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En verden af lyd og musik [A World of Sound & Music: Music Therapy for Deaf, Hearing Impaired and Multihandicapped Children and Adolescence]

Bang, Claus (2005). En verden af lyd og musik [A World of Sound & Music: Music Therapy for Deaf, Hearing Impaired and Multihandicapped Children and Adolescence]. [3 double layer DVD +R in DVD box]. Aalborg: Zenaria.

(Distributed by Claus Bang, Søndergade 61, DK-9480 Løkken, Denmark, Tel: +45 9899 1699 Fax: + 45 9899 1698, Mail: claus.bang-musik@mail.dk Web site: http://www.clausbang.com

br2006_066I was 13 years old. “Shall we dance?” he asked the deaf youngster of 14. The beat was strong and I noticed the boy’s feet, which hardly let go of the floor during the dance. He was a brilliant dancer and I became some moving steps wiser. A World of Sound & Music: This vibrant world of sound & music is surely something for everybody – hearing impaired or not.

The comprehensive multimedia production A World of Sound & Music: Music Therapy for Deaf, Hearing Impaired and Multihandicapped Children and Adolescence presents Claus Bang’s extensive contribution from 1961-1998, rooted in his dedicated work at The Aalborg School in Denmark. Claus Bang is a music- and audio therapist. He says: “The purpose of this project is to collect, document and pass on the scientific theory and practical experience that I have acquired during almost forty years of therapeutic and educational work with deaf, hearing impaired and multi-handicapped children and adolescents ranging in age from 2-21.”

A World of Sound & Music consists of 3 double layer DVD+R (equivalent to 38 CD-R), which are to be used on PC. The DVDs are in Danish with sign-language but are intended to be converted into an online web version in German and English at first – and later on to Spanish and Italian. However, English and German introductions are already available at www.clausbang.com.

The DVDs contain a variety of Claus Bang’s previously published writings, unpublished essays and written versions of speeches and paper presentation, including TV- and Radio Broadcastings with sign-language. This extensive collection of different video- and audio examples offers a variety of music therapy approaches, including musical voice treatment and speech therapy, song therapy, dance and movement therapy, drama, instrumental and orchestral work, performed by people from Denmark, Great Britain, Germany and Switzerland in individual- and group therapy.

The content of the DVDs are structured into 9 chapters, each equivalent to 4-5 CD-R. These chapters are

  1. Claus Bang Profile
  2. Kindergarten and pre-school, 3-6 years
  3. Children in class-groups, 7-12 years
  4. Voice treatment, speech- and song therapy
  5. Multi-handicapped children and adolescents, 3-16 years
  6. Deaf-Blind children and adolescence, 3-20 years
  7. Movement and dance therapy, drama
  8. Instrumental- and orchestral work
  9. Four decades in music therapy – a retrospective

This DVDs serve as an informative testimony of Claus Bang’s work and influence on the development of music therapy with hearing impaired people. In his life-long work, he never gives up the humanistic values on developing client-centred music therapy to promote the client’s potential for self-actualisation and personal growth. His persistent love to music is indisputable and he manages to promote the client to allow himself to engage in human interaction and training through music. In my opinion, this is the strongest part of the project: all the inspiring examples, showing a variety of relating experiences through music.

The relevance of the A World of Sound & Music is many folded. The project is a manifesto from a pioneer, showing the development of music therapy of hearing impaired within a historical context of the profession of music therapy. Consequently, the collection obviously has its place in the curriculum in the training of a music therapist (see also e.g. Mantor, 1993; Robbins & Robbins, 1980; Trovesi, 2001). The use of an interactive, audio-visual medium gives a wonderful potential for presenting a wide range of material and provides a basis for discussing theoretical concepts, treatment approaches, training and research based on visual- and audible experiences for hearing impaired children and adolescents.

Following, this project is useful not only to music therapist. Also music teachers, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other professions within multidisciplinary teams working with hearing impaired children and adolescents, can learn from the project. The DVDs may also provide for personal recognition to people, who are contributing in the different excerpts in the collection.

The DVDs are quite easy to access, although I spent some time to sort out the chronicle of the DVDs, especially when searching for selected examples. I missed paper guidelines, in form of a leaflet following the DVD box. Nevertheless, I would like to acknowledge the composition of clinical examples, written narratives and anecdotes from a long and pioneering life. Some of the radio-files are a bit crunchy but the sound and pictures are surprisingly good, given the long time span being presented.

This multimedia collection is Claus Bang’s digitalisation of a life work as a pioneer and should be highly esteemed as that. From the beginning till the end I hear and see the fingerprints of Claus Bang. In addition, the DVDs are documenting the development of music therapy within one important area of practice. Finally, I think it is a valuable contribution to the library of music therapy and A World of Sound & Music obviously has its place in the curriculum in the training of a music therapist.

References

Mantor, J. S. (1993). Musikk med hørselshemmede. Spesialpedagogikk(3), 22-29.

Robbins, C. & Robbins, C. (1980). Music for the Hearing Impaired: A Resource Manual and Currucilum Guide. St.Louis: MMB Music.

Trovesi, G. C. (2001). Il Corpo Vibrante. Esperienze, teoria e practica de musicoterapia con bambini sordi. Roma: Edizioni Scientifiche Ma.Gi. srl.

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