"Rich with personal anecdotes about her experiences as a patient, group facilitator and educator, MacTavish's 'resource guide and training manual' gracefully makes its point that the universal rhythms of life and healing are available to all, regardless of musical experience, age or prognosis.
With charm and endless patience, MacTavish relates her methods for achieving each small success as if they were treasured poems or favorite recipes, not some clinical methodology." Kirkus Discoveries review
"I spent most of the night reading Heather's (Songs, Science & Spirit manuscript which is, by the way, a masterpiece. She has taken the things that she calls somewhat ironically her disablements and through them has enabled all of us to ways of seeing and doing and being that are more mythic than anything I ever imagined." review by Dr. Jean Houston, author of A Mythic Life and The Possible Human
"Songs, Science & Spirit makes a true and powerful contribution to anyone interested in ways to get relief from the symptoms of chronic disease. It is a treat with gems of wisdom on every page." review by Robert Rodgers, PhD., author of Road to Recovery from Parkinson's Disease and the founder of Zero Point Healers
"Heather MacTavish has pioneered new ways to deliver rhythm-based events to the elderly. Her "must have" book offers extensive insights to help facilitators develop sensitivities to the needs of the various cultures they serve.
She cross references knowledge of the science, medicine, and health & wellness fields to the actions and results of facilitators." review by Arthur Hull, recognized as the father of the modern drum circle movement, author of Drum Circle Facilitation
"Heather MacTavish has created a masterpiece! Songs, Science & Spirit provides riveting, poignant, and entertaining stories of other individual's breakthroughs, challenges, and explorations using drum circle facilitation, rhythm-based learning, and song - all interwoven with wisdom and insight.
Songs, Science & Spirit is a must-read for anyone interested in deepening their awareness of the human condition." review by Robert Lawrence Friedman, author of The Healing Power of the Drum and How to Relax in 60 Seconds or Less
Be uplifted and inspired!
"The author describes this book as: "A reference tool for those who choose to make a difference in the lives of people with special physical and cognitive abilities. “It is both a guide and a journey, dipping into many wells of wisdom to show how spirit and rhythm can enrich and animate. Keys to entering this world lie in the universal language of drumming, music, story and song."
Heather has Parkinson's, she was in a whole-body-cast at 18, and has Lyme's disease, and babesiosis, and comes across as mad as a hatter and full of beans!
Her experience of having been a 'cared-for' person has given her unique insights into, for instance, how to be of service without 'offering help', and how to do it without disempowerment and condescension.
Anyone who cares for, works with, or is a person/people with special physical and cognitive abilities would be uplifted and re-dedicated by this book.
Its unique parallel text layout allows the 'footnotes, references and quotes' to be alongside the narrative. The reader can switch between the two without losing the thread, or read the whole book left-page-only, or right-page-only.
Read it and weep: sometimes for joy; sometimes for sadness." review by Steve Hill, Drummer - Drum Teacher - Drum Circle Facilitator. Leeds, England
An inspiring and invaluable resource
"It's a genuine privilege to be part of welcoming the birth of the new book of Social Artist Heather MacTavish, Songs, Science & Spirit: Musical Keys To Open Special Doors Of Ability, wonderful to have this resource now out in the world. I first met Heather when she attended a summer Social Artistry Intensive where she shared with the group some of the processes she uses in the rhythmic programs she brings to people diagnosed with chronic, degenerative and developmental disabilities. Heather herself was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1995, so brings a special understanding to her teaching.
I found reading Heather's book both engrossing and enlightening. It is a valuable resource with excellent reference materials for conducting sessions and an annotated bibliography. It is filled with wonderful stories both about her own personal journey and the people and groups she has worked with.
Interestingly her "footnotes" appear on the page opposite the pertinent text, so that the research underpinning each statement is clear. And for me most moving of all, Heather shares her own mistakes and learnings as she leads her rhythmic programs with insights helpful to any of us who lead groups.
So three cheers for another Social Artist bringing her gifts to the world!" review by Elisabeth Zinck Rothenberger,who serves as a principal advisor to the Jean Houston Foundation which offers training, research, consultation, leadership, and guidance with the aim to advance individual, social and cultural development both locally and globally.Novato, CA United States
Hi All. I also just finished Heather's Book. It is without doubt one of the most important books I have ever read. It is amazing! I was Heather's first USA purchase (and she very graciously wrote that for me in my copy), but I am certain I won't be her last! Get the book! It is an incredible resource! Thanks Heather! review by Phyllis Mueller, drum circle facilitator who works almost exclusively with dementia and alzheimer's patients.
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