Final Critique Notes

Thank everyone for some awesome feedback!

Don’t start with perfect pitch

Core concept in the V.O./ naration

ducking during credits – consistancy

Pizza is the favorite

Introduce Sam Rubin more

“Two black keys” B-roll

More about character

Who she works with -first

B-roll more context

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Rough Cut Notes

Jordans Notes:

1)Transition at beginning
2)More B-Roll
4)V.O. Pizza
5)Color Corrections

Story Fixes

1) Pitch naming before description
2) Not clear on perfect pitch
3) Connect visually
4) “Its a special gift that gives you drive.”
5)Pizza Boy-perfect pitch
6) More facial close ups.- Bonding/knowledge
7)Not letting the perfect pitch taking over
8)World of music therapy
9)Order! -rearrange time line
10) Possible stats- zooming out

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Beginning to End

We would like to begin our documentary with an introduction to Susan Rancer, answering the questions, “Who is she?”, and “What does she do?” Because our film is centered around music therapy, we would like to also explain the importance and uses of music therapy for people with special needs as well as how we can use it in our everyday lives.

At the end of our film our goal is to show the positive effect that Susan Rancer has had on the lives of her clients with special needs. We would like our viewers to feel inspired by Susan’s passion for music therapy and for the future of the people she works with, as she had inspired us.

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Music Aphasia and Therapy


Another form of music therapy and treatment are activities that work to trigger neurological receptors for speech and concept understanding in patients (generally older) who have lost their ability to vocalize or speak with fluidity. This condition is called expressive aphasia and is usually attributed to patients who have damaged a speech or understanding area of the brain located in the left temporal lobe. This is often induced in stroke survivors from the damages sustained. For these patients, songs such as “Happy Birthday”, “Old McDonald,” or any other melody that they attribute to their own life will not only allow them to feel and vocalize, effectively pointing them to utilize their speech area of their brain but also, in use, gain further mechanical usage in working the so-called under-utilized muscle of that particular part of the brain. Below, I have linked to an article that serves as a history of the cognitive disease and a database of further information including some of the modern technology utilized to help these patients who want to communicate but cannot without the power of musical therapy as well as an interesting inquiry into a prominent Stanford professors personal research on the subject. I have also linked an insightful video that explores the differing therapies used to treat this affliction. Truly inspiring to see first hand the impact of musical therapies not only for children, also our age-advanced members too!

From Singing to Speaking: History and Library of Music Aphasia

Aphasia: Personal Study Stanford

Music Therapy and Aphasia

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Interviewing Susan for the first time!

Going to interview Susan Rancer for the first time we didn’t quite know what to expect. As we unloaded the equipment from the truck Susan greeted us outside. She welcomed us into her home and gave us the grand tour of her scenic house and the beautifully decorated music room. She waited patiently as we struggled getting the camera set up then she graciously let us tear apart he living room in order to get the right interview shot. The spirits were high as we set up our equipment and started the interview. We filmed for an hour as Susan answered our questions explained exactly what she does.

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Core Concept


“Susan Racer’s quest to empower and instill self-confidence in her clients with special needs, through music therapy, activities, and lessons.”


Susan Rancer

Susan Rancer

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by | February 3, 2015 · 4:41 pm

Interview Questions

Interview Questions for Susan Rancer:

1. How did you get your start in Music Therapy? Was there a specific motivation or inspiration?

2. What are some examples of conditions that you treat, identify, and provide therapy for?

3. What are the special needs you address and how is Perfect/Relative Pitch connected to them?

4. What is Perfect and Relative Pitch?

5. How do you test for Perfect and Relative Pitch?

6. What are the primary changes in your music lessons and why are they effective for your patients?

7. What are some examples of activities that you utilize in treatment? Why are they effective?

8. When did you decide to develop a private practice? Are there any significant advantages you have found in the switch?

9. What are some of the more extreme examples of music therapy helping to treat more impacting diagnoses such as Parkinson’s, Autism, and Cerebral Palsy?

10. Are there any patients in particular that you feel have had an impact on your life or are a good example of the power of your music therapy practice?

11. What are you currently researching that you think more people need to know about? Are there any particularly interesting developments or people of interest that we should look into within the Bay Area.

12. Is there anything unique to your practice or home studio that you feel is an effective value to your patients?


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Core Concept

Core Concept: Susan Rancer’s quest to empower and instill self confidence in her patients with special needs, through music therapy activities and lessons.

Approach: We want the tone of our film to be audio driven, focusing on Susan’s techniques. The style of the of film will be poetic, incorporating still images and graphics.

Production Elements: Live interviews, narration, fly on the wall (patient sessions), and no archival footage.


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Pitch Piece

My Pitch Piece

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Inspiration: Alive Inside

One of my inspirations behind the topic of my project, Music Therapy, is a documentary called Alive Inside. Film-maker, Michael Rosatto-Bennet, follows Dan Cohen, a social worker who took it upon himself to raise money for mp3 player’s to be given to people in assisted living homes. Most of the people in these homes have severe Dementia and Alzheimer’s. When Dan gives on of the patients, Henry, in an assisted living home, his response is tear-jerking. Henry was unable to remember his past, and talk about everyday life, but once given music to listen to from his era, and being asked  the right questions, he is seemingly miraculously is able to tell Dan about how he used to go to large dances and continues reminiscing about his life as a young man. You can’t watch Henry’s story here.

Below are a few still that are for download on the Alive Inside website. These images capture the joy that this form of music therapy, through simple MP3 players, provides. I would highly recomend watching this film and even supporting the organization Dan Cohen started, called Music and Memory. This organization is who helps raise funding for nurses in assisted living homes to become certified in their program that uses music therapy as apart of everyday practice. I would highly suggest watching this film and checking out the website!


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by | December 17, 2014 · 5:55 pm