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Music therapy

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Night Owl 23 Mar 99 - 04:06 AM
Sam Pirt 23 Mar 99 - 06:26 AM
Beeswing 23 Mar 99 - 08:22 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 23 Mar 99 - 08:40 AM
Uilleand 23 Mar 99 - 10:40 AM
Ferrara 23 Mar 99 - 10:42 AM
Margo 23 Mar 99 - 10:46 AM
ritajgatti@aol.com 23 Mar 99 - 10:55 AM
katlaughing 23 Mar 99 - 11:26 AM
Ferrara 23 Mar 99 - 11:29 AM
steve in ottawa 23 Mar 99 - 05:10 PM
Night Owl 23 Mar 99 - 05:22 PM
katlaughing 23 Mar 99 - 05:39 PM
katlaughing 23 Mar 99 - 05:44 PM
bill\sables 23 Mar 99 - 06:24 PM
katlaughing 23 Mar 99 - 07:17 PM
bill\sables 23 Mar 99 - 07:37 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 24 Mar 99 - 12:00 AM
Night Owl 24 Mar 99 - 01:29 AM
katlaughing 24 Mar 99 - 01:39 AM
Musicman 24 Mar 99 - 02:00 AM
Night Owl 24 Mar 99 - 02:13 AM
Night Owl 24 Mar 99 - 02:29 AM
Beeswing 24 Mar 99 - 08:15 AM
DonMeixner 24 Mar 99 - 08:30 AM
katlaughing 24 Mar 99 - 10:26 AM
Uilleand 24 Mar 99 - 12:14 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 24 Mar 99 - 12:48 PM
DonMeixner 24 Mar 99 - 10:27 PM
catspaw49 24 Mar 99 - 11:27 PM
Night Owl 25 Mar 99 - 12:17 AM
BK 25 Mar 99 - 12:18 AM
katlaughing 25 Mar 99 - 12:31 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 25 Mar 99 - 09:32 AM
Bert 25 Mar 99 - 10:07 AM
katlaughing 25 Mar 99 - 10:29 AM
SailormomRita (inactive) 26 Mar 99 - 01:58 AM
Night Owl 26 Mar 99 - 11:41 PM
Musicman 27 Mar 99 - 03:32 AM
Night Owl 27 Mar 99 - 04:02 AM
Barbara Shaw 27 Mar 99 - 09:46 AM
Helen 27 Mar 99 - 10:55 PM
Night Owl 28 Mar 99 - 12:49 AM
katlaughing 28 Mar 99 - 01:06 AM
catspaw49 28 Mar 99 - 01:21 AM
Musicman 28 Mar 99 - 01:39 AM
Musicman 28 Mar 99 - 01:46 AM
Night Owl 28 Mar 99 - 03:39 AM
katlaughing 28 Mar 99 - 09:19 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 28 Mar 99 - 09:43 AM
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Subject: Music therapy
From: Night Owl
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 04:06 AM

After reading the best/worst jobs thread, I realized that a few of us are involved in healing professions, as well as being committed to sharing music. I am continually astounded by the impact "silly" camp songs have on patients. Currently working with four mentally and physically challenged adult women and have been teaching two of the women to play Autoharp (one presses the chord bars while the other strums-kindasorta). I'm looking for any suggestions for simple, two chord songs to play on the Autoharp. The songs need to stay on one chord for a few measures before changing. Also hoping for information, advice, stories, experiences from anyone else who may be doing similar work with music. Have brought music to Hospice patients as well which is guaranteed to bring a smile. Any others????


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Sam Pirt
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 06:26 AM

Night Owl It sounds like great stuff you are doing. I'm 19 and live in the UK and I play Accordion. I often take it into schools and the children get lots of enjoyment from it. I have also played at day centers for people with learning difficulties, Altzimas etc and it is the most rewarding work I have ever done. It seems to me like the REAL reason for playing the music I do, to give enjoyment to people. I think that anyone that can play an instument has a very special skill and also has a capasity to help people enjoy life, whatever it may be like. You often don't realise quite what a skill it is until you realise people often are looking forward to you coming to play for them months in advance. I always like to play in the day centers for nothing, its sort of my thing for the community and I like it!

Bye, Sam


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Beeswing
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 08:22 AM

Hello Night Owl and Sam. What a wonderful topic. Musicians are busy healers, yes. Many of us have felt the joy in sharing our talents with others, be it in schools centres or hospitals. Nightowl, I have a friend in South Africa who once a week, takes his guitar into aids hospices and plays happy music for the orphaned and dying children there. This he does voluntarily and I do admire him for it . He says music there (in the hospice) is a rare thing and I know those children must look forward to his visits with great anticipation. He is 26 years old and doesn't consider himself much of a musician, and would scoff if I were to label him a healer. (but he is!)

There is a man here who talks about the auto harp from time to time. I believe his name is Bill. Perhaps he can help you with the specific needs you have... 'till next time, Beeswing.


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 08:40 AM

Night Owl, this is wonderful! I teach young children and the autoharp can be a wonderful tool, with the same need for simple chording. There are lots of pentatonic songs with one or two chords- a great book is Sail Away Ladies (I'll look up the info if you want).
Songs that come to mind- Michael Row the Boat Ashore &Swing Low Sweet Chariot; only trouble is that most songs have a quick I V I at the end. You could fudge it, I suppose! Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Uilleand
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 10:40 AM

A fascinating topic. I'm currently approaching it from a little bit of a different angle. I'm studying sound healing which goes some what more into depth on the specific effects of pitches, resonance, overtones, harmonies, and rhythms, on the physical and energetic body. I'd really be interested in observations about what specific songs had noticeable effect on people in general and people with specific dis-eases.


