Autistic and unable to care for himself, Derek Paravicini is also a musical genius.
Adam Ockelford was born in Nottingham in 1959, grew up on the Isle
of Wight, and, when he left school, studied at the Royal Academy of
Music in London. It was at this time, in the late 1970s, that he
first started working with blind children, including those with
additional disabilities. He was fascinated by just how musical many
of them seemed to be. Trying to understand how these young people
could 'hear' and understand music so effectively led him to develop
a theory of how music makes sense - not just to them, but to all of
us - a theory for which he was awarded a PhD by London University
in 1993, and that has since been published in a number of academic
journals and books. But Adam believes that theories are of little
value unless they're put into practice, and he continues to work
with a number of the young people - now adults - whom he first
started to teach over twenty years ago, including Derek.
Adam is Professor of Music at Roehampton University and the Institute of Education, London; Secretary of the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research; Chair of 'Soundabout', an Oxford-based charity that supports music provision children with complex needs; and founder of The AMBER Trust, which provides bursaries for blind and partially sighted children to have music lessons.
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 *