Paul Nordoff (June 4, 1909 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – January 18, 1977 in Herdecke, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany) was an American composer and music therapist, anthroposophist and initiator of the Nordoff-Robbins method of music therapy. His music is generally tonal and neo-Romantic in style.
Herdecke is a town in the district of Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis, North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. It is located south of Dortmund in the Ruhr Area. Its location between the two Ruhr reservoirs Hengsteysee and Harkortsee has earned it the nickname Die Stadt zwischen den Ruhrseen.
North Rhine-Westphalia is a state of Germany.
West Germany was the informal name for what was officially the Federal Republic of Germany, a country in Central Europe, in the period between its formation on 23 May 1949 and German reunification on 3 October 1990. During this Cold War period, the western portion of Germany was part of the Western bloc. The Federal Republic was created during the Allied occupation of Germany after World War II, established from eleven states formed in the three Allied zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France. Its (provisional) capital was the city of Bonn. The Cold War era West Germany is sometimes retrospectively historically designated the "Bonn Republic".
Born in Philadelphia, he studied the piano at the Philadelphia Conservatory, receiving a B.M. degree in 1927 and an M.M. degree in 1932. He later studied with Rubin Goldmark at the Juilliard School and in 1960 he received a Bachelor of Music Therapy from the Combs College of Music in Philadelphia. He served as head of composition at the Philadelphia Conservatory (1938–1943), a teacher at Michigan State College (1945–1949), and professor of music at Bard College(1948–1959). While still a student he encountered the work of Rudolf Steiner and became a member of the Anthroposophical Society in 1943, visiting its centre in Dornach to lecture at the conferences held there on Music after 1954.
Bachelor of Music is an academic degree awarded by a college, university, or conservatory upon completion of a program of study in music. In the United States, it is a professional degree, and the majority of work consists of prescribed music courses and study in applied music, usually requiring proficiency in an instrument, voice, or conducting. In Canada, the B.M. is often considered an undergraduate degree. Programs typically last from three to four and a half years.
The Master of Music is, as an academic title, the first graduate degree in Music awarded by universities and conservatories. The M.M. combines advanced studies in an applied area of specialization with graduate-level academic study in subjects such as music history, music theory, or music pedagogy. The degree, which takes one or two years of full-time study to complete, prepares students to be professional performers, conductors, and composers, according to their area of specialization. The M.M. is often required as the minimum teaching credential for university, college, and conservatory instrumental or vocal teaching positions.
Rubin Goldmark was an American composer, pianist, and educator. Although in his time he was an often-performed American nationalist composer, his works are seldom played now. Today he is best known as the teacher of other important composers, including Aaron Copland and George Gershwin.
His work as a composer was acknowledged by two Guggenheim Fellowships (in 1933 and 1935) and the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship for music. In 1958 he gave up his academic career, convinced of the power of music as therapy for disabled children. Encouraged by colleagues in research and psychology, he began his explorations with disabled children in Great Britain and Europe, teaming up with Dr Clive Robbins, a special educator committed to music as a medium of therapy.
Guggenheim Fellowships are grants that have been awarded annually since 1925 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to those "who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts." The roll of Fellows includes numerous Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer, and other prize winners.
From 1958 to 1960 Paul Nordoff worked in Sunfield Homes together with Michael Wilson and Dr Herbert Geuter, the son of founder Fried Geuter, both accomplished musicians conversant with the field of music therapy themselves. Thereafter he visited 26 institutions offering Special Needs education, introducing his methods in England, Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.
Sunfield is an Independent special school, Children’s Home and charity on the border of Worcestershire and the West Midlands in England. It was founded in 1930 and now supports boys and girls, aged 6 – 19 years, with complex learning needs, including autism.
Michael Wilson, was a musician, curative educator, scientist, translator and General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain
Carl Friedrich Wilhelm "Fried" Geuter, was a pioneer of anthroposophical Special Needs education, the co-founder of Sunfield Children's Home and founder of the Ravenswood Village Settlement near Crowthorne in Berkshire.
