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In the Key of Genius: The Extraordinary Life of Derek Paravicini Hardcover – 3 May 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson; First Edition. edition (3 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091796121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091796129
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.7 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 489,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"A moving account of an incredibly gifted pianist" (Mail on Sunday)

"Nobody can really "know'' Paravicini since he is locked in his own world ... What Ockelford demonstrates is that it is possible to make such an insular world fulfilling, and the contemplation of this can touch the rest of us. That, in itself, is a considerable achievement." (Daily Telegraph)

"Ockelford tells his story well. No one else ... could have explained Derek in quite the same way." (Daily Mail) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Autistic and unable to care for himself, Derek Paravicini is also a musical genius. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very interesting
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fast delivery. Happy with purchase.
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Format: Paperback
How can you get through to a child who's blind and has severe learning disabilities? What if that child suddenly displays a budding musical talent out of all proportion to his disability? How can that be nurtured to the child's best advantage without exploiting him?

This book is a description of just how that was done for Derek Paravicini - a sensitive and awe-inspiring account which doesn't gloss over the difficulties, but ends on a truly uplifting note.

Despite his unfortunate start in life, Derek was lucky in some respects - that his family, wanting the best for him, called on his devoted nanny who came out of retirement to look after the disabled child she called her "blessing", and that a little later Fate should decree that he cross paths with Adam Ockelford, the professor of music specialised in working with blind children, who wrote this book. I don't think there could have been a better person to be Derek's mentor - with the musical knowledge to understand his talent, yet with the patience and experience to deal with his disability. Derek's verbal communication is limited, but Prof. Ockelford can "talk" to him through music, one of the most remarkable instances in the book being when he gently cajoles Derek out of a teenage tantrum, purely through communicating with him on the piano. Astounding!

You can actually hear Derek play by looking him up on "You Tube" , and see him in some everyday situations, which as Prof. Ockelford mentions in the book, demonstrate some of his difficulties without demeaning him. The severely disabled child now appears to be a charming (and rather handsome!) young man, with quite a personality and even a sense of humour - although I'm not sure if the latter was intentional! His prodigious but sometimes eccentric ability has been carefully channelled into a form which is fulfilling for both him and us and is a credit to all those who have devoted their lives to helping him.
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Format: Hardcover
Dr Adam Ockelford has the rare ability to draw us into Derek Paravicini's world, and to share how he's managed to communicate through music, perseverance and a lot of imagination. The reader does not require knowledge of music to be pulled into the story. Dr Ockelford's way with words is totally captivating, and like me, I'm sure you will find yourself willing Derek on, as he enthralls and captivates all who cross his path. There are plenty of questions about Derek's mind/ability that will remain unanswered, but nevertheless, this is one of the most moving stories I have read in a long time. Well done Dr Ockelford.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a piano teacher particularly interested in music for people with autism and Asbergers, I found this book very valuable. Not only did I enjoy being allowed into the lives of the people involved, but I learned a lot as well and shall probably re-read this several times.
The only reason for giving 4 stars instead of 5 was that at times I found the almost self-righteousness of the author rather irritating; at times I felt the book was written, not only to describe the amazing life of Derek, but also to proclaim his own virtues as a teacher. Indeed, Adam Ockelford certainly is a wonderful teacher and mentor, but I should have been happier had he not seen fit to decry other teachers who, like all of us, were no doubt doing their best at the time.
This aside, the book is certainly a fascinating read. I have recommended it to many people.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an extraordinary book about an extraordinary life. It is a must read. Great book, great service, great condition. You rock Amazon.com/UK
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Format: Paperback
This is a very touching book. It is unusual and we are very lucky to get such a moving and intimate insight into the life of someone as unique and gifted as Derek. He is a remarkable individual and Dr Ockelford expertly tells the story of Derek, his relationships, his extraordinary talent and how they have both managed to overcome so much to achieve amazing things. A great read, a lovely book.
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Format: Paperback
This account was fascinating and I thoroughly recommend it to everyone.
In some ways, I would have welcomed more detail on Detek's family life, school life and non musical time so as to give an idea of him when he wasn't playing the piano or with Adam.
There are some beautiful passages and the author is honest about his dilemmas.
In the end, the book was supposed to be about Derek's musical development so I guess maybe Adam felt the family side was too intrusive, but it did nag me throughout wondering where his parents were and how much decisions were made by them, how much they understood him or participated. As it stands, it looks a bit like Derek was exclusively in the care of Adam and Nanny with occasional visits from mum at concerts and almost no relationships with siblings after moving to Linden Lodge.
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