We want to wish all of our readers a Happy Passover and a Happy Easter! Remember to start your day right by listening to Classical music which has the power to improve your mood, make you smarter, help you work faster with more accuracy, improves health and healing, grows healthier plants in fewer days, increases sales in stores, soothes your mind and prevents crime.
Many of the world’s scientists, medical doctors, engineers, mathematicians, teachers and writers have studied and played musical instruments since they were children. These eminent individuals have integrated music into their thinking process.Remember no one is immune to the power of music! Parents remember to have classical music on your family’s iPod
If anyone has an experience they would like to share with our readers on the benefits of classical music please send it and it will be included in the May 2010 newsletter!
Our poem for April is Stephen Foster’s (1826- 1864) “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair”
Madeline’s Musical One Minute Radio Show for April 2010:
Dr. Nesim Halyo how does Classical Music play a part of your life as a scientist and engineer and what instruments do you play? Click below for Your Radio Show
Question of the Month: Who is Dr. Nesim Halyo?
Nesim Halyo grew up in Istanbul, Turkey where his family lived in a medium-sized condo in the middle of the city. His parents both had good voices and loved to sing. His mother, Recina Halyo nee Benhabib, was a homemaker. His father, Ididya Halyo, was a business owner, an entrepreneur who started two businesses. His two brothers, Izak and Salvator Halyo, who are both older, went into the family business and did not get involved in music.
His first introduction to music was through his mother a singer. It was in middle school that he began to learn to play the guitar and that he suddenly became a very good student without even trying. His first recollection of how much he liked mathematics was in the 6th grade, in the class of Frere Georges.
He would play his guitar and sing. His main instrument though school has always been his voice. He attended a private American high school called Robert Academy where he learned English as almost all the courses were taught in English. Nesim then went to the American college called Robert College, founded in 1863. This is the oldest American college outside the United States. In college, together with two of his friends, he started a group called “The Goliards” with the help of the faculty advisor of the Music Club. In concerts, they sang folk-style American tunes popular in the 1960’s. Later, he was the soloist for a professional rock band called “Ekolar” for about 6 months, but his studies in engineering school were beginning to require more time and he couldn’t continue in that capacity. He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, in 1967 from Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey.
Nesim Halyo came to the United States to do graduate work at the University of Virginia and received his Master’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1970 and his Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering, 1973 from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. He continued to sing and play his guitar throughout his studies for his own enjoyment.
Dr. Halyo was awarded a Postdoctoral Research Associateship by the National Research Council (NRC), an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, which brought him to Hampton to do research at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Aerospace. He was a Senior Scientist at the Research Laboratories for the Engineering Sciences (RLES) of the University of Virginia. Then he was Manager of Guidance and Control at Analytical Mechanics Associates. Dr. Halyo started a research company Information & Control Systems, Inc. (ICS), an aerospace research company, in 1978 investigating/developing new technologies in aircraft flight control systems and other aerospace fields.
Dr. Halyo developed DIALS, the first direct-digital-design automatic landing system for a Boeing 737. NASA flight tested DIALS making 11 automatic landings. He was affiliated with the College of William and Mary, in the Computer Science Department before joining Hampton University as the Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering. Throughout his Engineering work Dr. Halyo would continue singing and playing the guitar. In 2003, he formed the Temple Beth El Choir which is now an independent choir called “The Halyo Singers”. He is the director and conductor of The Halyo Singers, and writes new music, arranges and expands existing liturgical tunes for his group. The group sings at many local synagogues in the area. At present, he is the chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Hampton University. Playing on his guitar and singing is part of Dr. Nesim Halyo’s thinking process.
“Musicians Help Patients At Mid-State Hospitals” (Feb. 17, 2010) by Jeff Tang from theNewsChannel5.Com, Nashville, Tennessee. In Tennessee they have some a wonderful medical staff and “the best musicians. At hospitals throughout the mid-state, a group of performers are .. part of the healing process through a program called Musicians on Call. Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Dialysis Wing may not be the place you’d expect to see musician Haden Carpenter, but it is where his guitar has taken him time and time again. Carpenter is one of many local performers who volunteer for Musicians on Call, a program that exists on the simple truth that patients at hospitals need more than just medicine and expert care. Every two weeks, 17-year-old Danielle Lamb comes to the dialysis wing at Vanderbilt for treatment. She spends six hours lying in a bed. Carpenter’s visit to her bedside was the highlight of the day.”