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Ferrara
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 10:42 AM

Have you tried "Go Tell Aunt Rhody?"

I've done similar things, in a small way. In high school my sister and I took friends to hospitals to have sing-alongs in some of the wards. My sister took her accordion, or someone from the Red Cross wheeled a piano from room to room! We took requests, both of us could play stuff like "Camptown Races" by ear and we were surprised at the amount of participation.

Lately I've played for the geriatrics unit of a mental health facility. It was very good for the patients. Old folks who usually fall asleep during the activities were singing, requesting songs and even dancing a little. Doing this makes me happy and I want to do more. It's good for my confidence, too! These aren't critical audiences. They just want to have fun.


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Margo
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 10:46 AM

Try "the Isle of May"

Margarita


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: ritajgatti@aol.com
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 10:55 AM

I have worked extensively with autistic children and find that my lullabyes and guitar playing can be very soothing to them. BTW does anyone remember an album...probably by Vanguard...maybe by Pete Seeger...but I have never seen it in his available work...that included a song called "Little Cowboy"? I learned it way back when and it has actually become my signature song for many years.. Also on the album was a song about swinging on the gate...the context was something like....it was naughty to swing on the gate.... The words to Little Cowboy are: Little Cowboy, put your saddle in the barn Tie your horse up tight, so he'll know no harm. Put your hat and your guns beside you on the chair Don't forget to say a little prayer.......etc.


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 11:26 AM

My brother, who is a classical composer and pianist, has had several articles published and written two booklets on the power of music. One article specifically was about our mother being healed through focusing on Mozart's music before a surgery the doctors later admitted the reason for had disappeared after they took her in and opened her up! He was a presenter at the International Forum for New Science in Ft. Collins, a few years ago, where he presented his solidly researched theories, which are written up in his book, "Earthquake Prevention Through MetaMusic". At the request of a publisher, he is finishing up an expanded version of that book. He coined the term "MetaMusic" back in the early eighties and his definition of it was any music which has vibrational tones which have a profound and positive effect on people, animals and their environment. In the thread about men being more musical, someone said maybe there is a correlation between that and math ability. It has been interesting to note the mathematical permutations throughout my bro's piano concertos and symphonies; it's really uncanny because he wasn't that good in anything beyond general math, although he did manage to graduate magna cum laude. He has also developed classes on people's astrological tones, again, well-researched and explained. He was developing his theories and writing about them before the "new age" really caught on, as it is now. His other booklet, which we need to rerelease in an updated format is "Insights of a MetaComposer" and includes reprints of articles he wrote, all having to do with the power of music to be a "Planetary Modifier" as he puts it. As for kids and songs to soothe: my parents took turns tucking me in at night and both sang to me. My favourites were mom singing "Too-a-loo-a-loo-rai (sp) and she and dad both singing "A Prairie Lullaby". I don't think any kid ever went to sleep feeling more loved and at peace. These are also favourites of my kids and I am just getting ready to put them on tape for my grandsons who live too far away!

BTW, have any of you heard the lullaby on Bare Naked Ladies' "Stunt" cd? It is so beautiful, I cried the first time I heard it, The tune which goes with it is truly beautiful:

When You Dream (words by Steven Page & Ed Robertson; Music by Steven Page)

With life just begun, my sleeping new son has eyes that roll back in his head They flutter and dart, he slows down his heart and pictures a world past his bed it's hard to believe As I watch you breathe Your mind drifts and weaves

When you dream, what do you dream about? When you dream, what do you dream about? Do you dream about music or mathematics or planets too far for the eye? Do you dream about Jesus or quantum mechanics or angels who sing lullabies?

His fontanelle pulses with lives that he's lived With memories he'll learn to ignore And whe it is closed, he already knows he's forgotten all he knew before Bit when sleep sets in History begins But the future will win.

when you dream what do you dream about? When you dream what do you dream about? Are they colour or black and white, Yiddish or English or languages not yet conceived? Are they silent or boisterous? Do you hear noises just loud enough to be percieved? Do you hear Del Shannon's `Runaway' playing on transistor radio waves? with so little experience your mind not yet cognizant Are you wise beyond your few days? When you dream what do you dream about? when you dream what do you dream about? >I>copyright 1998 Reprise Records

Thanks,

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Ferrara
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 11:29 AM

kat, I agree, that's beautiful. Wow.


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 05:10 PM

Couple of sad songs:
Down in the Valley
I Ride an Old Paint

Will Ye Go Lassie Go and Drunken Sailor both are great with just two chords, but some of the changes are a bit quick.


