| What do you know about “Williams' Syndrome”?
Tonight on CBS there was a special program on children and adults who have been diagnosed with Williams' Syndrome. I had heard of this disability several years ago when I did a presentation at the Fourth International Music and Medicine Symposium in San Antonio, Texas. The people who have this disorder are missing 20 genes and the result is a combination of tragic (in some ways) but also some amazing musical gifts.
http://www.williams-syndrome.org/forteachers/musicandws.htmlfor further detail.
The disorder has existed for centuries but it was not named until fairly recently. This particular TV special focused on children and adults who live in New England and the research is being conducted primarily at Yale University. A prime characteristic of people with Williams' is that they are happy nearly all the time. They are extremely engaging and sometimes referred to as the perfect party guest because they never meet a stranger (all are seen as friends) and they love to sing or play an instrument for anyone. One woman featured tonight can sing operatic arias in 30 languages! Another boy’s mother said that when he was two months old she had him sitting in his infant seat near the piano while she played some jazz. When she stopped on a whole note, he matched the pitch perfectly. She was flabbergasted and said that she knew then that he would have very special musical gifts. Whether or not musical ability is always a trait, we don’t know, but it certainly appears to happen most of the time.
http://www.wsf.org/music/musicres/mrtrait.htm to learn more about the common traits.
It really is fascinating to see what scientists are learning about genetics; discovering the silver linings that sometimes emerge within these disorders that otherwise could be devastating. I’d be interested in hearing from readers who have experience with this intriguing condition.
Dr. Cash is featured in this interesting Alternative Medicine article by Linda Stahl in the Courier-Journal, Louisville, Kentucky,
March 11, 2004. Read the article
As always, Dr. Cash will set up workshops in Louisville and surrounding areas at special request if a minimum of 10-12 people can be assured.
“Using music with the autistic child”
“Music as a Pathway to Higher Power”
“Wellness through Music: Ten Top Tips”
“Music and Childbirth: the Lullaby Project
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