Thereafter, they worked together in a research programme beginning in 1961 for two years, in which they treated children with severe handicap in public schools in Philadelphia by means of music therapy, with astonishing results on their ability to learn. Also autistic children were activated and enlivened through their therapy sessions with music.
He was married to the American Eurythmist Sabina Nordoff.
Eurythmy is an expressive movement art originated by Rudolf Steiner in conjunction with Marie von Sivers in the early 20th century. Primarily a performance art, it is also used in education, especially in Waldorf schools, and – as part of anthroposophic medicine – for claimed therapeutic purposes.
He composed the score to three of Martha Graham's ballets: Praeludium (1935), Every Soul Is a Circus (1939) and Salem Shore (1943).
Martha Graham was an American modern dancer and choreographer. Her style, the Graham technique, reshaped American dance and is still taught worldwide.
Every Soul Is a Circus is a comedic ballet choreographed by Martha Graham. The dance premiered on December 27, 1939, at the St. James Theatre in New York City. The original score was composed by Paul Nordoff. Philip Stapp created the set. Edythe Gilfond designed the costumes. The production marked the first appearance of Merce Cunningham with the Martha Graham Dance Company.
Salem Shore is a solo modern dance work choreographed by Martha Graham to original music by Paul Nordoff. The piece premiered on December 26, 1943 at the 46th Street Theater in New York City. The ballet featured costumes by Edythe Gilfond and a set by Arch Lauterer. Program notes accompanying the first performance described the dance as "a ballad of a woman's longing for her beloved's return from the sea."
Nordoff's music was published by Associated, Carl Fischer, Theodore Presser, and G. Schirmer.
Two films featuring their work were broadcast on BBC Television. In 1976, musicians and managers in the British music industry formed the Silver Clef fund-raising organization to support all the activities of the Centre.
Clive Robbins joined Sunfield as a teacher in 1954 and it was here that he met Paul Nordoff when he came to visit. Encouraged by Dr Herbert Geuter to play to one of the boys and observe the results, Paul Nordoff quickly became inspired by the potential of music to communicate something to severely disabled children. Clive Robbins, equally inspired, teamed up with him to research and develop what is known today as the Nordoff-Robbins method of music therapy, pioneered and still practiced at Sunfield today.
Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy is an improvisational and compositional approach to individual and group therapy that resulted from the pioneering teamwork of Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins over a period of 17 years. The early development of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy resulted from Nordoff and Robbins' similar philosophical background, the supportive environment of Sunfield Children's Home, the guidance of Herbert Geuter, M.D., and their courage. Since the 1959-1960 academic year, the application and practice of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy has undergone many changes. However, the pioneering spirit of Nordoff and Robbins manifested in that watershed year remains strong among contemporary Nordoff-Robbins music therapy practitioners.
Nordoff died in Herdecke, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany in 1977 at the age of 67.
Bryn Mawr is a census-designated place (CDP) located across Radnor and Haverford Townships in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia along Lancaster Avenue (US-30) and the border with Delaware County. Bryn Mawr is located toward the center of what is known as the Main Line, a group of affluent Philadelphia suburban villages stretching from the city limits to Malvern. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 3,779. Bryn Mawr is home to Bryn Mawr College.
Music therapy is an evidence-based clinical use of musical interventions used to improve clients' quality of life. Music therapists use music and its many facets—physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual—to help clients improve their health in cognitive, motor, emotional, communicative, social, sensory, and educational domains by using both active and receptive music experiences. These experiences include improvisation, re-creation, composition, and receptive methods and discussion of music.
The Philadelphia Main Line, known simply as the Main Line, is an informally delineated historical and social region of suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lying along the former Pennsylvania Railroad's once prestigious Main Line, it runs northwest from Center City Philadelphia parallel to Lancaster Avenue.
The Nordoff–Robbins approach to music therapy, also known as creative music therapy, developed from the 17-year collaboration of Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins beginning in 1958. It was originally devised as a therapy for children with psychological, physical, or developmental disabilities. Its early development was influenced by Rudolph Steiner and anthroposophical philosophy and teachings. Nordoff–Robbins music therapy is grounded in the belief that everyone can respond to music, no matter how ill or disabled. It holds that the unique qualities of music as therapy can enhance communication, support change, and enable people to live more resourcefully and creatively. Nordoff-Robbins music therapists practice worldwide and have graduated from training programs around the world including England, the USA, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, and the Far East.
