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Expert Alert

U of M expert says music transcends disabilities

July 20, 2010

This week, national experts on disability issues will gather at the University of Minnesota School of Music for the Minnesota Symposium on Disability Studies and Inclusive Education. How accessible is music to people with disabilities? A University of Minnesota expert who can comment on music, disability and the surprising findings of this emerging field of study is:

Alex Lubet, professor of music, University of Minnesota School of Music

Lubet says the most important misperception surrounding this issue is that there are people whose disabilities make participation in music impossible. "There remain strong biases in music education and the music profession, where we see rigid notions of what a musician must look like, how music must be played, who may play it, and what if any is the legitimate place of music in society," he says.

Contrary to these perceptions, Lubet argues that where music is concerned, disability is a matter of culture, not physical impairment. He in particular points to technological advances that make music accessible to nearly anyone.

Joining Lubet at the symposium as a featured artist will be acclaimed violinist Adrian Anantawan, who has no right hand. For more information about the symposium, see http://blog.lib.umn.edu/gara0030/iggds/2010/07/minnesota-symposium-on-disability-studies-and-inclusive-education.html.

Lubet is a composer, performer and author whose specialties include music and text for theatre, dance and improvisation ensembles. His compositions have received over 300 performances on six continents. His forthcoming book is "Music, Disability, and Society," scheduled for publication in fall 2010.

To interview Lubet, contact Jeff Falk, University News Service, at (612) 626-1720 or jfalk@umn.edu; or Lisa Marshall, School of Music, at (612) 626-1094 or marsh396@umn.edu.

Expert Alert is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today's breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit www.unews.umn.edu. Views expressed by experts do not represent the views of the University of Minnesota. 

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Minnesota Symposium on Disability Studies and Inclusive Education