Songs, Science & Spirit

Songs, Science & Spirit is a reference tool for those who choose to make a difference in the lives of individuals 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.

Read the reviews and comments about the book. Soon you will be able to voice your own responses and reactions. Please click on: Review

The facilitation techniques in the book grew from applications of those taught by Arthur Hull. An understanding of the basics of drum circle facilitation is recommended prior to implementing these specific applications.

For more information, you may wish to purchase Arthur’s book, Drum Circle Facilitation. Better yet, attend a Village Circle Playshop for a hands-on experience.

In addition, you may wish to consider training with other excellent facilitator trainers. A brief list of training opportunities can soon be found in the Resources section.

The table of contents is shown here to offer a prelude of the content of the book. Click here to see the subjects covered. Table of Contents

Chapter 6 Facilitation Techniques

Read excerpts from Chapter 6 detailing drum circle facilitation techniques.

  • Equipment Overview
  • Click here to learn how special equipment, teamed with compassionate understanding, informed attitudes, and innovative techniques can equate to successful interactions. Equipment-Overview & Aesthetics

  • Orchestration Techniques

  • The Orchestration Techniques section examines the need to understand and anticipate the unique responses of individuals with challenges, making effective stops using the “Finish!” signal, and how to leash chaos and create order by using a Rumble! signal.

    Click here for more information about orchestration techniques for specific populations. Orchestration Techniques

  • Audio Visual

  • Making I contact
    The importance of making "I" contact, with an awareness of cultural boundaries, and the best technique for doing so are discussed in this section.

    Read My Lips discusses how linguistic visual cues can be used to trigger memories.

    Ergonomics and Body Language touches on understanding subtle distinctions in participant postures.

    Assailed By Audio covers working with individuals who are sensitive to audio, visual, and kinaesthetic stimuli, and offers understanding leading to “entunemment” with participants with unique challenges and audio comfort levels.

    Click here for more information about audio visual techniques for specific populations. Audio Visual and healing with music

  • Humour

  • Humour breaks down the walls that isolate people. Your laugh can be magnified and reflected in the eyes, memories, and emotions of those in the circle.

    I Can’t HEAR You! discusses the importance of humour when relating to individuals. Read the story, and understand the importance of the use of humour when interacting with individuals coping with challenges such as hearing loss and dementia.

    Sit! relates the story of how humour was used as a tool of connection and delight while presenting a program to a group individuals at an adult day care center.

    Click here for more information about the use of humour when relating to specific populations. Humour

    Understanding Belligerent and Disruptive BehaviourThis section underscores that the primary responsibility of the facilitator is to the entire group, but emphasizes the need for compassion and awareness for individuals comprising the group.

    Domestic Challenges gives options for understanding and relating to individuals faced with such challenges as enforced moves.Mrs. Li and Me and Saul’s Message discusses the importance of understanding responsibilities to the group as a whole and the critical nature of this understanding as it relates to the safety of all.

    Click here for more information about understanding behaviour when working with specific populations. Belligerent and Disruptive Behaviour

  • Enforcement vs. Invitation
  • This section tells of the stories and consequences of our actions when relating to individuals who do not wish to participate in programs.

    Just Don’t Say No offers an understanding of the use of the word “No” by individuals with cognitive and physical challenges, and offers options that promote understanding and positive results.

    Living in a World Apart provides an awareness of the special realities experienced by individuals with challenges.

    Eduardo’s Non-Command Performance tells the story of how awareness of underlying emotional factors can affect positive outcomes leading to group interaction.

    Mr A singing Show Me the Way to Go Home

    Ronella’s Teaching points out that our personal interpretations of participants’ behaviour are coloured by our own experiences and expectations.

    Freedom to Steer Clear of the Circle brings awareness that not all program attendees are present because of choice, and the importance of understanding the rights of dignity for all.

    Jim Won’t Play shows how a facilitator can effectively draw reluctant participants into the circle and provide them a platform for success.

    Click here to read the stories and understand the actions and reactions of the participants. Enforcement vs. Invitation

    Chapter 8 Music and Song

    Chapter 8 illustrates the physiological and emotional impact that music and singing old favourites offer. Here are resources for enhancing movement, creativity, and connection.

    Galvanizing Action with Song

    Understand how Heather’s Parkinson’s Disease symptoms are helped with the use of singing familiar melodies.

    Learn about Initiation vs. Response.

    Read how Olga’s movements were effortlessly facilitated using the synchronizing properties of an old favourite waltz.

    Learn what works for:

    Gait Keeping
    Dextrous Dressing
    Momentum for Meals
    Beating the Blues
    Anxiety Allies
    Keeping Count with Timing Tunes
    Uplifting Spirits with Silly Songs

    Read about how Participation Songs, Special Songs, and Greeting Songs elicit positive responses and improve participation.

    Understand how the use of Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Songs become fertile grounds for creating connections and successes in all populations.

    Click Here for Chapter 8 - Galvanizing Actions with Songs


  • Bibliography

  • The referenced and annotated bibliography from Songs Science & Spirit is a resource list of some of the books that have been instrumental in Heather’s personal journey. In some cases book cover and personal comments are also included. Bibliography

    Visit our home page to see how you can create your own personal music therapy programs with this link

    Read about Parkinson's disease and music therapy for patients here

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