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October 27, 1985|ANNE PANOFSKY

THE MUSIC WITHIN YOU by Shelley Katsh and Carol Meryle-Fishman (Fireside/Simon & Schuster: $6.95, paperback). "The Music Within You" is written by two music therapists who have a deep appreciation for music and its effect on people. They write about the many ways music influences our lives, from before birth (as the fetus is soothed by the heart beat and rocking motion of the mother) to old age. Katsh and Meryle-Fishman believe that although we are in tune with our musical natures as children, we often lose some of our capacity for that spontaneous expression with age. Our musical capacities can be regained later if we actively listen to music, sing and play instruments. In their book, Katsh and Meryle-Fishman include exercises that facilitate this process of relearning. They show how music can enhance creativity, self-esteem, confidence, sense of joy and communication skills. They emphasize that music can bring emotional and spiritual nourishment to people at all levels of musical skill. The reviewer believes that this book best serves the novice musician who feels cautious or isolated. Katsh and Meryle-Fishman have a supportive, enthusiastic way of writing that would be especially encouraging to readers at the beginning of their musical journey.

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