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Important Lessons from a Deaf Musician

by Kimberly on February 23, 2011 · 5 comments

My husband introduced me to this TED talk by percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. Glennie–who, incidentally, happens to be deaf–illustrates how “listening” to music involves so much more than using your ears.

I’d like to share this video with you because I feel it contains several relevant and important reminders for us therapists. Aren’t we, too, in the business of listening? Isn’t it our job to try and “read” the behaviors and the symptoms our clients show? To, in essence, read between the lines–noticing the little details like how their bodies move, what they say, and how their faces look? Then use that information to try and focus in on the core of what’s happening for them?

Additionally, Glennie shares her story of how she was treated as a deaf musician–an oxymoron for most people, who only saw her deafness as a “disability.” This, in turn, is a powerful reminder for how we treat our clients. How, in many cases, it’s not our job to “fix” them.

Finally, I’m reminded of the importance of creativity and play. We embrace this so readily as children and tend to lose it so easily as adults. How does creativity play into your own life? And how does that impact your effectiveness as a therapist?

This video rather long (30 min), but worth the time. I’d be very interested in your thoughts and observations, so please leave a comment in the field below!

NOTE: If you can’t see the embedded video, please click here to watch it on YouTube.

Anniversary Giveaway

This month, the Music Therapy Maven celebrates it’s 2 year anniversary! And in honor of the occasion, I’ve decided to give away TWO copies of my Therapy Business Blueprint to loyal Maven readers.

Last week’s winner was newsletter subscriber Jessica Edwards. This week? I’m excited to announce that Sara Devine is this week’s Anniversary Giveaway winner!!!

Thank you to all 21 people who signed up for this giveaway. More importantly, thank YOU for reading this blog! I keep it going because of your support, conversations, and questions and I am grateful for this opportunity. Here’s to the next 12 months!


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

CJ Diachenko February 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Excellent! so glad you posted this, it’s one of my favorite youtube videos of all times! I suggest viewing this to all of my students and their families, particularly those with special needs. With all of the procedures and paperwork that goes along with a music therapy session, I hope I never, ever lose my sense of play. 🙂 My kids don’t need fixing, only honing. 🙂

Stephanie February 24, 2011 at 7:12 am

I haven’t gotten a chance to watch the video yet, but I wanted to write because I LOVE Evelyn Glennie. I got to see her perform a percussion concerto with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and was blown away by her unmatched musicianship and expression. I really recommend the movie “Touch the Sound” that she did – it is a fantastic movie and it showcases her work on the marimba, which is a beautiful instrument!

Kimberly March 3, 2011 at 10:18 am

@Stephanie Thanks for the heads up about her movie! I’ll have to see if I can find that movie somewhere… @CJ I like what you wrote “My kids don’t need fixing, only honing” So true! ~Kimberly

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