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Music Within Facilitator Guide for Diversity and Disability Training

This training package has been developed as an effective way to use Music Within, the major motion picture about the life of Richard Pimentel, as a platform and springboard to attitudinal change. As a full three-hour training session, participants will first view the full highly-entertaining movie (DVD included) and then enjoy a facilitated and educational discussion which is punctuated by Richard Pimentel’s own comments and perspectives on issues related to the movie.

The Facilitator Guide for this unique training program comes in three parts:

  • Music Within DVD –Theatrical Release plus Featurettes

  • Music Within Extended DVD – “A Conversation with Richard Pimentel" 

  • Music Within Manual – Step-by-Step Training Instructions

Music Within – The Movie

First appearing in theaters late in 2007, Music Within is a full-length (86-minute) movie starring Ron Livingston, Michael Sheen, Melissa George and Hector Elizondo. The movie portrays the real-life experiences of Richard Pimentel – who, for almost three decades now, has been one of North America’s most influential speakers on issues of employment and disability.

The movie first follows Richard’s journey through a dysfunctional childhood through to his tour in Viet Nam and his return as a disabled veteran. Coming home to civilian life, Richard begins to adjust to life with his newly-acquired disability and, while in college, he strikes up a relationship with a severely-disabled fellow student, Art Honneyman. Together, this unlikely pair begins to encounter and confront the tangible and covert barriers that inhibit them from full participation in society. These experiences, the wise counsel of a handful of mentors and the development of his own talents as a trainer/speaker eventually lead Richard into a very public career as an advocate for workforce inclusion and social change. Ultimately, Richard confronts his own demons and discovers the reality of the “music within” each of us.

According to Larry King; “It is the sleeper of the year… great movie, terrific cast, one of those films that comes along in a blue moon.” For more on the Music Within movie, see: http://www.musicwithinmovie.com  

Music Within – Extended Version DVD

In question and answer format, This DVD (Approximately 70 minutes) contains twenty-nine brief vignettes with Richard Pimentel as he candidly speaks to viewers about the movie and the broader implications of the issues that it touches on. The DVD is formatted to enable facilitators to easily select the appropriate segment to address specific topics or issues of  concern to their particular audiences.  

Music Within – Manual

In 3-ring binder format, this manual gives basic guidance to training facilitators on how to lead post-movie discussions with ten distinct audiences:

  • High School and College Students

  • Employers

  • Veterans

  • People with Disabilities

  • Workforce Development Professionals

  • Rehabilitation Professionals

  • Educators

  • Special Educators

  • Parents of People with Disabilities

  • Religious Organizations

Attitudinal Change and Music Within

This training package has many, many training applications. Erroneous information and negative attitudes towards people with disabilities still permeate our society at all levels and restrict their full participation in education, work and social activities. The Music Within training package can be an effective and enjoyable way to help audiences see people with disabilities in a new and more favorable light.

For internal training purposes, Music Within can be effective as an ongoing training tool. To support their diversity initiatives, companies can use it as an annual training event that involves all new employees. Rehabilitation-focused organizations can use it for regularly-scheduled training sessions for new clients, new staff, and new Board Members.

Diversity World Comment: This training package will be of particularly high value to organizations who are positioned to conduct training to more than one type of target audiences i.e. Placement agencies who can deliver this training to their own staff, their clients, and employers in their community. In some ways, the Extended DVD itself, is worth the “price of admission”. Richard Pimentel is arguably one of the most brilliant and insightful speakers on issues of disability and employment – and his work is not readily available in video format. We would urge anyone engaged in disability and employment work to get their hands on this DVD and watch all 70 minutes of it. There is a wealth of insight and perspective to be gleaned throughout.


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