Danielle’s mom, Niki said, “When the music comes around it breaks the monotony. It lifts your spirits.” Carpenter travels around the hospital playing for patients, families and medical staff. One patient joked, “I need you [Carpenter] tomorrow – come see me in surgery tomorrow.”
Carpenter said, “I feel like I did what I was supposed to do, play to people that want to hear it, that need it like I need it. Musicians on Call have performed for more than 20,000 patients and families in the mid-state since the program started in 2007. Nationwide, the organization has helped more than 175,000 patients and their loved ones.”
“The Effects of Music On Exercise” (Nov. 24, 2009) by Jane Harrison, R.D from My OptimHealth.com“New research shows what many music/exercise enthusiasts have known for years: listening to upbeat music during exercise can increase the intensity and speed of your workout… Music can lift your spirits, creating a more positive attitude and encouraging that “get up and go” feeling. Music can be a distraction. Listening to upbeat, positive tunes may cancel out any tiredness you feel toward the end of your workout. This can help you push through some of the more uncomfortable feelings by blocking out the little voice in your brain telling you it’s time to quit.”
“Effect of Music on Cognitive Function” (March 1, 2010) by Melissa Healy from the Los Angeles TimesHealth. Taylor Bredberg is a normal teenager who enjoys ‘the indie band Grizzly Bear and the TV series “Lost” and is an excellent student. He began playing the piano at 7 years of age. He has studied the piano for eight years and takes lessons once a week at the Colburn School for Performing Arts in Los Angeles and “practices several hours a day” on his favorite pieces “by the Russian composers Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Stravinsky” and by Debussy. He excels in math and Russian.
Bredberg says, the “Piano has shaped me. In terms of discipline and creativity, I’d have been a much different person if I hadn’t played piano.”
Researchers say, “Kids like Taylor Bredberg underscore a key problem that researchers have in understanding the link between music-making and cognitive performance. Bredberg hails from the kind of educated family in which music instruction is more common to begin with — an environmental advantage that may account for his particular mental strengths. To truly learn what music-making can do for academic skills, researchers say they must pluck kids from a wider range of family environments and offer them music lessons, rather than just study kids whose families have sought out musical instruction for them.”
“Playing Along with the Mozart Effect” (March 1, 2010) by Melissa Healy from the Los Angeles TimesHealth. “If you want music to sharpen your senses, boost your ability to focus and perhaps even improve your memory, you need to be a participant, not just a listener.”
“Music Is Good for You at Any Age” (March 1, 2010) by Rosie Mestel from the Los Angeles Times Health. “It may be easier to learn young, but it may be more fun to learn later.” Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, a Harvard University neurologist says, “Music is sort of the perfect activity that people can engage in from young to older years. It affects how the brain develops and affects how the brain changes in structure at any age. For the mature brain, even listening to beloved music may have what scientists call a “neuroprotective” effect.”
Dr. Antonio Damasio, director of USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute says, “Even if music did little more than lift our spirits it would be a powerful force in maintaining physical and mental health. The pleasure that results from listening to music we love stimulates the release of neural growth factors that promote the vigor, growth and replacement of brain cells. In that way just the simple act of absorbing music may help keep older minds healthy, active and resilient against injury and illness.”
“Is Classical Music Cruel and Unusual Punishment – Or Is That Just a Bad Rap?” (March 9, 2010) by Tom Mills from the Saultstar.com. “An educator in Derby, England, has more than halved his school’s detentions since he introduced classical music into the penal sessions four years ago. Not only that, grades have risen in tune to Bach, Handel, Verdi and Mozart, and the school now scores six points above the British average.” Headmaster Brian Walker says, “Sitting in silence listening to the music lets them reflect more about the reasons why they are in detention.”
Tom Mills says, “Walker’s detention cadre has been reduced to a hard core of 20 troublemakers — or, if you prefer, 20 new and devoted fans of serious music and poetry.” A few years ago “Classical music was introduced at six London Underground stations. Within six months, robberies, staff assaults and vandalism had dropped at least 25 per cent. Some town councils on the British Isles employ classical blasts to keep kids from congregating in public areas and cut down on graffiti.”
“The Hope of Music’s Healing Powers” (March 1, 2010) by Melissa Healy from the Los Angeles TimesHealth. The power of singing to help heal the brain for several patient illnesses. Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, a Harvard University neurologist says, “Music might provide an alternative entry point to the brain, because it can unlock so many different doors into an injured or ill brain. Pitch, harmony, melody, rhythm and emotion — all components of music — engage different regions of the brain. And many of those same regions are also important in speech, movement and social interaction. If a disease or trauma has disabled a brain region needed for such functions, music can sometimes get in through a back door and coax them out by another route. In a sense, we’re using musical tools to particularly engage certain parts of the brain and then teach the brain new tricks — new tools — to overcome an impairment.”
