Autistic people and musical individuals often have perfect pitch, a gift they were born with. The musical gift may be accompanied with learning differences such as reading comprehension problems, trouble with mathematics, and significant difficulties in learning how to read music. This book was written by a music therapist and an autistic researcher, and is endorsed by leading experts in the field of autism and special-needs education. The Rancer Method is presented as page-by-page instructions to be implemented with readily-available method books so that every piano teacher can follow it and do well by their students.
"By focusing on the abilities rather than the deficits of people with learning, perceptual, motor, and other differences, Kupferstein and Rancer have developed a revolutionary piano pedagogy that will empower individuals with autism and other differences by unleashing the power of what can be done."
Stephen M. Shore, Ed.D.
Internationally known professor, consultant, speaker, and author on issues related to the autism spectrum and special education. Person on the autism spectrum p>"This book will help the quirky kid who is different to be successful in music. This method may help open musical doors for many individuals on the autism spectrum."
Temple Grandin, author
Thinking in Pictures and The Autistic Brain.
In this book, the Rancer Method is presented as page-by-page instructions, so that every teacher can follow it and do well by their students. Why do we care about absolute pitch? The original focus of our research was to explain the seeming connection between absolute pitch and learning disabilities. What we discovered was that there are no learning disabilities. There are learning differences and brilliant tactics that enable coping with each of those differences, tools that lead to success in academics and all areas of functioning.
This book bridges three worlds together for your understanding. Among the authors, we have autism, sensory integration issues and absolute pitch. By combining our experiences, we can learn much more about what occurs due to the autism, due to the sensory issues, or due to the absolute pitch. The common thread is absolute pitch. Exploring it as a trait segues into understanding the rest of the autism and sensory issues. By peeling those apart, we can then assign the traits to the autism and/or absolute pitch.
Henny Kupferstein, M.A. is a doctoral student of psychology with a specialization in autism research. She is also a musical savant with absolute pitch and synesthesia. Henny gives web-based piano lessons to non-verbal and autistic students around the world. She is a parent of autistic children and is an autistic scholar, composer, and researcher. Henny is a contributing author, appearing in six chapters in the book "Been There, Done That, Try This!", edited by Tony Attwood, Craig R. Evans and Anita Lesko. Henny can be reached via http://www.HennyK.com Susan Rancer, RMT is a Registered Music Therapist since 1975. She has absolute pitch and was a child prodigy, and performed on the piano from a young age. She maintains a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area where she does music therapy with special needs clients. She is the Author of Teaching Music to the Special Needs Client: A Music Therapist's Approach (ch. 25) in the book "Islands of Genius" by Dr. Darold Treffert, who is the world's expert on savants. In 2005, Susan published a short booklet titled "Perfect Pitch Relative Pitch", a guide for identifying and testing for the phenomena. Susan can be reached via http://www.SusanRancer.com
Educators, parents and musicians will do well by studying this authoritative view of the potential of individuals on the spectrum. Understanding the interplay between a person's assets and challenges, whether it be in their desire and determination to learn their musical instrument or in their academic work, the book brings the "aha... now I understand" moments to the forefront, allowing remarkable movement to occur for that individual, their teachers and their parents.
Marian O'Brien, The Concerto Project