Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
As quoted in The Singing Neanderthals – Dr Steven Mithen
The music therapist Dorita S Berger provides a striking account of Alonzo, an eight-year-old autistic non-verbal boy:
Music Therapy, Sensory Integration and the Autistic Child – Dorita S Berger
[Alonzo] ran around the music therapy classroom aimlessly while the piano played and I sang a song describing and reflecting his behaviour back to him.
Alonzo remained at the far end of the large classroom and did not approach the piano. Occasionally, he would stop and cast glances across the room toward the piano, but his physical behaviour remained chaotic, distant, out of control.
Abandoning the piano and song, I opted instead for the simplicity of pure rhythm played on the conga drum. No singing; no melody; nothing but rhythm. In an instant, Alonzo's running halted, his body and mind frozen in a state of attention. He looked across the room at me and the drum. As suddenly as he had stopped he began moving in an organised rhythmic stepping demeanour, toward the sound. His steps accented the pulse of the conga’s beat as he neared the drum.