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Night Owl
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 05:22 PM

You guys are REALLY good....thanks for responding. I've been unsuccessfully lecturing myself to keep this short,..so please bear with me. Sam: the work I do and my music are my soul food. You sure have learned a lot in nineteen years and sound like you already have a solid base.! Beeswing: One of my favorite slogans from Hospice is: "Dying is no reason to stop living." I find a lot of people are treated as though they're already dead. Even though a body stops working visibly and a brain appears catatonic (unresponsive), I've seen music, over and over, get through and produce a smile or wake up an unused brain cell, thanks. Animaterra: Any info on the book you mentioned-"Sail Away Ladies" would be great. Michael, Swing Low and Amazing Grace I use a lot now. The quick IVI at the end of songs is not a problem...To fudge, we strum once and sing LOUD. Fudging is a constant, as long as the spirit of the song stays in tact. Uilleand: One of the reasons Bill Staines is my "favorite singer" is his voice and musical arrangements have a dramatic ability to reach through the other "stuff"-both physical and mental. Also, Bill "Crofut"'s voice and timing recently affected one of the patients. I'd be interested in learning more about what you're doing, and if you know why these two singers hit home, apart from all the others I've been playing. Can I contact you directly to talk more? Ferarra: I've been using Aunt Rhody for years..and for the first time can't because one of the women is siding with the goose! Among many of the problems she struggles with, she has an amazing ability to visualize words and is Very literal...(we are learning). rita: looked for Little Cowboy in the database (good doobie) and couldn't find it..love the words so far and can use it if the tune is slow. katlaughing....Can we talk???-How would I find your brother's books and research? Is he familiar with the Dr. in Montreal doing neurological research with music? As much as I hate the thought of turning the magic of music into science, if I don't have the right "link" we don't get to go any further.


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 05:39 PM

Night Owl,

Since I am his chief typist, copyist, printer, booking agnet, etc., at least up til now, and since all of his stuff resides at my house, all ya gotta do is email me with whatever you want.

I will also email you with my number if you need to talk directly and can put you in touch with him.

The books, at this point, keep in mind, are small booklets, but they are packed with important information etc. I'll include more info in my email. His rhetoric is different from mine and the new edition of the earthquke book is going to be much more in-depth and better written (in my opinion). anyhow, I will shut up and go email you now. Thanks for asking and no, I don't think he's aware of the DR. in Montreal, because he is a typical artist in some respects, totally self-absorbed unless doing research or teaching.

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 05:44 PM

Night Owl,

Since I am his chief typist, copyist, printer, booking agnet, etc., at least up til now, and since all of his stuff resides at my house, all ya gotta do is email me with whatever you want.

I will also email you with my number if you need to talk directly and can put you in touch with him.

The books, at this point, keep in mind, are small booklets, but they are packed with important information etc. They were also printed on an old 386, hand-pasted, and copied, so quality is not the best. I expect I'll have to redo them on my HP one of these days. We're concentrating on getting the new earthquake prevention one done first and finding a new publisher for it. (My husband and I quit trying to be everything for my bro, recently.:-)

I'll include more info in my email. His rhetoric is different from mine and the new edition of the earthquke book is going to be much more in-depth and better written (in my opinion). Anyhow, I will shut up and go email you now. Thanks for asking and no, I don't think he's aware of the DR. in Montreal, because he is a typical artist in some respects, totally self-absorbed unless doing research or teaching, right now he's writing and recovering from the loss of our mother in January. He will be thriled to know you are interested and has some beautiful tunes of his own which he uses.

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: bill\sables
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 06:24 PM

Both Sam pirt and myself play in the band Shananikins.Two years ago we played for an M.S. group when one of the patients asked us to play Masons Apron. I thought this was an unusual request so I asked him how he knew the tune He was a man in his thirty's and it seemed he used to be a fiddler in a folk band and he let us hear a tape they had recorded before he contracted M.S. He was a good fiddler but could not hold the fiddle let alone play it now. We said we would be back to play in six months and he said he would try to play for us then. Sure enough six months passed and when we went back he joined in playing fiddle. Music seemed to help him and give him a respite it was one of the best nights we have had. Cheers Bill


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 07:17 PM

Bill: I am laughing through my tears at the joy your story brought to my heart and mind! How wonderful!


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: bill\sables
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 07:37 PM

Thanks katlaughing it was close to tears for us to on that night


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 12:00 AM

Night Owl--a few of the songs mentioned above might require three chords, but here are a few genuine two-chorders: "My Darling Clementine," "Skip to My Lou," "Jimmy Brown the Newsboy," "Pastures of Plenty," and hundreds more. Keep up the good work. --seed


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Night Owl
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 01:29 AM

Clementine is perfect! thanks..adding it to my list for this week. Part of the problem is my struggle to keep it simple because there's so many trees in the forest!(And in my own brain) Bill, your experience is exactly what I've been seeing happening and what I was also hoping to hear about from others in this thread. Thank-you. I'm the only musician on staff and it can be very isolating.


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 01:39 AM

Night Owl,

Forgot to relate this. Not exactly therapy, but more a good start in life. When I went to see my two-week old grandsons, last year, I bought a tape of Mozart music for their parents to play to them to help get them to sleep. I also bought several others, plus their parents have many tapes of very diverse music.

Anyway, they are 10 months old and my daughter told me the other night that they will NOT go to sleep without their tape I bought them last year. They can be fussy, crying, etc.; their parents will try any other soothing tape they have, including some the kids love in the daytime, but they aren't happy and won't go to sleep until they have their Mozart.


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Musicman
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 02:00 AM

Hello there Nightowl:

guess what! I am a Music therapist! I spend my days making music in a Hospital setting working mostly with seniors in the Extended Care and Intermediate care portions of the hospital. I also work with folks in the Palliative care ward.

