Monday, April 8, 2013

Edith Hillman Boxill - Music Therapy With The Developmentally Handicapped (1976)

Folkways Records has been a constant source of music (mostly of the folk and traditional variety) for both enjoyment and educational purposes for most of the 20th century and into the 21st, with its catalogue forever to be kept in print at the request of the founder, Moses Asch, after the Smithsonian Institute acquired the label after his death. One can explore the Folkways catalogue and find endless amounts of music to be enjoyed and appreciated, as well as learning a thing or two not just from music, from spoken word lectures, poetry, speeches, field recordings and much more. Music Therapy With The Developmentally Handicapped, arranged by Edith Hillman Boxill, is a combination of education, enjoyment and something else.

I believe that music is something we all take for granted. We hear it every day; it's part of our daily lives and it would be hard to think of a world where there were no such thing as music. As we critisize others for what music they listen to and perform, we are forgetting that music is something that is, what I believe, to be an inhernet quality within us, regardless of stature and we are blessed to have such an interesting affinity naturally.

Music Therapy With The Developmentally Handicapped transcends the boundaries of what we are used to as music appreciators/critics/listeners. Boxill leads a class of, as the title implies, the developmentally handicapped, in a set of improvised songs. These individuals are obviously having a hell of a time singing along; the most raw form of expression through music. These individuals are able to find a sense of involvment, as well as improve physical coordination, self-awareness and awareness of others, communication skills.

This album is touching. Hearing these individuals be able to excersise and improve their mental abilities through song is not only interesting, but also causes one to self-reflect, and understand why they love music and respond to it in the way that they do, since this album displays the most rudimentary example of human emotion.

Sample this album here, as well as read up on the liner notes that contain Boxill's purpose for it.

Music Therapy With the Developmentally Handicapped

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