Up Bow Down Bow

Up Bow, Down Bow: A Child with Down Syndrome and His Journey to Master the Cello

Imprint:  Modern History Press
Author:  Nancy M. Schwartz and April E. Beard
ISBN-13:  PB 978-1-61599-703-9 / HC 978-1-61599-704-6 / eBook 978-1-61599-705-3
List Price:  PB $ 23.95 / HC $ 34.95 / eBook $ 6.95
Trim:  6.14 x 9.21 (132 pp)
Audience:  General Adult
Pub Date:  12/01/2022
BISAC:  Education/Special Education/Mental Disabilities
  Music/Instruction & Study/Techniques

Synopsis: When 4th grader Alex Schwartz first met his cello, his eyes lit up with wonder and a smile appeared on his face as bright as the potential his new cello teacher saw within him. The cello positively impacted all aspects of his development including focus, fine motor and gross motor skills.

Through the transformative power of music, Alex’s voice sings through his cello in songs of joy, determination and strength. Up Bow, Down Bow shares the beauty of his ongoing musical journey and tells of the vital teamwork between a young music teacher with an endless belief in the abilities of her students, and a mother with ceaseless love, support and hope for her son who has Down syndrome, epilepsy and hypotonia.

“Children with varying abilities have much to offer us all. This book speaks to how parents, families and communities can support children with diverse capabilities and the joy we can receive in return” –Barbara Bowman, Irving B. Harris Professor, Erikson Institute

“This is a tale of the triumph of the human spirit: the triumph managed through a parent’s love and persistence, a teacher’s dedication, a young boy’s desire to learn and music’s power to transform.” –Russ Walsh, Rider University, author of A Parent’s Guide to Public Education in the 21st Century

“This collaboration offers a promising and powerful blueprint for educators, parents and caregivers everywhere to collaborate, teach and love all children within the space of strength-based perspectives.” -Kass Minor, Co-Founding Educator and Executive Director, The Minor Collective

“This beautiful book shows the inner beauty of a whole community, focused on the inner beauty of Alex, a little boy with Down syndrome. It is the joint account of a loving mother and a talented, loving music teacher in helping Alex to grow through learning to play the cello. At twelve years of age, Alex is unable to do many of the things we take for granted, including speech, and yet… Read, and be inspired.” –Bob Rich, PhD, professional grandfather and author of From Depression to Contentment

“This book, co-authored by the kind of teacher or parent that every child deserves, captures the magical powers of music to meet learners where they are. It is a loving thank you note to every teacher whose lessons have built our competence and confidence. While it is the continuing and triumphant story of one child’s journey towards independence, Up Bow, Down Bow is also a universal guide to how to live a good life-working together as a team and looking beyond obstacles to embrace new challenges.” — Betty Litsinger, Director of Multilingual Writing, Bryn Mawr College

Up Bow, Down Bow: A Child with Down Syndrome and His Journey to Master the Cello by Nancy M. Schwartz and April E. Beard is a multivocal learning narrative that weaves the rhythms of a mother’s vision and persistence, a teacher’s skill and dedication, a young boy’s vitality and commitment to learning with the power of relational music instruction. In this book, the cello is a portal–to an illuminating vision of how families, educators, and communities can optimally support children with diverse capabilities in ways that generate reciprocal learning and transformation.” –Sharon M. Ravitch, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education

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