You want to know about fufilling work? I have a multitude of stories to tell, success in bringing people back to "life" instead of just "living", helping people and families close the door gently with someone who is dying, young and old. I've worked with kids who push through a handicap just because they want to participate or they like the sound of the instrument. One of the neatest moments is watching the parents faces when they attempt something new - that they are not supposed to be able to do! Many a tear of joy has been shed. The same with staff in the hospital settings when they see a resident participate for the first time. Sheds a whole new light on the individual in their care.

Music is infectious. You can't shut it out. It will even affect those who can't respond. Watch breathing and heartbeats, facial expressions. You'd be surprised sometimes. I've had residents come to me and ask me to go and sing for someone who is "not doing too well", and quite often they will join me.

I find being the music therapist gives me a special place especially in the palliative care ward. I'm not a care giver, nor a pastor, nor a family member. Sometimes one or two songs opens the door to just talking with the family or patient. I'm not a threat to them, just someone there to help them forget - or remember - for a while. The music I share can take away pain for a few moments. It's amazing how much relief that can offer.

THere is so much more that I could share - including music - Don't forget 'You are my Sunshine' - If you want to chat more, email me or look me up on ICQ @ 129234225.

Enjoy what you are doing, they are, more they you will ever know or realize.

Paul (Musicman)


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Night Owl
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 02:13 AM

katlaughing: I heard years ago that cows in Vermont produced more milk when Mozart was piped in the barn. More recently heard about some research being done showing that kids (people kids,not goats)doing homework and/or taking tests scored better while listening to Mozart... I guess we've known forever that music soothes and calms and lowers blood pressure. What I'm just now being able to articulate based on what I've seen up close and personal is that beyond "soothing", some specific kinds of music seems to be able to override brain malfunctioning and find a new path to send messages to the body,like in Bill\Sables story. If we knew more about HOW, people could get off the "zombie" medications and receive doses of specific music instead. I sometimes think medications cause worse side effects than the initial diagnoses.


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Night Owl
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 02:29 AM

Musicman: HI!!!! I guess you posted at the same time I did...I missed your message. Anxious to hear more specifics and will contact you directly THANKS!


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Beeswing
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 08:15 AM

Musicman ...Your message moved me to tears. If the day ever comes that I am shut up in a hospital, I pray that someone like you comes to visit...come to think of it, my mother is drawing up a living will and her one request, should she be unable to express herself at some point, is that she be provided with her music.

You sound energized by your work, not surprising as in giving from the heart, we recieve tenfold.


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: DonMeixner
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 08:30 AM

Night Owl,

I have used Autoharps as a physical Therapy aid both personally and professionally. The slightly resistive nature of the springs and the movement front to back on the chord courses are great for mobility therapy with finger injuries, In my case a table saw but it is fine for arthritis as well. Watch out for Carpal Tunnel issues with the Autoharp when held upright however.

Muscle attrophy in casted or immobilized limbs can be lessend with music therapy. Especially when the individual is a participant with an instrument. Try a kazoo band. even if you can't tap a toe you tend to move muscles to a beat, cast or no.

Please take note of my minimal success. While I can still play a bit, I can't type any better than before and I spell worse.

Don


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 10:26 AM

yes, Night Owl, I'd heard that about the cows, too, and the students. Still haven't dug out the article on mom, but briefly, she's had cancer years before, got sick, the docs did every test imaginable, found a tumour behind her bladder, prepared her for surgery. The whole time she was in and out of consciousness. This was before walkmans, so we put a little tape recorder near her head and played Mozart for her, guiding her to focus on it instead of the pain, etc.

The docs sais they'd be at it for 2-3 hours at least when they took her in. we had all, of course, been seeking divine intervention, too, but the music played on as well. My heart almost stopped when the docs came out after 30 minutes. I though for sure she was gone. They were very sheepish and told us kids they found NOTHING. Ther WAS no tumour, whatever they had seen in the myriad of tests was completely gone, they were sorry they'd cut her opne and, most importantly, they couldn't explain it. We are sure that by keeping her conciousness tuned to the music it enabled her to be healed.

When I worked in a nursing home there was a beautiful old woman, red-hair faded to white, braid past her waist, who'd had a stroke and couldn't really speak. It was maddening for her to try to articulate and she was often very angry. I knew she was Irish and at that point I only knew Too-a-loo-ra. It became a ritual, at night, after I got her to bed, for me to stroke her forehead and sing that song to her. It always calmed her and she would go to sleep with her beautiful smile beaing up at me. It still makes me cry to remember how something so simple could effect her in such a positive way. her name was Melcina.

MuscicMan and Don, thank you. I think we'd all love to ehar more of your experiences. And, I know in the case of my dad playing in the rest homes, that it benefits him and literally gives his life purpose, just as much as it does the residents.

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Uilleand
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 12:14 PM

To Night Owl: I'd be glad to talk more about sound healing if you wish. (e-mail: Uilleand@aol.com) I'd also enjoy reading all the success stories about using music as therapy. Is there anyone out there who has had experience with patients working with toning? Or a combination of using sound and light for healing.

