Music and the body: modern pedagogical techniques for teaching Afro-Cuban rhythms [abstract]
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Music is a ubiquitous part of our lives, inescapable and unforgettable. Its power moves our body, invokes peaks and valleys of emotion, and can cause vivid recollection of events long past. And why is it that an anatomist can identify a brain as belonging to a professional musician, but struggle to pair a brain with that of a mathematician, author, or painter? Humans that suffer from brain injuries that severely affect their speech, memory, or motor skills often retain their ability to play or sing music. Similarly, there are case studies that show that those who suffer from acute aphasia (the inability to comprehend or use words) are often still able to sing and can regain limited communication skills through music therapy (where other forms of intensive therapy often fail). Humans, as a species, are innately designed to perform, appreciate, and synthesize music. By combining the power of speech and movement, we tap into the musician in everyone to teach afro-Cuban drumming.
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