Where words and music meet: supporting those with communication difficulties - Collaborative work by Mariko Udo and Miyuki Takano -

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Storytelling, Music, and Communication

Session with Nicola Grove

Storytelling and Musical Improvisation Collaboration

This session is a unique collaboration of storytelling and musical improvisation that can create the desire to express oneself and therefore can facilitate dialogue. Although people involved with supporting those with disabilities may be familiar with these kinds of therapies separately, after experiencing them jointly, the participants will surely want to share this with the people who can benefit (people with intellectual disabilities and those with communication difficulties).

We’ve invited storytelling specialist Nicola Grove from England to lead a pair of workshops for educators, welfare officials and those who have a personal interest (students from elementary school to university are also welcome) during the holiday period. Our aim is to learn through practice, techniques from England and combine that with the situation (education and language) in Japan.

[About Nicola]

After receiving her Ph.D from London University and teaching at City University of London , Nicola launched the storytelling NPO Openstorytellers.
She has stepped down as Director but is a trustee and consultant with them. The NPO received a British Awards for Storytelling Excellence for the best community project. She is active in education and social care research, and is an honorary senior lecturer with the Tizard Centre at the University of Kent.


Collaboration with the Kobe Otoasobi Project for Improvised Music

Experimenting with Fusing Storytelling and Improvised Music
The joint session with the Kobe Otoasobi Project for Improvised Music, led by Rii Numata, came about at the request of Nicola Grove. This most unusual performance of intertwining interactive narratives and improvised performance that will result in an unimaginable dialogue will possibly be the first of its kind in the world. We will keep you informed of the performance on the website.
Kobe Otoasobi Project

A Storyteller in Japan: learning from Yumiko Mitsudo

Experimenting with Fusing Storytelling and Improvised Music
Her current research focuses on exploring the concepts of ‘talk’ and ‘narrative’ to widen the discussion and ideas about the domain of communication/dialogue which is often restricted to the two areas of characteristics of language, such as styles and expressions, and content or composition. She would like to show how storytelling differs from ‘reading a story’, in that it is not dependent on the written word. The act of storytelling involves a level of performance that engages the listener and invites them to enter the world of the story.

In January 2015, Yumiko Mitsudo, who actively participates in The Storytelling Club of Matsuyama, was invited to lead a workshop teaching the basic concepts of “storytelling” and how to tell stories in order to prepare for the upcoming storytelling workshops in May. This is due largely to the support of Fundamental Research (C) (project number: 24531245, principal investigator: Miyuki Takano), however, the activities introduced in the first workshop are directly related to these new workshops.
Making Connections with the Disabled: Storytelling Workshops (PDF)