.
It may take weeks to evoke the desired response in a student, or it can take many months, but the author’s own record of success illustrates how much can be achieved. For many peopl ewith learning disabilities music provides the only key to their latent potential.
With a wealth of photographs, drawings and musical settings, this is a key book in music therapy.
Miriam Wood worked for many years as a music instructor, then trained as a music therapist. A contributor to magazines and specialist journals, she also lectures on the use of music with people who have learning disabilities.