Saturday, October 3, 2009

Book Review: Tataku: The Use of Percussion in Music Therapy

Wow! This is really a terrific book! Bill Matney actually used to work for Music Therapy Services of Texas when I was Director of Client Services several years ago. We were pleased to have him as one of our therapists, primarily serving clients in the public schools. He continued in his career by taking a position with Lewisville Independent School District and also lecturing at Texas Womens University.

Mr. Matney's book is a wonderful compilation of many of the different applications of drumming that have been used in therapy settings. Bill is a trained percussionist and I can attest to his professional ability as a drummer. In this book, he has synthesized theory and practice from the leaders in drum circle facilitation and drumming and wellness like Kalani and Christine Stevens. This book can serve as a handbook and manual for music therapists and teachers in implementing much more effective use of drumming in the classroom. Matney's discussion of drum circle facilitation along with his nice illustrations and picture examples provide an excellent reference source that is easy to use.

Before this book, much of the literature was either about drumming instruction or intended for specific types of therapeutic drumming. Christine Steven's, Healing Drum Kit, was groundbreaking in its way of teaching some simple drum techniques, but also promoting drumming for relaxation and wellness. Mr. Matney has now provided us with a much more comprehensive manual for learning to play many different types of percussion instruments from around the world. He has provided traditional rhythmic patterns that can be used for each instrument and ideas for group activities. In each case he has also provided links to therapeutic goals and adaptations for people with disabilities or people using drumming to address wellness and psychological objectives. The final chapters provide a thorough and easy to follow description about facilitating drum circles.

The bottom line: This book makes sense for the music therapist who wants to use drumming in a variety of settings. The teacher in special education could also use this book to provide ideas for group drumming in the classroom. The music education teacher could use many of the more advanced ideas for regular education group activities and information for teaching multicultural ideas.

The book at Amazon:
Tataku: The Use of Percussion in Music Therapy

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