Uilleand


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 12:48 PM

These stories are so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing them! Kat, I love the story of Melcina and the one about your mom.
I don't have any wonderful healing stories but I just know how music keeps me sane and my children (so far) prefer the tonal harmonies of folk and classical to anything their peers listen to- that's healing enough! My autistic son loves Mozart and bebop (we called him "Bebop" in utero; his sister was "Rebop"- calm music keeps our household calm. Most of the time!
Allison


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: DonMeixner
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 10:27 PM

Allison,

Have you tried combining music with Facilitated Communication with your son? We use FC at the center I work in. The Speach Pathologists are very supportive of the notion as is Doug Bickland at Syracuse University where considerable research has been done in FC. As well as considerable controversy generated there in. My opinion is I have seen it work and I have seen it not work. Which leads me to think it works for some and not others. (A staggering conclusion I know.) But if 10% of all who try FC find it a benefit then it may be another step in understanding the riddle of autism.

I don't know how to incorporate Music with Facilitation but the research may payoff.

Don


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 11:27 PM

Lord knows I love words and respect their power, as I also cherish and respect the power of music and humor. But at this point I have no idea what to say. Like you, I've had experiences with the elderly, the terminally ill, and those special kids whose numbers include my son Tristan. But that is not what I want to post.

I have followed this thread with obvious interest, but also, and more, with a growing sense of ...of what? Awe? Pride? Humility? Honor? Appreciation?......Is there a word that encompasses all of those ... plus some? Without a doubt this is the singularly most amazing thread I have encountered at the 'Cat. I have spent time teary eyed and enthralled each time I came back to it. I am deeply honored and humbled to share this community with you. How did such a place come about and why are we drawn to it. So many of you on this thread with such diversity ... and a glaring sameness. Though related to our love of the music, this thread sings loudest about the people we call "Mudcateers." We use the word as a little joke...it should be a badge of honor. Thank You.

katlaughing...If you ever write that book, THIS is the thread to begin to explain the 'Cat. You are as Mick said...I echo his thoughts completely. But let me add that you MUST leave your posts in these threads; our village is not whole without you.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Night Owl
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 12:17 AM

I'm too exhausted, (emotionally and physically) tonight to respond to the hearts showing on this thread. Can't begin to say thank you, and how validating it was/is when I came home from work tonight and read it, because I WAS feeling that I was the only one who knew what my music did today for one of my patients!.....and Catspaw....THANKS!!....if you only knew how I agonized over whether or not to start this thread...I'm going to bed with good tears....some day I'll learn to trust my instincts more.


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: BK
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 12:18 AM

Wow! Another fantastic thread. I can only agree emphatically with the previous comments. I have used music to calm my own racing pulse ("music hath power to soothe the savage beast").

My partner in Texas had a father in law with severe dementia, but if you put his mandolin in his hands, & started playing his old favorites, before long he would come out of wherever-he-was and start to focus, and in a little bit he would join the other musicians and begin playing rather well for his advanced age. The rest of the time he was pretty much out-of-it.

My college folk group used to play in nursing homes and on hospital wards. We frequently saw people who were largely unresponsive to other stimuli clearly express their pleasure in our music.

Night Owl: You should also try to listen to the CD by Priscilla Herdman which has on it all the lullabies and children's songs; I think it is called "Star Dreamer." It may provide you with some additional good ideas. Its a truly wonderful CD for adult listening, as well.

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 12:31 AM

One more lullaby, folks. The one my dad and mom sang to me. Dad said today it used to be a popular one:

Prairie Lullaby

Tumble in bed, my pretty little sleepyhead
The stars are in the sky,
Time that your prayers were said, my little sleepyhead,
To a prairie lullaby.

Saddle up your pony
The sandman's here
To take you down the Trail of Dreams
Tumble in bed, my tired little sleepyhead,
To a prairie lullaby.

I'll try to post the tune tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 09:32 AM

This may seem off the subject but bear with me, it is related to music therapy:
Don, my son is fully verbal- his autism is more a related form calld "Asperger Syndrome". He claims to be not much interested in music but has an empathic relationship with computers- so that when we got Noteworthy Composer (thanks to info gotten from the noble 'Cat) he was immediately able to transcribe multi-voice harmonies from his favorite games, sites, etc. You should see his transcriptions of Riven background music!! So his form of music therapy takes a technical twist. But he can harmonize like anything on the rare occasions that he is willing to be in the room when we sing! I don't know what is going on in his brain or emotions that sometimes he is able to do so and at other times it seems almost painful for him to be exposed to so much music- I'm sure it has to do with his difficulty in filtering his own emotional responses.
Like most singing parents I had dreams of the happy little family chorale, singing beautiful, complex music for all occasions. LIke most parents I've had to adjust my expectations- but since Asperger's has taken us to a slightly different planet the results have been amazing, often dazzlingly beautiful, and very humbling.
Allison


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Bert
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 10:07 AM

When my second wife was dying of Lymphoma, I sat by her bedside for weeks and sang to her as much as I could.

Even when she was in a coma at the end, I like to think it helped.

I'm no Mozart so she died anyway. (I know that sounds frivolous but SHE would have laughed.)

Keep singing. Bert.


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 10:29 AM

Dear Bert,

I didn't mean that it was Mozart, alone, just that Mom having it to focus on (because it was her favourite) was what helped her. ***Smile***

If my brother had written anything at that time, she probably would've wanted to hear it. Yes there are vibratinal tones which, I believe, can help to heal, but nothing helps when it is our time, except to help ease us in our going and, hopefully, ease the heartache of those we leave behind. That's the only thing music could do for mom the last few months before she died this year.

