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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Thu Feb 24, 2000  7:35 pm
Subject:  Re: Writing Songs


On 2/22/00, Trevor Jenkins wrote:

>Durig this DCF meeting the only true instrument was a large drum. Who ever
>was hitting it wasn't always in time with those singing. :-)

--------------------------------

SignWriting List
February 24, 2000

Hi Trevor and Stuart -
Thanks for the interesting messages about writing the signing of
songs in SignWriting...which can be done and will be very useful to
your congregations....and yes, we can solve the problem of timing ...

In regards to using a drum to give rhythm...although of course I know
the theory behind that...it is true that all people, deaf or hearing,
can feel vibrations to a certain extent, and I am sure that deaf
people have developed that ability better than many hearing people
have.

However, for a short time I taught ballet to deaf children - and I
also taught a ballet class to the National Theater of the Deaf once -
I was at the NTD teaching SignWriting in a one-week workshop in the
summer of 1977, and there I met Linda Bove, the Deaf star on the
American TV show Sesame Street. Linda and I started talking about
ballet, and I ended up giving a short ballet class to a few
interested Deaf members of the National Theater of the Deaf...that
was fun and most likely will never happen again! I haven't taught
dance in many years...

I bring this up for a reason...I tried using drums and vibrations
when teaching ballet to deaf people...and my experience is that deaf
people cannot feel vibrations if they are moving or jumping.
Vibrations become enjoyable when one sits still and concentrates
and...of course there are exceptions with very loud booms...but most
of the time, when one is moving...a loud drum would not give enough
vibration for a deaf person to "feel the rhythm".

And "signing songs" is like "moving poetry"...it is like dance in the
sense that the signers are moving enough that the vibrations would
not be as evident to them...

But there are visual cues that can be used for professional dancers
who are deaf, and some of those visual cues are used in the timing
with SignWriting...so I will get to that explanation soon -

Best -


Val ;-)

------------------------------------

Valerie Sutton


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