“Patients tapped along as they sang, which also seemed to engage a broad network in the brain involved in detecting and reproducing rhythm. Such strategies, it turned out, allowed aphasics’ words to come out.”
“Music Can Repair Brain After a Stroke” (March 6, 2010) by Jean Enersen from the King5.com news, Health Link. Rosemary Page had a stroke two years ago “and could barely speak after a stroke.” Through singing with her Music therapist Jenny Rook she has learned to speak again through singing music. Music therapist Jenny Rook says, “An everyday phrase set to music retrains the brain to find a new way to talk. So when there’s a damaged area that’s inhibiting speech, music can typically go around those damaged areas.”
“Eppia Update: Creative Activities for Persons with Dementia” (Feb. 26, 2010) by Barb Howe and Joanne Bartel from the Eden Prairie News.Com, Eden Prairie, Minnesota. “Emilie was once a vibrant woman, capable wife and nurturing mother of 11 children. Her days were full – managing a large family farm house, bandaging little knees and singing with her musically talented family. When she was a schoolgirl, Emilie developed a strong sense of competition as a gymnast. Now she struggles with the effects of advanced-stage memory loss. Caregivers who work with Emilie tap into her family experiences and competitive nature to guide the administration of her care. … Whenever there’s music, Emilie’s eyes light up.” Playing the music that she was fond of helps her remember.
Dr. Concetta Tomaino, “executive director of the Institute for Music and Neurological Function conducted a study of 45 patients with mid- to late-stage memory loss. The results showed improved scores on a cognitive-function test by an average of 50 percent.”
“Exercise Your Ears, Exercise Your Mind” (Feb. 20, 2010) by Arminta Wallace from the Irish Times.com.“Music. It’s part of our staple cultural diet. All societies have had it throughout human history, and it’s easy to see why: just put on a favorite dance track at a party, or sing a Barney song to a toddler, or ask people around a dinner table what’s their favorite piece of music ever, and watch it work its magic. But how and why this magic works is still something of a mystery: which is why the physicist and science writer Philip Ball decided to compile a sort of dossier on the current state of our scientific knowledge about music and how we make sense of it.” Philip Ball said, “The main thing I wanted to stress is how important music is in the education of the brain, and in education generally. It’s so important for the development of the brain itself, and for the development of sociality, and because it gives us this rich neurological experience. What’s clear from these studies is that music has so many benefits that it needs to be a core part of the educational curriculum – and not an optional extra.”
“Musicians Infuse Hope to Cancer Patients” (Feb. 19, 2010) by Marci Singer from the
Petosjey News.com. At the Northern Michigan Regional Hospital each week a group of teen musicians called “A Touch of Class” plays uplifting music for patients, their families and the hospital staff. Director Ruth Wilkey said, “People who are here for extended periods of time could use some cheering up. With a touch of their hands, the group adds a touch of class to special events — they all have such beautiful hearts and add the sparkle of live music wherever they play.” Cancer patient Clifford Cutler and his wife, Phyllis enjoyed the music on Wednesday. Phyllis said, “This is the fourth time we’ve heard them. It’s wonderful. It’s really nice to have music.”
“Arts in Healthcare Best Practices” (Nov 2008) compiled and edited by Anthony Heaphy and Anita Bansal from the National Endowment for the Arts. Since 1986 the University of Michigan Health System has been bringing music to local hospitals to enhance the healing process of their patients, their visitors and medical staff. The hospitals have a weekly noon concert series that the famed Medici String Quartet performed on.
“Does Music Hath Charm? (Feb. 26, 2010) by David Gould from the WPTV.Com, Belle Glade, Florida. “Criminals take note; the streets may soon be alive with the sound of music.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office plans to add classical music to its fight against crime.” Palm Beach County Sherriff Ric Bradshaw says, “It’s just a way to make it an uncomfortable area for people to stay there because it’s not the kind of music they want to hear.” The PBSO plans to “to play music over a two to three block area, 12 to 24 hours a day. For some it may prove soothing. For others, it may be annoying enough to get them to move-on.” Sheriff Bradshaw says, “There have been studies not just about the discomfort of the music but how it changes people’s moods.”