Theophilus Parsons Chandler Jr. was an American architect of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He spent his career at Philadelphia, and is best remembered for his churches and country houses. He founded the Department of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania (1890), and served as its first head.
Harcum College is an associate degree-granting residential college in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1915 and was the first college in Pennsylvania authorized to grant associate degrees.
Combs College of Music was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1885 as Combs Broad Street Conservatory of Music by Gilbert Raynolds Combs, celebrated pianist,organist and composer.
Jeffrey Brillhart is an American organist and conductor. He has served as director of music and fine arts at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church since January 1983. He is music director of Philadelphia's Singing City Choir, one of the first racially and religiously integrated symphonic choirs in America. He teaches organ improvisation at Yale University. He first gained national recognition for his abilities in organ improvisation after winning the 1994 National Competition in Organ Improvisation, sponsored by the American Guild of Organists.
Addison Hutton (1834–1916) was a Philadelphia architect who designed prominent residences in Philadelphia and its suburbs, plus courthouses, hospitals, and libraries, including the Ridgway Library and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. He made major additions to the campuses of Westtown School, George School, Swarthmore College, Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, and Lehigh University.
Robert Charles Suderburg was an American composer, conductor, and pianist.
Rock Therapy was a 1996 one-off project consisting of Queen guitarist Brian May, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, plus a number of guest vocalists including Sam Brown, Andy Fairweather-Low, Paul Rodgers and Lulu. This was a 3-track charity CD issued in aid of the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre, which helps special needs children to communicate through the medium of music.
The O2 Silver Clef Awards is an annual UK music awards lunch which has been running since 1976.
Walter Heurtley Braithwaite (1906–1991) was a composer, pianist and teacher. He was born in Gloucester on 24 August 1906, the third of five children born to Rev. Herbert Morris Braithwaite and Julia Mary née Young.
Julia Usher is an English musician, project animateur and composer, and is known for musical theater. Besides composing, she also works as a music therapist.
Janet Christine Graham is an English composer, music educator and music therapist. She was born in Consett, County Durham, and studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music from 1966–70 with James Iliff. After her time at the Royal Academy of Music, she began teaching piano at the Mid Hertfordshire Music Centre while continuing to compose and study with Elisabeth Lutyens. She married organist Philip Redpath Deane on 8 September 1973. In 1978,two of her pieces were selected for the BBC Young Composers' Forum. In 1986 Graham began volunteering at a fortnightly musical evening at a local psychiatric hospital. After two years of training at the Nordoff Robbins Centre in London, Graham became a music therapist in 1990 and was a therapist and tutor there for 17 years. In 2007 she moved to the Nordoff Robbins North East where she became Head Music Therapist.Here, Graham established new music therapy projects and lead local courses at hospitals and care homes; she particularly worked with autistic children and adults as well as elderly people with dementia. After retiring from music therapy in 2013, Graham began composing again and playing music with local groups. In 2004, Janet Graham published a research project in the British Journal of Learning Disabilities titled, Communicating with the Uncommunicative: Music Therapy with Pre-verbal Adults, in which she found improvement of two patients' general communication abilities.
Donald Harris was an American composer who taught music at The Ohio State University for 22 years. He was Dean of the College of the Arts from 1988 to 1997.
Clive Robbins, was a British music therapist, Special Needs educator, anthroposophist and co-founder of Nordoff-Robbins music therapy.
Stephen Joseph Herben Jr. was an American professor of philology at Bryn Mawr College. He specialized in English and German philology, and among other places did work at the American-Scandinavian Foundation in Copenhagen and Oxford University, as well as at Rutgers, Princeton, and Stanford University. His work included assistance with the etymological work of the second edition of Webster's New International Dictionary, and two articles on medieval literary descriptions of weapons and armor. The second of these articles, Arms and Armour in Chaucer, is still considered a standard on the subject.