You know Lobsang Rampa wrote a book about the process of training to help people die, in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, which is really good. I think it is called the Thirteenth candle.

My kids and husband know that if I ever am in a situation as you describe with your wife that I have favs which they are to either sing or play in my ear, most of which are NOT Mozart (although I do love his music)! One would simply be my dad's tapes of him playing and singing. Someone's simple, heartfelt voice acappella, esp. that of someone we love, can have a profound effect on us, starting from when we are babies and hear our parents singing lullabies.

I am sure your voice, Mozart or not ;-), helped her tremendously. Thank you for sharing with us.

You might enjoy a little slogan I came up with, which we used to use when promoting my bro's classical music: "Composers don't have to be dead to be good!" (That was when most orchestras had a penchant for playing ONLY dead, German composers!) ***BG***

Thanks, again, Bert,

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: SailormomRita (inactive)
Date: 26 Mar 99 - 01:58 AM

The words to the Prarire Lullabye are so similar to the Little Cowboy I know, that I thought I would just finish it for anyone to enjoy...

second verse

Little cowboy, you'd better hit the sandman's trail or you'll be late for roundup time you know If you want to be a cowboy you better rest awhile Little cowboy baby of the ole corral...

There is a lead in also that goes... Little fella you're so tired you can hardly lift your head but you want to hear a story before you go to bed So if you're very quiet and listen patiently I'll sing you a song that my mother sang to me...Little cowboy........


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Night Owl
Date: 26 Mar 99 - 11:41 PM

Thank-you, Rita and katlaughing for posting the lullabys the other night.....I guess no matter how old we get we all need a lullaby for ourselves now and then! One of the reasons I hesitated to start this thread was because it inherently deals with dying and infirmities, not usually an acceptable topic in social circles, (which contributes to the personal isolation working in the field). I hope Max et. al. have had a chance to read some of these comments and given themselves a "High Five" for creating an outlet for the quality of human beings the forum attracts and maintains! I have to take care of myself for a minute and have more to post shortly..just wanted to say thanks now!


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Musicman
Date: 27 Mar 99 - 03:32 AM

Hey there Animaterra, your words are not off topic at all! but very appropriate to a discussion about Music therapy. We, as music therapist are trained to use music -in any form-, written, electronic, acoustic, recorded, improvised, whatever works for the client. The key here is using MUSIC. Some people thrive with the ability to write or create music, and as you may have noticed with your son the avid interest in writing the music, be it by computer. He may even get into composing at some point which could give him an outlet for his mixedup emotions. Anyway the key here is using the music in a way that he is able to access it, It seems as if you are doing that already! Be sure to recognize and enjoy the small results that may show up, they can be quite amazing sometimes!

musicman, music therapist in BC Canada


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Night Owl
Date: 27 Mar 99 - 04:02 AM

You know ........how........after you've spent too much time reading threads and refilling your own "cup" and decide that you REALLY need to go to bed and get some sleep......BUT that thing says "Refresh threads" and...you can't help yourself???? You sure UNDERSTAND a lot here, Musicman, and have the ability to articulate it! It would have taken me all night and a book to put together those words you just said!


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 27 Mar 99 - 09:46 AM

Two songs with only two chords each: Old Joe Clark
Buffalo Gals

My husband and I have brought music a few times to the Alzheimer's unit where his mother lives on Cape Cod. I was amazed each time at the way these folks would sing along and tap their feet. Even songs that they had never heard before, they sang along a split second behind us. Music energized them and made them laugh and cry, as it does to all of us.


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Helen
Date: 27 Mar 99 - 10:55 PM

Hi all,

I have read lots of similar posts over time on the harp mailing list. You can subscribe to the mailing list through the Onelist site if you want to post a question or start a topic thread.

http://www.onelist.com

Or you can do a search of the archives here:

http://infoseek.sds.lcs.mit.edu/?qc=&col=harp

The search term "harp therapy" brings up 44,558 thread postings in the harp list alone, and also the search term "music therapy" brings up about 20,000. (I told you they talk about it a lot, didn't I? )

I know that people like Tina Tourin do harp/music therapy work and also run courses on how to do it. The discussion about the efects of tones, etc comes up fairly often too.

The harp mailing list is another cyber-community I really love. Being a member of that community and also Mudcat means a lot to me, so I can wholeheartedly recommend contacting anyone in the harp list for further info or discussions because you'll find a lot of like-minded people there.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Night Owl
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 12:49 AM

