Music & Minds: Using a Talent Development Approach for Young Adults with Williams Syndrome

By Reis, Sally M.; Schader, Robin et al. | Exceptional Children, Spring 2003 | Go to article overview

Music & Minds: Using a Talent Development Approach for Young Adults with Williams Syndrome


Reis, Sally M., Schader, Robin, Milne, Harry, Stephens, Robert, Exceptional Children


Smiling, sociable, and often both musically interested and adept, persons with Williams syndrome (WS) have only recently been recognized as having specific abilities that differentiate them from others with disabilities. To investigate these abilities, 16 individuals with WS were identified and asked to participate in a 10-day residential summer program called Music & Minds. The Music & Minds program was based on the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM), a talent development model usually implemented in programs for the gifted and talented (Renzulli, 1977, 1994; Renzulli & Reis, 1985, 1997)that provides enrichment experiences for students by focusing on individual learning styles, prior experiences, patterns of talent development, and educational needs. Music & Minds was designed to provide appropriate enrichment experiences based on the specific strengths and talents, as well as interests of the participants, because research studies in a variety of fields have shown that learning is more productive and enjoyable when a person is able to work in an area of his or her own selection (Baum, Renzulli, & Hebert, 1995; Bloom 1985; Renzulli, 1977; Renzulli & Reis, 1985, 1997). The success of Music & Minds resulted in a follow-up study during the subsequent summer with 20 participants, including 11 of the original group. In this study, researchers examined patterns of talent development in music, as well as the efficacy of providing a talent development summer program to persons with WS (Reis et al., in press). This article provides a summary of information about the program, including the enhancement of academic deficits through the use of an enrichment approach to talent development focusing on the musical strengths and interests of the participants.

RESEARCH ON PERSONS WITH WILLIAMS SYNDROME

Since its identification in 1961, Williams syndrome (WS), called a "beautiful mystery" by neurolinguist Ursula Bellugi (Bellugi, Bihrle, Jernigan, Trauner, & Doherty, 1990), has emerged from obscurity to fascinate researchers, physicians, educators, and others. This rare congenital disorder is characterized by a unique pattern of asymmetric abilities that transcends traditional theories of intelligence and cognitive impairment. In describing an individual with WS from a father's point of view, Howard Lenhoff wrote:

   My daughter Gloria, now 40, has a rich lyric soprano
   voice, and can play on the full-sized piano
   accordion, with ease and embellishments, almost
   any song she hears. She has a repertoire of about
   2,000 songs and sings in over 20 foreign languages.
   Yet, like most individuals with WS, she
   cannot add 5 + 3, nor can she get along independently.
   (Lenhoff, 1996, p. 1).

Unfortunately, persons with WS are only labeled as disabled, and previous research has focused on their genetic, medical, linguistic, and psychological deficits. Educational programs have generally been developed to address the disabilities of this group and, therefore, have failed to provide opportunities for the specific identification and development of the unique musical interests and talents observed in many persons with WS.

The incidence of WS is estimated as 1 in 25,000 (Bellugi, Lichtenberger, Jones, Lai, & St. George, 2000). Williams syndrome is evident at birth, occurs in all ethnic groups, affects males and females equally, and has been reported throughout the world (Pober & Dykens, 1993). Individuals with WS typically have cardiovascular abnormalities and short stature (Udwin, Yule, & Martin, 1987). Einfield and Hall (1994) described persons with WS as having:

   the so-called "elfin" faces, with an upturned
   nose, sometimes called retrousse with a rather
   bow-shaped mouth. Abnormal dentition is always
   present. A particular iris pattern [in the
   eyes] is present in many persons with WS and is
   described as star shaped or stellate. … 

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Music & Minds: Using a Talent Development Approach for Young Adults with Williams Syndrome
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.