New artistic skills help students to better the rehabilitation of hearing and speech because they develop rhythm, spatial and physical coordination, auditory attention, memory and discrimination, as well as cooperation and self-confidence.
According to Dr. Zlatko Bastašić, neuropsychiatrist – psychotherapist (European certificate), with regard to creativity, this project is unique in our community and it raises many questions about the social status of children (and adults) with communication disabilities, but also deals with creativity in general, especially in children.
A well-known English pediatrician and psychotherapist Donald Winnicott advocated the idea that all children are creative, the only question is how to enable them to demonstrate and use it. He talks about creative living, not about the outstanding creativity achieved in works of art. It is a creativity the environment should recognize and encourage.
Being creative means to truly live, accomplish oneself, and this means to look for new opportunities and optimal means of communication. However, this project shows that limits are conditional and can be exceeded even when it seems impossible.
Violinmusic4all encourages, develops and enables the consolidation of all vulnerable social groups into one direction: the therapeutic interaction through music. Specifically, by playing the violin using the method which enables them to participate equally in the creation of music just like people with no hearing impairment, they manifest their personal experiences and create personal guidelines for future action.
In the context of psychosocial rehabilitation, our students receive simple musical incentives, but the ambitious idea of the violinist Renata Novoselec surprised and delighted us!
She brought together 10 randomly selected students from elementary school with hearing impairment, who managed to master the basics of playing the violin in just a month. They successfully presented their new skills at the final school event on June 11, 2015 at the Center. It was an event that broke all the prejudices and widened the horizons, realized through the joint effort of children and employees of the “Slava Raškaj” Center and enthusiasts, volunteers from the European Art Center Jastrebarsko.
These new artistic skills help students to better the rehabilitation of hearing and speech because they develop rhythm, spatial and physical coordination, auditory attention and self-confidence.
As an institution that provides education and rehabilitation for those with communication difficulties, many of whom are children and young people with impaired hearing, the “Slava Raškaj” Center in Zagreb wholeheartedly encourages the expansion of the support network for hearing impaired persons and readily participates in all initiatives aimed at improving their lives.
We recognized that the art association European Art Center Jastrebarsko and their president Renata Novoselec were valuable partners who offer an innovative and original mix of music and therapeutic activities in their project.
– Mr.sc. Slavica Jelić, prof.def.
I am truly honored to be the ambassador of goodwill in the Violinmusic4all project that gives deaf people the opportunity to get involved in the world of music. Especially as a person with lifelong dedication to music, I cannot imagine life without music. In addition to the gifts of nature, music is one of the greatest lifting forces in this world.
It is inconceivable that deaf people must exist without music in their lives, so the Violinmusic4all project deserves my full support.
If this project can enrich a small percentage of nearly half a billion people in the world who suffer from hearing loss, Violinmusic4all will do a great service to mankind.
In my therapeutic work with children with hearing impairment like deafness or poor hearing, I have not met a person with such will, determination, faith and hope as violinist Renata Novoselec to give the “final touch” and connect hearing impairment with music.
Looking at the facial expressions of children Professor Novoselec diligently practiced with, there was great satisfaction from the beginning, progress from day to day, and a desire to succeed. There was something “asleep” within these children which only needed to be recognized and “awaken”. Professor Novoselec was able to recognize it and do just that.
We know that hearing impairment is divided with regard to severity into hard of hearing and deafness. Functionally, the essential difference between these two categories is that hard of hearing children receive speech primarily by hearing and deaf children primarily by sight, or by lip reading, with the use of hearing aids. Reliance on sight for communication and perception of the world is growing proportionately with the severity of hearing loss.
In hard of hearing children, the average hearing loss is between 20 or 25 dB to 90 dB. World classifications (USA, UK) usually divide hearing loss in four categories: mild (25-40 dB), moderate (40-55 dB), moderate-severe (55-70 dB) and severe (70-90 dB). Hard of hearing children, in perception of speech, supplement auditory information with visual perception, receiving significant help from hearing aids, which is in some children a cochlear implant. Individual differences between children with hearing impairment are large, and they have a significant impact on the modalities of communication and the choice of rehabilitation and education procedures.
Deaf children have an average hearing loss above 90 dB and cannot fully perceive speech even with the help of hearing aids. These children perceive the spoken language predominately through their visual channel – by reading the face and the lips of the interlocutor, and the interpersonal communication is carried out in sign language, provided that the interlocutor is familiar with it.
With this short theoretical paragraph about hearing impairment I want to give you an overview of the status of speech and hearing in deaf and hard of hearing children. One must know and be able to “defy” these kinds of facts in terms of pushing the limits, and this is exactly what Professor Novoselec did.
Finally, the “Ode to Joy” becomes ODE TO JOY on the faces of students, and even the professor’s face after so much effort on both sides, selflessly invested, and all the belief that everything can be achieved.
As a therapist/rehabilitator for children with hearing and speech impairments, I truly admire the success that has been achieved, because although it was done on a volunteer basis by Professor Novoselec, there is a certain amount of defiance to move the definitions beyond the limits imposed by the society. Therefore, I thank Professor Novoselec for that, too!
– mr.sc.Nataša Šunić, prof. speech therapist
I am honored to be the ambassador of goodwill for violinist and professor Renata Novoselec and her project Violinmusic4all.
It is a major innovation in the world of classical music.
I strongly recommend this project with all my artistic feeling!