Thanks for the info on the harp site....guess I'll be busy for a while if its all info on Autoharps! Thought I'd just give you all an update on this week's music, which AGAIN has led me to a kazillion more questions...and thank you all for the suggestions. A little more background...I work with four adult women with brain injuries,dysfunctions, sometimes violent behaviors, and each has a variety of other physical problems as well. They range in age from 22 yrs. to 50 yrs. old. They all are considered "high-functioning" and our job is to help them be the best they can be and to keep them safe. Between them, they have been in a few different institutions and are now, thankfully,living in a HOME together. I was, ten years ago, in the midst of a career in Human Services-which included ensuring that disability benefits were received and legal rights protected. I thoroughly enjoyed the job until my brother was killed in a car accident. I have never believed that Human Services workers should stay in the profession of giving advice unless their own house is in order. So I left the profession and found myself working in a Nursing Home...a place where people can say the word death without running the other way, or trying to change the subject. I have since realized that I was very fortunate to work in the home I did....as it had a good staff to patient ratio, and the quality of care was excellent. (Sorry for this long diversion!!!!!)It was there that I first saw the amazing effects music can have...deeper than soothing and relaxing....but more....(hopefully Musicman won't mind me borrowing a phrase)..."pushing through the handicap" to access the music. We were committed to ensuring that NO resident died alone, and I was usually the one to sit with the patients on my shift...holding a hand and stroking, and humming, and singing. And...Bert, you can I'm sure, have no doubt that your actions helped a peaceful passing......the most any of us can hope for-(and thanks for the solid humor). I came to believe that holding a hand is the kindest, most loving thing one human being can do for another. And the music.....the coma patient, who after hearing me singing "Sweet Wyoming Home" for months with NO visible response, woke up to correct me when I goofed the chorus.....the "combative" patient who chimed in when I was absent mindedly singing "Amazing Grace"...the Alzheimer's patient who taught me all the words to "Three Little Fishies and a Mommy Fishy Too"...(great song). I learned there that music ( and some say swearing) evidently chooses different pathways in the brain...(leading me to wonder why we couldn't help the patients sing what they needed!)The Nursing Home went bankrupt and closed and I "fell" into my current job. I'm giving this lengthy background in an effort to get on a specific "page". What I'm seeing now, goes still further than what I witnessed in the Nursing Home and/or what music does for me when I'm stressed. . ..I'm going to take a breath and regroup......worrying about rambling too much and the limit on thread lengths...(I think I've surpassed Catspaw). Bet Musicman could have said all of the above in ONE sentence. There WILL BE an END to this posting...REALLY!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 01:06 AM

Night Owl,

I see no need for this thread to end! That was a great posting and now you've really got my curiosity up, plus I am typing through the tears, AGAIN!, when i read about you singing "My sweet Wyoming Home". And, honestly, I am pretty sure I've seen longer postings and threads than this one!

BTW are you familiar with an old Chris LeDeux song, from his early days, "Paint me back home in Wyoming"? He used to come into the radio station quite often as our station was one of the first to play his stuff. He then and still just lives up the road about 60 miles in Kaycee. went up to his ranch once, even. Anyway, I used to listen to that song whenever I felt homesick for the prairie when living back east. Cowboy has been out on the road singing for weeks; he's in NYC, sees a woman with a set up on the sidewalk doing portraits; pays her & then asks her to "paint me back home in Wyoming". Always made me sobbed my eyes out, but I always felt better after.

You have much to tell, friend, and I am sure we all want to hear it, so kwitchyer worryin' and post away!

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 01:21 AM

Listen up ....I may be a rambler, but I also have cherished your comments when catspaw gets serious. Our great friend katlaughing is exactly right!!! In your last post there are at least a dozen things I want to know more about. So let's hear them!!!...or the Owl will feel the claws of the cat's paw.

Besides, if I can burn up all that space on the ridiculous exploits of Paw and Cletus, you can have all the space you need...Go for it!!!

With love and a little kick in the tailfeathers,

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Musicman
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 01:39 AM

If you want a song that may not be known by most folks, but the images will stir up many memories, especially with the elderly, try singing Bill Staines' "Roseville Fair". Talk about word pictures! A great song too. I've used it and "River" especially when I am dealing with the families of someone who is dying. River is a great song to talk about life's journey with the family or patient.

In my work with Alzhimer's patients, I remember singing the song REDWING


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Musicman
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 01:46 AM

continued........ (my finger slipped!)

Anyway, singing REDWING, and adding at the end the chorus:

And the moon shines bright on Charlie Chaplin, His boots are cracking, for the want of blacking, And his old baggy trousers they need mending, before they send him to the Dardanelles.

When I finished, one of the Residents was just laughing so completely, I asked him what was happening, He said to me "I remember learning that when I was 5!" Remember, this fellow was in our special care unit because of Alzheimers' disease! Every time that I sang that song there, he would join with me smiling and at the end would say to me something like "That was pretty good, wasn't it!"

I have many other stories of Residents who would participate so completely with the music, it would sometimes cause me to stop and have to start again because the response would be so unexpected. And as always, the faces of the staff as they see and hear this are always a treat to watch.

Keep posting, Night owl, everybody seems to love a good yarn like this one is turning out to be. Helps us to keep the humanity in what we do and appreciate the people around us.

Musicman


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: Night Owl
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 03:39 AM

