Derek's abilities are amazing. Where, precisely, do they come from? I am struck by the profound contradiction between the language on the page, which calls Derek's talent "innate," and details of Adam Ockelford's actual presentation.
I thought about the pity people show toward Bud and his limitations, and I thought about how little Bud pities himself. I wondered who gets to decide what's considered a limitation and what's considered a strength.
The GIMP Project -- my body of work featuring disabled and non-disabled dancers-is not sentimental. It is not victim art, nor does it fall under the traditional definition of "integrated dance." It's about expansion, not accommodation.
The beautiful piano performance by Derek Paravicini "In The Key Of Genius" would be impressive even if he wasn't challenged by blindness and autism. But curiously, that's not what struck me most about this young man.
When the lady with the blue folder walked in my room, I instinctively knew that folder she held in her hand was full of definitions, statistics and medical jargon. Wasn't being told your child had Down syndrome enough to process for one day?
Sadly, for many of these students and adults, our automatic tendency is to view them by their limitations. As a music therapist, I have the privilege to bring music and creative activities to individuals who don't typically get to experience them.
Derek's capacity to reason and to use language is in the bottom 0.05 percent of the population. Yet his capacity to process musical sound is in the top 99.99 percent: actually, the best I've ever encountered, even among advanced performers.