Silent Sounds of Music: Learning ASL Review

Think Positive

Video Review by Chris Wixtrom     © 1999

Silent Sounds of Music: Learning American Sign Language
Vol. 1, VHS, 30 minutes, various sections signed, captioned, voiced
$19.95, Will Sie Signs with Sounds, Inc.
Dusmar Productions, P.O. Box 88550, Newton Town Centre, Surrey, B.C. V3W 1X0

Distributed by Superior Home Video
22159 North Pepper Rd. #9, Barrington, IL 60010

In this video's opening scenes, we see and hear a crowd at a party. Along comes the deaf man, and suddenly there's silence. Everything is as before, but we "hear" nothing. Considering how he is welcomed to the party (with big hugs and friendly conversation) it doesn't look like too bad a life, being deaf. And considering the sweeping cinematography and inspiring song carrying these sign language lessons, it looks like learning sign isn't going to be too bad, either.

The narrators point out that word-by-word translations matching English words to American Sign Language signs can't be correct translations, because the languages are very different. Following this announcement is a quick run-through of fingerspelling and a long list of signs, given out of context, in alphabetical order. Go figure.

New sign students do get a chance to learn an artistic sign interpretation of a song, "Vanishing,"(Bryan Adams). Romantic clips of a young couple play out as Nigel Howard (Deaf) signs the song. "Think positive," he advises, nodding. "Keep trying. You can make it." "Cool."

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