Thanks guys!!!!(Had to listen to some music) Catspaw--the kick in the tailfeathers is sorely tempting to respond to your previous post to katlaughing and myself about anatomy, but I guess I won't. I think I've gotten to the page I want to be on for this thread. When I left the nursing home I did homecare for a while with a variety of patients..adults, children, Hospice with a wide variety of needs. By then, I was purposefully making sure music was in the homes....and continued to be witnessing some amazing results. The problem I'm having is being able to articulate what I'm seeing now...but every night when I get home my brain is racing with questions about what happens in the brains of my current patients. Because the brain, at the level I'm refering to, is an inexact science, we're left with trial and error. The exhaustion comes from my attempts to stay "in tune" and hopefully a bit ahead of the fast, frequent change in directions. (Musicman-thank you for sticking with this one!) I need to give them identities so... K. is 50: her brain damage was caused by Encephalitis when she was eight years old and since then she has perfected the fine art of total withdrawal and is often so deep inside herself, we can't get her out. And sometimes when she does come out, was having violent outbursts. She also has a seizure disorder as well as a condition in her brain that causes her entire body to freeze. (I've been told that there's a Robin Williams' movie showing similar medical conditions but haven't seen it yet.) She also has severe Aphasia (inability to speak). When I started working with K., a year ago, I would take her to the seashore and just sit with her and play my Bill Staines tapes (which by then I had learned produced some dramatic responses in patients). (And yes, I bought them directly from the performer!!-see other thread) It took a while to hit the right song, but we did. I can guarantee now that if I play Bill Staines' version of "Home On the Range", she will come out- once she comes out, she stays out and is a delight! She is one of the two "Autoharp students". The other, L., has a severe seizure disorder, Cerebral Palsy and has been diagnosed as "retarded" a label I have come to mistrust from seeing misdiagnoses previously. She's in her thirties and is TOTAL music, very verbal and my star Autoharp player. I had not found any other singer up until a month ago that effected patients as Staines' music does...until Bill Crofut's version of the "Garden Song" played on the radio. Both K. and L. repeated parts of the chorus immediately and I've learned to jump when opportunity presents itself, otherwise...the "link" in the brain seems to disappear. Crofut's voice has the exact same tonal quality (I think) as Staines. So, I almost concluded that its something in the baritone? But then, I played Staines composition "Alaskan Suite"...(no singing) on the stereo, and our third patient- H.27 yrs. old-diagnosed with autism-but verbal-(Animaterra-what is Asperger Syndrome??) suddenly stopped what she was doing and appeared to be visibly hypnotized by the music. That was six months ago, and for four months, every night she would ask me to play the Alaska song....AND demand that I rewind the tape to the absolute beginning for that first looong, low note. She does not allow me to start the tape in the middle...it HAS to be the beginning! I don't know what she hears or where she goes when she listens to it, but it is VERY obvious that it is a calm, peaceful, happy place for her. I think I've probably said enough!!!!!My "instinct" says we're missing something really important here with regard to specific brain function and that if there was a way to compare notes (in detail) as musicians, we may be able to be more purposeful in the songs and music we choose to play in these settings and may have a unique body of knowledge for a scientist to draw upon. What is of deep concern to me, is that in my current profession, if its NOT documented, it DIDN'T HAPPEN! SOOOOOOOO..........I was thinking......what better place to beg than the mudcat.......for those of you who sing/play/perform in Nursing Homes, Hospices, Hospitals, at home with infirm loved ones-and have suffered through reading ALL of the above.....would you be willing to DOCUMENT?? How? Damned if I know...but I'd bet Musicman and Don and some others would. I do know that before the music starts, there is a specific atmosphere that can be documented, a specific demeanor of an individual patient that can be documented. I do know that there is a very visual transition, regardless of its subtlety, and that there is a very different atmosphere during and after the music stops! And, puhleeze, if you feel this is inappropriate for Mudcat forum, let me know! THIS WEEK'S MUSIC:- we played Clementine....a major success with K.; Home On the Range.... success with K. and L.; Michael row the Boat Ashore ....great with K., L., and to my surprise-H. all singing. You Are My Sunshine didn't work well--not sure why. K. and L. also both got VERY serious about learning to PLAY the Garden Song and because of the limitations of each, THEY decided that K., will do the strumming and L. will do the chord bars. K. also independently sang "Happy Trails".....THANKS for listening......Catspaw-make some room in the litter box...I'm staying in my corner now for a while!!!!


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 09:19 AM

Night Owl,

Sounds to me as though you are already doing a good job of documentation. I am sure the others on here can or will supply you with more. I love to read of all of this; it is fascintating and quite a validation for all of us who believe in the effects of music to heal.

I forgot to tell you....I often have friends in need who come over for a visit. They say they aren't sure why but they always feel more calm and better after coming over. What most of them do not realize is that I "set up" a certain environment, based on what my intuition or Higher Self guides me to do, specifically using music. Sometimes it is Native American flute music of early Carlos Nikai, other times it might be Rainbow Path by Kay Gardner, still others it might something classical, or world music.

Quite often, I also burn a bit of Tibetan healing incense before they come over. It does me a world of good to know such simple things can have a positive effect and I always give thanks for the guidance I receive for the music and for my words when they are here. Unlike your clients who may not articulate as much, I've also found most people also need a good listener in their life. It really seems to help.

Thanks a million for starting this thread. It is wonderful and VERY appropriate!

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Music therapy
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 09:43 AM

Oh, my. Night Owl, you have moved me beyond words. I am awed, inspired, and very excited by your stories!I don't know exactly why certain singers and certain songs have more of an effect than others. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the level of vibration and resonance. Whole areas of sound therapy are opening up in this subject- Kat, you may know more about this than I do. A singer I know is taking an intense course on the topic this summer; I'll ask her for source info. Be that as it may, Night Owl, the work you are doing is profound.
Asperger Syndrome is on the autism spectrum. It's different from "high-functioning autism" and those with AS resemble an absent-minded professor more than a clinical autistic. Einstein probably had AS! The internet has done much for people like my son. For more info here's a useful web site: http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/
Take care and keep the messages coming!
Allison


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