Saturday, March 2, 2013

Why Music??? part 3 Autistic Piano Player

Thanks for visiting topics and conversations. Here I want to address music therapyissues and concepts as they relate to education, health and wellness.

This is part three of three posts where I will describe music therapy interactions I've had that are indicative of why music is so meaningful, enriching and sometimes life changing!

This music therapy (MT) session I will describe today was with Chris T with his mom Sue present. Chris, is an autistic 21yr old young man who is very talented in music as a piano player. He can read piano music and also has perfect pitch, i.e., if I play any note on my gtr  he can accurately tell me what note it is. During MT w Chris, some of our goals include getting Chris comfortable playing and singing simultaneously, accompanying me on piano as I sing and getting him to comfortably improvise, i.e., not be "locked in" to just play whats on the sheet music. During our latest MT session Chris accompanied me on piano as I sang the Glen Campbell hit song, Wichita Lineman. In the past Chris, playing alone, would race through the end of musical phrases. This day, accompanying me (as I sang), Chris played beautifully! He played full measures while listening intently. Also, in the past, Chris was not used to playing without piano music. We have been working on Chris improvising of which, early on, he was not comfortable doing. Again, this day, after he mimicked what I had played (improvised), Chris truly improvised comfortably and for a long while. We are making wonderful music strides with Chris performing many things "out of his comfort zone." A future goal is to have Chris play piano publically, possibly accompanying me as I sing.

So, "Why music??"... For challenged, handicapped individuals who often are low functioning, engaging in productive, success oriented endeavors is limited. Once a music talent is discovered, supported and cultivated, participating in success oriented music experiences allows them to function higher than almost any other area of their lives. 

In upcoming posts I will continue with other music therapy/health and wellness related blog posts. Also, I am very excited to get started recording my second music album targeted for child development, special needs and autism, coming out later this spring.

My prescription this week??? Sing... play or try an instrument, write a song or rap lyric... And again, listen to YOUR favorite music and enjoy!!!!

I want to let everyone know that my new site:, still very new, is in the process of producing more offerings. Right now there are three offerings, i.e., two music albums available, David's Basics in Education and Lyrical Imagery and one educational lecture titled The Purposeful Use of Music From Pregnancy Through Toddlerhood (including Labor and Delivery). The second album, Lyrical Imagery, and the childbirth lecture are a free download for a limited time.
As a reminder the main thrust of the music therapy/childbirth lecture is to support moms (and dads) as they put together their own music listening playlists or CDs to support rhythmic breathing, act as a positive diversion from pain and stress, etc., to be used during labor and delivery.
AND!!!! Please share with others, like us on Facebook  and follow us on Twitter ... Thanks